Enabling Disabled Children to Access Short Break Provision
Bath & North East Somerset Council has set up a referral process to enable the inclusion of disabled children and young people aged 0-18 years into short break services by;
• linking disabled children and young people with mainstream opportunities, or
• supporting the needs of severely disabled children in accessing specialist short break services*
By supporting individual children or young people to access provision, a sustainable legacy of inclusive provision will be created, alongside identifying the needs of families with severely disabled children.
The funding is not designed to meet the cost of the short break activity itself, or any associated transport costs** but to fund the cost of removing the barriers to enable the child or young person to take part. This could include training staff, providing resources to enable inclusion, or arranging accessible** transport to short break provision.
*In reference to severely disabled children the package is designed to be an additional short break and therefore would not include services that fall under an initial and core assessment.
** This scheme could arrange and fund transport where a lack of specialised accessible transport is a barrier to accessing mainstream provision, but is not otherwise intended to pay for transport to an activity if the cost of this is the only barrier.
The service is open to disabled children and young people aged 0-18, who are resident in Bath & North East Somerset. The funding is aimed at supporting inclusive practices to enable disabled children and young people to access short breaks, such as play and learning opportunities alongside their peers, and to support the development of short breaks for severely disabled children and young people. The decision to support access to short breaks through this process will be based on the personal and social needs of the child/young person and their family.
- Children/families open to another Social Care team
- Disabled children in care
- Child protection concerns
- Sudden/significant trauma or event
- Children or young people with emotional and/or behavioural difficulties which are not linked to a diagnosed condition or disability
Definition of Disability
Bath and North East Somerset Council have used the definition contained within the Disability Discrimination Act.
A disabled person is:
“someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse impact on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”
The eligibility criteria is based on the understanding that:
- children and young people are disabled by the physical barriers of the world around them and the attitudes of people around them as much as by their illness or impairment
- children and young people with disabilities should be seen first and foremost as individuals and have equal rights and access to services
- people with disabilities have the right to exercise power and control over their own lives and to participate within the community.
Professionals making referrals to this service must be working to support the needs of the child or young person and their family and will need to seek agreement from them prior to making the application.
Supporting comments from the child/young person and/or their family will strengthen the application and help to highlight the desired outcomes for the child/young person to the panel reviewing the application.
A decision will be made within four weeks of receipt of the application.
If a package of support is agreed by the reviewing team, the Co-ordinator will work with the identified service provider/s to ensure that the needs of the child or young person can be met.
Funding could be awarded for:
- training of staff working in the mainstream setting
- provision of sessional staff to support the child or young person
- resources to support and enable inclusion
- accessible transport costs
A review meeting will be held after three months between the AHDC Co-ordinator and referring professional to establish whether the original outcomes highlighted in the application are being met by the mainstream service provision supported by funding.
Feedback forms will also be sent to the child or young person and their family.