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Aiming High for Disabled Children
........ is the Government’s Transformation Programme for disabled children and young people and is supported by major investment. Nottinghamshire has been a ‘Short Breaks Pathfinder’ since April 2008 and has a target to achieve the ‘Full Service Offer’ by March 2010.
Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their primary carers. They provide an essential chance for carers to recharge their batteries and to allow disabled children and young people the experience of new relationships, environments and positive activities. A short break may include day, evening, overnight or weekend activities and can take place at home, at an approved carer’s home or in a residential or community setting.
To ensure we are developing the right services, we have been engaging with disabled children, young people and their families by organising consultation events and fun days. This has helped us to identify what services are already being provided and where the gaps are. Parents are also involved in a range of working groups to ensure we continue to get their views.
Significant progress has been made in developing short break opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families including:
Increasing access to direct payments. Direct Payments are accessed via a social worker. Funding is paid directly to families so that they can choose which services they want to buy
Doubling the number of Contract Carers. This scheme is highly thought of locally and nationally. It links disabled children and young people to specially trained foster carers who support them on overnight breaks in the carer’s home
Additional funding to both the Play and Youth services to extend provision
Increasing access to 11th Session for disabled children and young people. These are free Performing Arts Workshops for young people between the ages of 7 – 19
Providing a new service of flexible one-to-one support for disabled children and young people who do not currently receive any short breaks service
Additional funding to increase sitting and befriending service
Additional funding for community holiday and play schemes
The development of an improved information system to enable families easier access to services, this will be linked to the existing Families Information Service
Development of a Pathway to services, so that families and professionals can see at a glance which services are available to individual children and young people
To have improved specialist training for all staff who work with disabled children and young people
To continue consulting with children, young people and their families to make sure we are still providing what they want
To have a range of services that will provide choice for families
To ensure that professionals are aware of the additional services that are available, and how to support families to access them
Further information about Aiming High, including Short Breaks ‘Full Service Offer’ can be found via the Every Disabled Child Matters website, www.edcm.org.uk
For copies of the reports on consultation with children, young people and their families, or further information regarding the Nottinghamshire Short Breaks Pathfinder, please contact us at email@example.com
Glyn Connolly, Lead Officer Service Development
Sarah Wilcock, ProjectLeadNHSNottinghamshireCounty
Anne Lobley, Lead Officer Systems & Resources
Delona Sweeney, Project Administrator