Further Information - Short Breaks Strategy Consultation 2020 to 2024

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What is this consultation about?

We would like to hear your views on the draft Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has a duty to provide short breaks to parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The purpose of this strategy is to ensure that families of children with SEND can access appropriate short breaks from their caring responsibilities.

Current services are now over 3 years old and we want to ensure we are providing services that best meet families’ needs; are in the right locations and available as and when families need them most.

We want to ensure that the strategy reflects the needs of parents, carers, children and young people accessing short breaks now and in the future. Therefore we would like to hear the views of all current and future service users, and other stakeholders, on the proposed strategy. Your feedback will help to inform the short breaks services the Council provides in future.

What are Short Breaks?

These are services that can help families with a child or young person with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They give SEND children the chance to have time away from their families, make new friends and have fun. They give parents a break from caring for their child; give parents the chance to spend time with their other children; and are designed to meet different levels of need. Short Breaks include a range of:

  • Day-time care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere,
  • Overnight care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere,
  • Educational or leisure activities for disabled children outside their homes and,
  • Services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays.

The West Cheshire Continuum of Need sets out how children and young people access the right short breaks to support their families and provide breaks from caring, so they can provide care more effectively.

The Short Breaks services available for children, young people and their families within the borough include:

  • Universal Services - Disabled children in Cheshire West and Chester can access community based Short Breaks services, such as preschool play groups, out of school clubs, holiday activities, and sports.
  • Targeted Services - We know that not all disabled children will be able to attend universal group based activities, so we also support a range of specialist groups such as play and youth groups, Creative Breaks, and an after school group.
  • Complex/Specialist Services - For children who need a high level of support and care during the day and possibly overnight. Services include care in children’s own homes and in the local community, daytime nursing care, overnight residential respite care, Creative Breaks and access to Direct Payments.

Why do we need a Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy?

There are five main reasons why we need a Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy:

  • To set out our shared vision for Short Breaks.
  • To offer flexibility and choice. Families should be able to access services close to where they live. The services should help parents and children build networks that connect them to their community. This will help Cheshire West and Chester achieve good outcomes for children and families.
  • To ensure we can sustain Short Breaks in the long term. It is difficult to manage the demand for residential short breaks. This is not going to get easier with the financial constraints which local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are facing. We expect more people to want these services in coming years and we must meet current and future need. We want to provide services that are value for money. The money we have for Short Breaks must be spent where there is the greatest need.
  • To make sure that people who use Short Breaks are treated fairly and consistently and that the Short Breaks are there for people as and when they need them.
  • To improve the Creative Breaks Service, by ensuring it is fair, equitable, it’s in line with the key principles of this strategy and can be delivered within the resources available. The Creative Breaks Service increases social opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families. Eligible families can be allocated up to £1000 a year per service user, to enable disabled children and young people to have a fun experience and parents to have a break away from their caring responsibilities.

How was the strategy developed?

The strategy applies to parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within Cheshire West and Chester and has been developed through engagement with parents and carers, service providers and key partners. It has also been informed by the results of the Perceived Gaps Report 2019, which captures parents’ feedback on gaps in service provision. The perceived gaps identified include; SEND specific groups for early years children, clubs for children with disabilities, activity groups in the school holidays, SEND specific leisure activities and groups for young adults.

The strategy also responds to key legislation and key national policy, including:

  • Care Act 2014
  • Children’s and Families Act 2014
  • The Children’s Act 1989
  • The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011
  • Special Educational Needs Code of Practice: 0 – 25 years

The strategy has also been developed and informed by comprehensive research through the SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which analyses local and national data and trends about children and young people with SEND.

Proposed improvements to the Creative Breaks Service have been developed together with members of the Parent Carer Forum.

What are the key principles of the strategy?

In order to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their parents, carers and family, the following principles are proposed for the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy:

Short Breaks services:

  • Support carers with their caring responsibilities
  • Link into supporting a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)
  • Ensure families are in control of how they use Short Breaks
  • Prioritise the child and parent/carer experience and perspective when designing the services delivered and how they are accessed
  • Offer disabled children and young people the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and reduce loneliness
  • Reduce escalation to statutory services (services provided by the Local Authority which could include Social Services)
  • Involve children and their families in the decision making process
  • Maximise the use of specialist resources and Universal Services within communities
  • Ensure staff are qualified and skilled to deliver safe and high quality services
  • Offer a range of Short Breaks, to support the needs of carers and disabled children and young people, with the right mix of services to respond to a family’s needs
  • Are fairly accessed; priority will be for those who need it most and eligibility for services will be clear and transparent
  • Offer support to young people in their transition to Adult Services and packages of short break provision that are comparable to those available from Adults Services
  • Are continuously improving and are good value for money.

