We asked families with children with disabilities and/ or special educational needs to give their views on the current Short Breaks offer and to tell us if they had experienced any barriers to taking up services. We asked families what they need from a future service to inform the future for service requirements; how Short Breaks are arranged in the future and to help plan market development activity.
We also asked Short Break providers questions regarding what they can offer and their capacity.
We received 207 responses:
· 82% of which were from parent carers. Respondents provided a wealth of information regarding their experiences of using short breaks and had a number of really helpful ideas about the types of services they would like to see in the future and when they would like to see them.
· 30% of families eligible for Short Breaks were unable to take up all of their allocation due to lack of provider capacity; services not able to meet specific needs or inflexibility with the current offer. Responses regarding allocations were mixed with some families wanting everyone to receive the same allocation and others wanting a higher allocation to those with higher needs.
· 89% of families wanted to see short break provision in school holidays, with weekends also being requested as well as after school clubs. While some families wanted the council to continue to arrange their breaks from pre-qualified providers, other families wanted the flexibility to receive funds to arrange their own services. There was a lot of interest in specialist overnight respite and in the potential for short break providers to cater to young people in transition to adulthood.
We reviewed and analysed all the responses submitted. You can read the full consultation report here.
The key themes from the survey were used to inform and shape the detail behind the future service model and applications process. The service model was also informed by three co-design meetings held with parent carers.
We held two market events with Short Breaks providers to pass on key findings from the survey to help shape the future market offer in accordance with need.
We have simplified the applications process based on the feedback received. From March 2019, families will only need to apply once to be eligible for Short Breaks.
Based on the survey response, we have revised the allocation offer for Short Breaks. The new allocation represents an increased offer for families and is more flexible to enable families to purchase the support that they want. We will ensure that those with higher needs continue to receive a higher allocation. The new offer for 2019-20 will be available on the Short Breaks Website from March 2019. https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/children-young-people-and-families/children-and-young-people-with-disabilities/disabled-childrens-activities.html