12 November 2014
Up to 50 families will be able to access community short breaks for their disabled children as a result of more than £250,000 of investment following the Health and Social Services white paper.
As well as providing a fun activity for the child, a community short break provides a valuable break from caring responsibilities for parents or carers.
Dr Lisa Perkins, Head of Children’s Specialist Support Services said "We have designed the service to be as easy as possible for eligible families to access the support they want quickly.
“Families will have the choice of four providers who can offer a range of options to suit their child and family. This may be participating in a range of social activities such as cubs, sports activities, trips to the beach or town or attending after school and school holiday club sessions”.
Requesting a community short break
A family can request a community short break if:
- the child’s additional needs impact on the family’s choices and opportunities to enjoy ordinary life because the degree of support required to meet the needs is much greater than that of children of a similar age
The family can ask any professional working with their child to complete an assessment form with them. They do not need to have a social work assessment.
Support and opportunities
Joanne Cowen, the lead for Community Short Breaks who co-ordinates the Service from the Child Development Centre run by Health and Social Services said “This investment will support children and young people to access opportunities that their non-disabled peers have and have fun. Regular breaks are also really important for the well being of parents and carers.”
Families will be given a standard offer of a three hour break per week during term time and a six hour break per week during school holidays. If families prefer, they can use their allocated hours flexibly, for example, having a longer break every fortnight or using the hours during school holidays.
The four providers of the community short breaks for children are:
- Centrepoint Trust
- Les Amis
- Autism Jersey
- New Horizons
The Service will be launched at a drop-in style event on Thursday 13 November, 2014.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green said "I am delighted that families will benefit from this much needed community breaks service, which provides both interesting activities and opportunities for the children and young people who use it, as well as a break for their carer. We know how important it is for families to be able to access good support quickly. I know it has taken a lot of work to create the service, and I commend the work of all those involved."