What difference will families see when the strategy is in place?

Children will:

  • Be able to choose the type, location and time of their Short Breaks
  • Develop independence through their Short Breaks
  • Be involved in the planning and design of their Short Breaks
  • Make new friends, learn new skills, develop confidence and meet their full potential
  • Develop their strengths.

Parents and carers will:

  • Know what Short Breaks are available and how to access them
  • Have a choice of Short Breaks
  • Receive clear communication from professionals to help their family make choices
  • Feel more resilient and able to deal with their caring responsibilities
  • Access support before they reach crisis point and know how to access support
  • Be confident their child receives high quality Short Breaks and are cared for by trained, professional staff in a safe environment.

The Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group will:

  • Achieve their statutory duties in relation to Short Breaks
  • See a reduction in families escalating to statutory services
  • Maximise their resources as part of the Short Breaks offer
  • Evidence the impact of Short Breaks.

What are the proposals set out in the strategy?

1. Universal Services

Universal Services include community based services, such as preschool play groups, out of school clubs, holiday activities, Brownies, Scouts and sports groups.

Feedback from children and families is that children and young people with SEND want the same opportunities as their peers and access community activities with peers, to have fun with friends. The Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy aims to improve opportunities for children and young people with SEND to access Short Breaks through universal services provided within their own community.

We want to support children and young people to access Universal Services available within their own communities where it is appropriate. This can be achieved by supporting Universal Service providers to meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Proposal 1a) Improve support to providers to enable children and young people to access Universal Services.

Opportunities are limited for children and young people with SEND to access Universal Services, particularly those with some personal care needs. Often in order to access activities a child will need to be accompanied by an adult. We need to invest in inclusion to improve access to Universal Services for children and young people with SEND. This could include providing training, equipment and ongoing advice, brokerage and support to access Universal Services.

Proposal 1b) Improve access for children and young people with SEND to Short Breaks after school in a setting within their own community

Parents should have a choice of where their child accesses Short Breaks after school. Very often choice is limited due to the location of special schools that currently offer Short Breaks after school and the need for children to access home to school transport. If more special schools/mainstream schools offer Short Breaks, then children can be transported from their school to their local special school/mainstream school, to access Short Breaks after school. This will reduce the cost of transport and enable children to meet with peers from their local community. However, this may not be appropriate for all children. Therefore it is also important to support special schools to provide their own after school and holiday activities for parents to access.

Proposal 1c) Develop a buddy system to enable volunteers to support children to access Short Breaks through Universal Services.

For example this could be a scout who buddies up with a young person who would like to attend Cubs or Beavers; a volunteer who likes walking and gives up some time each month to take a young person out to enjoy the countryside; or someone who attends services to help with the child’s confidence to maintain their attendance.

2. Targeted Services

Not all children and young people with SEND will be able to attend universal group based activities without additional support and/or resources. Targeted Services are community based activity groups that provide the additional support many children need and are popular with families.

Targeted Services also include the Creative Breaks Service, which provides up to £1,000 per child per year to eligible families, which can be spent on accessing Short Breaks.

Proposal 2a) Locate targeted Short Breaks provision in the areas of most need as identified by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Community based activity groups are popular with our families and should continue within the Short Breaks offer. The location of targeted services needs to be reviewed to ensure there are sufficient services provided in the areas of most need in addition to other areas across the borough.

The areas of most need identified by the JSNA include Chester and Rural areas - Blacon Ward, Lache Ward, Neston Ward. Ellesmere Port area - Netherpool Ward, Wolverham Ward, Sutton Villages Ward, Central & Grange Ward, Westminster Ward; and Northwich and Winsford area - Northwich Witton Ward, Winsford Over & Verdin Ward, Winsford Swanlow Ward, Winsford Wharton Ward, (based on 2019 ward boundaries).

Proposal 2b) Enable children and young people with SEND to attend their Short Breaks provision with their personal assistant if they have access to one

This would mean allowing all children to access activities with their Personal Assistant if they have one, making Short Breaks more accessible for children as well as reducing costs.

