The BwD Short Breaks Statement for 2019-2020 is available by clicking on the link in the Downloads box.
What are Short Breaks?
It is important that all children and young people have the opportunity to experience a range of different activities.
For children and young people with disabilities, we know that it is important to be able to access activities alongside siblings and friends, in a safe environment which at the same time allows young people to stretch boundaries.
This benefits parents and carers too, by giving them valuable time away from caring which is so important to everybody’s quality of life. Short breaks aim to provide these opportunities.
Depending on the needs of the child, young person and carer, provision will vary, for example:
- an hour a few times a week with a support worker to help access universal services in the community,
- a number of overnight breaks each year for those children and young people with complex needs.
Short breaks can be provided by the local authority or other partners including health, as well as the private and voluntary sectors. Alternatively, a family can choose their own provider using a system of Direct Payments, which is part of our commitment to provide personalised services to our families.
There is further information about Short Breaks as you scroll down this page and in the document in the Downloads box, but ...
If you would like to apply for a short break, please contact ...
Children’s Social Care (children aged from birth to 18 years) by telephoning the Referral Information Co-ordinators on (01254) 666400
When a young person is aged 18 or over, please contact the Customer Liaison Team on (01254) 587547
Alternately, you can email Martine.Lewis@blackburn.gov.uk or call Duty Staff on (01254) 503773
Introduction to BwD 2019-2020 Short Breaks Statement
The Purpose of this Statement
We know parents often find it difficult finding information they need, and so this statement sets out to help parents and carers understand:
1. the range of short breaks services available
2. the criteria by which eligibility for services will be assessed
3. how the range of services in Blackburn with Darwen is designed to meet the needs of our children with disabilities and their families.
Some of the key points from the Statement:
What is the eligibility criteria?
There is a wide range of social opportunities available to all children and young people in the borough, including disabled children: these are called Universal Services.
Additionally, Short Break provision is available to disabled children or young people aged 0 – 25 years of age.
Blackburn with Darwen’s sole eligibility criteria is need.
Assessment of Need
In order to assess need, the social worker will talk to the child or young person and their carers to gain a clear understanding of the family's needs:
- views of the child and parents
- the preferred methods of communication/how they choose to communicate
- the parenting capacity of the parents within their family
- the length of time away from home and frequency of such stays
- the potential impact on the child/ren’s place in the family and on their parents or carers (for example, the impact on siblings and how they may interact)
- observation of the child – especially for children who do not communicate verbally – during or immediately after the break by a person familiar with the mood and behaviour of the child.
The assessment will establish whether or not your or your child’s needs can be appropriately met via Universal Services or if you will need more specific support.
All assessments will consider the needs of both the child and carer and and decisions made will not be made in isolation.
As a general rule, those with the highest levels of need will have access to higher levels of service, irrespective of age, race, religion, gender or the nature of impairment.
The assessment will take into consideration the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, the 1989 Children’s Act and the Equalities Act 2010.
How Can I Request an Assessment for my child?
- The easiest way to request an assessment is via self-referral to Children’s Social Care (children aged from birth to 18 years) by telephoning the Referral Information Co-ordinators on (01254) 666400.
- Alternatively, a professional who is working with your family can complete a Referral Form and contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
- When a young person is aged 18 or over, please contact the Customer Liaison Team on (01254) 587547.
What's next after the assessment?
Once this assessment is complete, and a short break has been identified as a need, the social worker or child support officer will provide information:
- about the range of services and breaks available
- about how often they will be required in order to meet the assessed need
Range of Short Breaks Services Available
We have a range of services available to support parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities or assessed needs. These generally fall under two categories: those that are universally available to all and those that are targeted to meet the disabled children’s identified needs.
You will find a full list of these services in the Statement document, in the Downloads box.
To discuss any of the points above, or if you have other queries about Short Breaks ...
email Martine.Lewis@blackburn.gov.uk or call Duty Staff on (01254) 503773
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