Since April 2011, local authorities have been under a duty to provide a range of short breaks services for disabled children, young people and their families. The new short breaks duty aims to improve and expand short break services, ensuring a wide range of high quality opportunities and providing positive life experiences for children and young people, as well as a break for their parents and carers.
A key part of the short breaks duty is the requirement for all local authorities to prepare a short breaks duty statement, providing details of the local range of services; how services are responding to the needs of local carers; and how services can be accessed, including any eligibility criteria. Local authorities are required to publish statements on their websites and to review them on a regular basis. They must also consider the needs of local parents and carers when preparing and revising their statements.
Over £800 million in non ring-fenced grants is being provided to local authorities for the provision of short breaks between 2011-12 and 2014-15.
In addition, £40 million of capital funding has been made available to local authorities in 2012-13, in a repeat of last year's award. Further information about this year's capital allocations for short breaks can be found in Short Breaks FAQs and in the 2012-13 Short Breaks for Disabled Children Grant Determination letter.
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Information on the Government's strategy to fund short breaks as part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme.
Impact is one of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) delivery partners appointed by the Department for Education in Autumn 2011. As the delivery partner for short breaks, Impact is working with all 152 local authorities in England to embed and sustain short breaks for disabled children and their parents and carers.
Short Breaks Network is a registered charity which represents provides of short break services UK-wide for disabled children and their families
Pupils with special educational needs talk about the benefits short breaks bring to their lives and the lives of their families.