Proposal 2c) Support families and children and young people with SEND to access facilities such as Champions Lodge, Delamere Forest and Mountain View Lodge, Menai, Anglesey.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has facilities at Champions Lodge, Delamere Forest and Mountain View Lodge, Menai, Anglesey. These facilities are not sufficiently used as part of our Short Breaks offer for families. We need to ensure that families and children and young people with SEND can receive support to access these facilities if required. Support could include advice, information, details about the facilities and equipment and services which enable children and young people to access their Residential Short Break without family members.

3. Targeted Services – Creative Breaks

The Individual Payments Scheme also known as Creative Breaks is well liked by families. The current scheme provides up to £1,000 per child each year to be spent on accessing Short Breaks. Funding has been used to access activities such as membership to a sports club or gym for the child or young person, fees for a youth club or other social clubs, specialist disability swimming lessons, dance lessons, trampoline clubs, horse riding, school holiday clubs, paying for a child or young person to attend a residential break and buying annual/family members’ passes, most of which include a free Carers’ pass.

Eligible children are those in receipt of Middle and High Level Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - Standard and Enhanced. The overall Creative Breaks budget of £290,000 does not support all children within our borough who are eligible and very often there is a waiting list. A place only becomes available if circumstances change; a family no longer wants the service; or a young person becomes 18 years old and is no longer eligible. This means that many children and their families miss out on accessing any funding.

Proposed improvements to the Creative Breaks Service have been co-produced with members of the Parent Carer Forum (PCF) to ensure the service is fairer and more equitable and in line with the principles of the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy. They are as follows:

Proposal 3a) The service the child receives funded by Creative Breaks would also need to allow the parent a break from their caring role.

This means the child can access the break without the parent having to be present. A Short Break not only allows the disabled child the chance to have time away from their family make new friends and have fun, but provides parents with a break from their caring responsibilities to allow them to undertake education, training or any regular leisure activity, and/or meet the needs of other children in the family more effectively, or carry out day to day tasks which they must perform in order to run their household.

Proposal 3b) Funding from Creative Breaks could only be used to cover the additional costs of providing support to enable a child to access an activity, rather than covering the whole cost of the activity whole costaccessing an acitivityin line with the principles of the short breaks commisioingn strategy. The pro.

For example parents would pay for the sessions such as Cubs and Creative Breaks funding would pay for any additional costs which support the child to attend a session.

Proposal 3c) Reduce the amount of funding available per child per year. This will allow more eligible children to access funding to pay for their Short Breaks.

Please note if this proposed improvement is agreed as part of the consultation it is proposed that an amount of funding per year will be agreed with the Parent Carer Forum. The amount will be one which they consider to be a fair amount and will be reviewed every three years.

4. Complex/Specialist Services

Current services include domiciliary care (which provides personal care at home), and outreach support (which provides services within the community).

Currently services are bought as and when the need arises. This means that providers are unable to plan for the right numbers of staff and therefore staff aren’t always available to respond at the times when families need the services most.

If we plan the services we need and buy services which support multiple families rather than on an individual basis, this will enable providers to be more responsive to the needs of families.

Proposal 4a) Ensure domiciliary care (which provides care at home) and outreach support (which provides services within the community) is responsive and flexible to the needs of individuals and those who care for them.

Services need to be creative and be person or family centred to minimise the impact that care at home may have on the whole family life.

Proposal 4b) Ensure children and young people with SEND can access Short Breaks at home to enable parents to access social or leisure activities.

We need to review the services available for children and young people with SEND to access a Short Break at home to enable parents to access social activities for themselves in the evening or at weekends. This could include activities such as a trip to the gym, a visit to the cinema, or night out with friends. Currently our Short Breaks offer doesn’t provide opportunities for parents to do this. By supporting more parents to have free time in the evening and at weekends it will reduce the amount of pressure families are under and therefore reduce the number of more costly interventions such as overnight stays at Pinewood.

How can I feedback my views?

Cheshire West and Chester Council would value the insight and feedback of all parents, carers, and other stakeholders, to ensure the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy addresses the issues that are most important to parents, carers, and children and young people with SEND, and provides the support they need. There are a number of ways you can get involved and share your views, please see our dedicated online engagement website.

This consultation is open until Sunday 15 November 2020

What happens next?

The consultation findings will be used to inform the development of the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy and shape future service delivery. The strategy will be reviewed by the Council’s Cabinet alongside the findings of this consultation in March 2021, to make a decision about whether to implement the strategy. If the strategy is agreed new Short Breaks Services will be designed with parents and services will be commissioned by April 2022. The results from the consultation will be available on the Council’s website in February 2021.

