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About short breaks and respite

Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their primary carers. These may range from just a few hours to day, evening, overnight or weekend activities and take could place in the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer, a residential or community setting. Short break services are additional services required to support disabled children and their families to remain safe, well and secure.

A consultation about North Somerset Short Break offer ran from midday on Thursday 1 November 2018 and closed at 23:59pm on Friday 30 November 2018. There were two questionnaires one for children and young people and the other for parents and carers.  An Easy Read version of the questionnaire was provided to anyone who required it. Here are the results of the consultation.

As a result of the consultation North Somerset have implemented the following changes:

Short breaks can include:

  • families taking a break together, away from the routine of daily life
  • a break for your child away from the family
  • group activities like a youth club for children and young people 
  • holiday play schemes
  • sports, arts or music activities
  • one to one support so your child can take part in activities such as cinema trips

While some short breaks are available without assessment, provision of some types of short breaks is based on an assessment of the whole family, addressing both their personal and social needs. Short breaks occur on a regular and planned basis and should be part of an integrated programme of support which is regularly reviewed. No short break or single placement should last for more than 17 days of continuous care and total provision over a year should not exceed 75 days.

Universal services

Universal services are provided or are available to all children and young people.  if your child is registered disabled you may be able to get additional help for paying for Ofsted or school registered holiday activities through Tax Credits, they include:

  • play schemes
  • holiday activities
  • after school clubs
  • youth clubs
  • uniformed groups such as scouts and guides
  • libraries
  • playgrounds and parks 

You will need to talk to the provider directly to see what support they can provide for your child.

Our Short Breaks Statement is now available.  Our SENDCAS team run a variety of specialist activities in Weston-super-Mare and Portishead. We regularly publish a You Said, We Did update to inform parents and carers about how we are responding to their views on our short breaks services.  The SENDCAS team produce a newsletter informing parents/carers of activities run by them.

Buddy Scheme

The Buddy Scheme is designed to provide a service to children and young people with a wide range of additional needs and to support them in accessing social and leisure activities in the community, for example youth clubs, shopping trips and after school clubs.

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