What is this consultation about?

We would like to hear your views on the draft Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has a duty to provide short breaks to parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The purpose of this strategy is to ensure that families of children with SEND can access appropriate short breaks from their caring responsibilities.

Current services are now over 3 years old and we want to ensure we are providing services that best meet families’ needs; are in the right locations and available as and when families need them most.

We want to ensure that the strategy reflects the needs of parents, carers, children and young people accessing short breaks now and in the future. Therefore we would like to hear the views of all current and future service users, and other stakeholders, on the proposed strategy. Your feedback will help to inform the short breaks services the Council provides in future.

What are Short Breaks?

These are services that can help families with a child or young person with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They give SEND children the chance to have time away from their families, make new friends and have fun. They give parents a break from caring for their child; give parents the chance to spend time with their other children; and are designed to meet different levels of need. Short Breaks include a range of:

  • Day-time care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere,
  • Overnight care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere,
  • Educational or leisure activities for disabled children outside their homes and,
  • Services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays.

The West Cheshire Continuum of Need sets out how children and young people access the right short breaks to support their families and provide breaks from caring, so they can provide care more effectively.

The Short Breaks services available for children, young people and their families within the borough include:

  • Universal Services - Disabled children in Cheshire West and Chester can access community based Short Breaks services, such as preschool play groups, out of school clubs, holiday activities, and sports.
  • Targeted Services - We know that not all disabled children will be able to attend universal group based activities, so we also support a range of specialist groups such as play and youth groups, Creative Breaks, and an after school group.
  • Complex/Specialist Services - For children who need a high level of support and care during the day and possibly overnight. Services include care in children’s own homes and in the local community, daytime nursing care, overnight residential respite care, Creative Breaks and access to Direct Payments.

Why do we need a Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy?

There are five main reasons why we need a Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy:

  • To set out our shared vision for Short Breaks.
  • To offer flexibility and choice. Families should be able to access services close to where they live. The services should help parents and children build networks that connect them to their community. This will help Cheshire West and Chester achieve good outcomes for children and families.
  • To ensure we can sustain Short Breaks in the long term. It is difficult to manage the demand for residential short breaks. This is not going to get easier with the financial constraints which local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are facing. We expect more people to want these services in coming years and we must meet current and future need. We want to provide services that are value for money. The money we have for Short Breaks must be spent where there is the greatest need.
  • To make sure that people who use Short Breaks are treated fairly and consistently and that the Short Breaks are there for people as and when they need them.
  • To improve the Creative Breaks Service, by ensuring it is fair, equitable, it’s in line with the key principles of this strategy and can be delivered within the resources available. The Creative Breaks Service increases social opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families. Eligible families can be allocated up to £1000 a year per service user, to enable disabled children and young people to have a fun experience and parents to have a break away from their caring responsibilities.

How was the strategy developed?

The strategy applies to parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within Cheshire West and Chester and has been developed through engagement with parents and carers, service providers and key partners. It has also been informed by the results of the Perceived Gaps Report 2019, which captures parents’ feedback on gaps in service provision. The perceived gaps identified include; SEND specific groups for early years children, clubs for children with disabilities, activity groups in the school holidays, SEND specific leisure activities and groups for young adults.

The strategy also responds to key legislation and key national policy, including:

  • Care Act 2014
  • Children’s and Families Act 2014
  • The Children’s Act 1989
  • The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011
  • Special Educational Needs Code of Practice: 0 – 25 years

The strategy has also been developed and informed by comprehensive research through the SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which analyses local and national data and trends about children and young people with SEND.

Proposed improvements to the Creative Breaks Service have been developed together with members of the Parent Carer Forum.

What are the key principles of the strategy?

In order to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their parents, carers and family, the following principles are proposed for the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy:

Short Breaks services:

  • Support carers with their caring responsibilities
  • Link into supporting a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)
  • Ensure families are in control of how they use Short Breaks
  • Prioritise the child and parent/carer experience and perspective when designing the services delivered and how they are accessed
  • Offer disabled children and young people the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and reduce loneliness
  • Reduce escalation to statutory services (services provided by the Local Authority which could include Social Services)
  • Involve children and their families in the decision making process
  • Maximise the use of specialist resources and Universal Services within communities
  • Ensure staff are qualified and skilled to deliver safe and high quality services
  • Offer a range of Short Breaks, to support the needs of carers and disabled children and young people, with the right mix of services to respond to a family’s needs
  • Are fairly accessed; priority will be for those who need it most and eligibility for services will be clear and transparent
  • Offer support to young people in their transition to Adult Services and packages of short break provision that are comparable to those available from Adults Services
  • Are continuously improving and are good value for money.

What difference will families see when the strategy is in place?

Children will:

  • Be able to choose the type, location and time of their Short Breaks
  • Develop independence through their Short Breaks
  • Be involved in the planning and design of their Short Breaks
  • Make new friends, learn new skills, develop confidence and meet their full potential
  • Develop their strengths.

Parents and carers will:

  • Know what Short Breaks are available and how to access them
  • Have a choice of Short Breaks
  • Receive clear communication from professionals to help their family make choices
  • Feel more resilient and able to deal with their caring responsibilities
  • Access support before they reach crisis point and know how to access support
  • Be confident their child receives high quality Short Breaks and are cared for by trained, professional staff in a safe environment.

The Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group will:

  • Achieve their statutory duties in relation to Short Breaks
  • See a reduction in families escalating to statutory services
  • Maximise their resources as part of the Short Breaks offer
  • Evidence the impact of Short Breaks.

What are the proposals set out in the strategy?

1. Universal Services

Universal Services include community based services, such as preschool play groups, out of school clubs, holiday activities, Brownies, Scouts and sports groups.

Feedback from children and families is that children and young people with SEND want the same opportunities as their peers and access community activities with peers, to have fun with friends. The Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy aims to improve opportunities for children and young people with SEND to access Short Breaks through universal services provided within their own community.

We want to support children and young people to access Universal Services available within their own communities where it is appropriate. This can be achieved by supporting Universal Service providers to meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Proposal 1a) Improve support to providers to enable children and young people to access Universal Services.

Opportunities are limited for children and young people with SEND to access Universal Services, particularly those with some personal care needs. Often in order to access activities a child will need to be accompanied by an adult. We need to invest in inclusion to improve access to Universal Services for children and young people with SEND. This could include providing training, equipment and ongoing advice, brokerage and support to access Universal Services.

Proposal 1b) Improve access for children and young people with SEND to Short Breaks after school in a setting within their own community

Parents should have a choice of where their child accesses Short Breaks after school. Very often choice is limited due to the location of special schools that currently offer Short Breaks after school and the need for children to access home to school transport. If more special schools/mainstream schools offer Short Breaks, then children can be transported from their school to their local special school/mainstream school, to access Short Breaks after school. This will reduce the cost of transport and enable children to meet with peers from their local community. However, this may not be appropriate for all children. Therefore it is also important to support special schools to provide their own after school and holiday activities for parents to access.

Proposal 1c) Develop a buddy system to enable volunteers to support children to access Short Breaks through Universal Services.

For example this could be a scout who buddies up with a young person who would like to attend Cubs or Beavers; a volunteer who likes walking and gives up some time each month to take a young person out to enjoy the countryside; or someone who attends services to help with the child’s confidence to maintain their attendance.

2. Targeted Services

Not all children and young people with SEND will be able to attend universal group based activities without additional support and/or resources. Targeted Services are community based activity groups that provide the additional support many children need and are popular with families.

Targeted Services also include the Creative Breaks Service, which provides up to £1,000 per child per year to eligible families, which can be spent on accessing Short Breaks.

Proposal 2a) Locate targeted Short Breaks provision in the areas of most need as identified by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Community based activity groups are popular with our families and should continue within the Short Breaks offer. The location of targeted services needs to be reviewed to ensure there are sufficient services provided in the areas of most need in addition to other areas across the borough.

The areas of most need identified by the JSNA include Chester and Rural areas - Blacon Ward, Lache Ward, Neston Ward. Ellesmere Port area - Netherpool Ward, Wolverham Ward, Sutton Villages Ward, Central & Grange Ward, Westminster Ward; and Northwich and Winsford area - Northwich Witton Ward, Winsford Over & Verdin Ward, Winsford Swanlow Ward, Winsford Wharton Ward, (based on 2019 ward boundaries).

Proposal 2b) Enable children and young people with SEND to attend their Short Breaks provision with their personal assistant if they have access to one

This would mean allowing all children to access activities with their Personal Assistant if they have one, making Short Breaks more accessible for children as well as reducing costs.

Proposal 2c) Support families and children and young people with SEND to access facilities such as Champions Lodge, Delamere Forest and Mountain View Lodge, Menai, Anglesey.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has facilities at Champions Lodge, Delamere Forest and Mountain View Lodge, Menai, Anglesey. These facilities are not sufficiently used as part of our Short Breaks offer for families. We need to ensure that families and children and young people with SEND can receive support to access these facilities if required. Support could include advice, information, details about the facilities and equipment and services which enable children and young people to access their Residential Short Break without family members.

3. Targeted Services – Creative Breaks

The Individual Payments Scheme also known as Creative Breaks is well liked by families. The current scheme provides up to £1,000 per child each year to be spent on accessing Short Breaks. Funding has been used to access activities such as membership to a sports club or gym for the child or young person, fees for a youth club or other social clubs, specialist disability swimming lessons, dance lessons, trampoline clubs, horse riding, school holiday clubs, paying for a child or young person to attend a residential break and buying annual/family members’ passes, most of which include a free Carers’ pass.

Eligible children are those in receipt of Middle and High Level Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - Standard and Enhanced. The overall Creative Breaks budget of £290,000 does not support all children within our borough who are eligible and very often there is a waiting list. A place only becomes available if circumstances change; a family no longer wants the service; or a young person becomes 18 years old and is no longer eligible. This means that many children and their families miss out on accessing any funding.

Proposed improvements to the Creative Breaks Service have been co-produced with members of the Parent Carer Forum (PCF) to ensure the service is fairer and more equitable and in line with the principles of the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy. They are as follows:

Proposal 3a) The service the child receives funded by Creative Breaks would also need to allow the parent a break from their caring role.

This means the child can access the break without the parent having to be present. A Short Break not only allows the disabled child the chance to have time away from their family make new friends and have fun, but provides parents with a break from their caring responsibilities to allow them to undertake education, training or any regular leisure activity, and/or meet the needs of other children in the family more effectively, or carry out day to day tasks which they must perform in order to run their household.

Proposal 3b) Funding from Creative Breaks could only be used to cover the additional costs of providing support to enable a child to access an activity, rather than covering the whole cost of the activity whole costaccessing an acitivityin line with the principles of the short breaks commisioingn strategy. The pro.

For example parents would pay for the sessions such as Cubs and Creative Breaks funding would pay for any additional costs which support the child to attend a session.

Proposal 3c) Reduce the amount of funding available per child per year. This will allow more eligible children to access funding to pay for their Short Breaks.

Please note if this proposed improvement is agreed as part of the consultation it is proposed that an amount of funding per year will be agreed with the Parent Carer Forum. The amount will be one which they consider to be a fair amount and will be reviewed every three years.

4. Complex/Specialist Services

Current services include domiciliary care (which provides personal care at home), and outreach support (which provides services within the community).

Currently services are bought as and when the need arises. This means that providers are unable to plan for the right numbers of staff and therefore staff aren’t always available to respond at the times when families need the services most.

If we plan the services we need and buy services which support multiple families rather than on an individual basis, this will enable providers to be more responsive to the needs of families.

Proposal 4a) Ensure domiciliary care (which provides care at home) and outreach support (which provides services within the community) is responsive and flexible to the needs of individuals and those who care for them.

Services need to be creative and be person or family centred to minimise the impact that care at home may have on the whole family life.

Proposal 4b) Ensure children and young people with SEND can access Short Breaks at home to enable parents to access social or leisure activities.

We need to review the services available for children and young people with SEND to access a Short Break at home to enable parents to access social activities for themselves in the evening or at weekends. This could include activities such as a trip to the gym, a visit to the cinema, or night out with friends. Currently our Short Breaks offer doesn’t provide opportunities for parents to do this. By supporting more parents to have free time in the evening and at weekends it will reduce the amount of pressure families are under and therefore reduce the number of more costly interventions such as overnight stays at Pinewood.

How can I feedback my views?

Cheshire West and Chester Council would value the insight and feedback of all parents, carers, and other stakeholders, to ensure the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy addresses the issues that are most important to parents, carers, and children and young people with SEND, and provides the support they need. There are a number of ways you can get involved and share your views, please see our dedicated online engagement website.

This consultation is open until Sunday 15 November 2020

What happens next?

The consultation findings will be used to inform the development of the Short Breaks Commissioning Strategy and shape future service delivery. The strategy will be reviewed by the Council’s Cabinet alongside the findings of this consultation in March 2021, to make a decision about whether to implement the strategy. If the strategy is agreed new Short Breaks Services will be designed with parents and services will be commissioned by April 2022. The results from the consultation will be available on the Council’s website in February 2021.