You can download the following Short Break Services Statement as a pdf
Since 1 April 2011, local authorities have a duty to provide a short break service for children and young people with disabilities. Section 25 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 requires local authorities to provide short breaks for families with young people with disabilities.
Short breaks are designed to improve and promote better outcomes for children and young people with disabilities and their families.
Consultation and feedback with children and young people, parents and carers helps to guide the development and commissioning of short break activities.
We aim to continue to provide a range of short break services for children and young people with disabilities, between the ages of 0 and 17 years (up to the young person’s 18th birthday), who live in Kingston and Richmond boroughs.
What is a short break?
A short break provides opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to access mainstream and specialist activities such as after school clubs, a few hours at a leisure or sports activity group, holiday groups or an overnight stay. Short breaks may also include specialist sessions for children and young people with more complex needs and can include both day and overnight provision.
Short breaks give children and young people the chance to develop new friendships, take part in new experiences, learn new skills and have fun whilst achieving positive outcomes. Also they provide parents, carers and siblings with a short break from caring responsibilities, however short breaks are not designed to replace childcare arrangements. Achieving for Children offers short breaks that are tailored to suit the needs of all children and young people with disabilities according to the eligibility criteria explained in Section 3.
Our Local Offer
Achieving for Children (AfC) understands that it is important to have a variety of short break services that meet the varying needs of children and young people with disabilities and their families.
It is our aim that children and young people with disabilities are provided with the opportunity to access any suitable short break activity that they choose in specialist or mainstream settings within the Kingston and Richmond boroughs. Priority is given to short break activities that take place in these boroughs, but out-of-borough short break activities are considered.
Our Local Offer is made up of a variety of short break activities for children and young people with disabilities from mainstream activities to the more specialist short breaks. Information on all services can be found on the Local Offer website.
Our local offer consists of:
- assessed need short breaks: provide activities for children and young people with disabilities who require specialist support
- Aiming High short breaks: provide activities for all children and young people with disabilities.
- mainstream short break activities: an activity that takes place in a universal setting
We have designed our eligibility criteria, to reflect that service provision at Achieving for Children is transparent and fair. Our guiding principles are:
- transparency and openness
- fairness, different pathways targeting different groups
- equality, balancing the needs of those most in need with those who are not, giving special consideration to those eligible for free school meals or Pupil Premium Grant
- quality and diverse provision, reaching more children than previously
- equitable access for children and young people. We will take into account access to other support or overnight care and prioritise children and young people who have less access to support and services
Aiming High short breaks funding
Following on from the Government’s ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children’ programme, Achieving for Children is committed to continue providing short breaks for all children and young people with disabilities who live in Kingston and Richmond boroughs. This is referred to as an ‘Aiming High short break’.
Eligibility criteria for Aiming High short breaks
- To access short break services funded by Aiming High, the child or young person must:
- have a diagnosed disability
- be aged 0 to 17 years old
- live in Kingston or Richmond borough
Eligibility criteria for the Children with Disabilities Team short breaks
To access short break services allocated by the Children with Disabilities Team, the child or young person must:
- have a diagnosed disability
- be aged 0 to 17 years old
- live in Kingston or Richmond borough
- have a permanent and substantial, severe or profound disability and meet the eligibility criteria for the Children with Disabilities Team. This is referred to as having an ‘assessed need’.
To establish whether a child or young person has an assessed need, a social worker or family support worker will carry out an assessment. An assessment can be requested via the Single Point of Access by a parent or carer, or by a professional.
Single Point of Access:
T: 020 8547 5008
Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
To qualify for support from the Children with Disabilities Team, the child must meet the requirements in the profound or severe labelled columns in at least two of the sections, for example, in health and communication or self-care and safety.
There are factors that are outlined and defined in the eligibility criteria which are taken into consideration when making a decision regarding eligibility.
Eligibility for Children with Disabilities Team can also be found on the Achieving for Children Local Offer and in Appendix A.
Referrals to Children with Disabilities Team specialist short breaks
Referrals to any of the specialist services provided by the Disabled Children’s Team can only be made by the Disabled Children’s Team or the Family Support Teams in Kingston and Richmond. The type and level of provision is agreed following an assessment and application to the Short Breaks Funding Panel. This is an assessed need.
Programme of short breaks
There is a range of short breaks available to support children and young people with disabilities and their families. Where possible we aim to offer short breaks both within mainstream and specialist settings, however some short breaks are particularly suitable for children with specific needs, such as autism. Others are inclusive with non-disabled children and/or siblings. Children and young people who have an assessed need are eligible for both assessed need short breaks and Aiming High short breaks. All short breaks are publicised widely through the Local Offer website, schools and the Disability Register.
Aiming High short breaks
|Scheme||Description||When it runs||Age Groups||Referral process||Accessibility|
|Easter and Summer Groups - Challengers||Offers group activities for children and young people with disabilities||School holidays||4 to 17 year||Contact Challengers directly
|Saturday Groups –
|Offers group activities for children and young people with disabilities||Saturday||4 to 17 year||Contact Challengers directly||Wheelchair accessible|
|AfC specialist water sports – Albany Outdoors||Offers fun water sports||2 terms (April to October)||12 to 17 years||Contact Albany Outdoors directly||Some wheelchair accessibility, contact for detailed information|
|Richmond and Kingston BuddyUp Scheme||Young person is matched with a buddy (volunteer) and they meet for two hours every fortnight for activities to enhance life skills, travel safety and build social skills||All year||14 to 17 years||Contact Richmond AID directly||Wheelchair accessible (changeable locations)|
|Aiming High Home and Community Support||Offers one-to-one support to enable children and young people to access mainstream activities||All year||0 to 17 years||Parent to complete application. Will be considered by a panel. Online application form can be found on the Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Activity Fund||Families of children and young people with disabilities can apply for individual funding for eligible resources, activities and holidays up to £140 per financial year per eligible child||Annual||0 to 17 years||Parent or professional to complete application. Will be considered by a panel. Application form can be found on the Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Additional Support Funding||Funding for additional support for young people with disabilities to attend mainstream activities||Annual||0 to 17 years
||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Energise Kingston||Activities organised for specific age groups and where possible provider facilitates friendship groups||Half terms only (February, May, October)||5 to 8
|Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Energise+ Kingston||Activities organised for specific age groups and where possible provider facilitates friendship groups||Half terms only (February, May, October)||9 to 15 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Energise Richmond Mencap||Activities organised for children and young people with mild to moderate Learning Disabilities, Social Communication Conditions, ADHD and other additional needs||Half terms only (February, May, October)||8 to 17 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Enhanceable Kites||Activities organised for children and young people with Asperger’s, Autism and other mild learning disabilities||Every other Tuesday||11 to 17 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Enhanceable Ribbons||Activities organised for children and young people with Asperger’s, Autism and other mild learning disabilities||Monday||5 to 11 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|Enhanceable Flyers||Activities organised for children and young people with complex disabilities and/ or complex health issues||Tuesday||5 to 11 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer
|AfC after school club||Activities organised for children and young people with complex disabilities and/ or complex health issues||Tuesday||5 to 11 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
|AfC after school club||Activities organised for children and young people with complex disabilities and/ or complex health issues||Tuesday||8 to 17 years||Further information can be found using the search tool on the AfC Local Offer||Wheelchair accessible|
Assessed need short breaks
|Croft Centre Groups||Fun activities for children and young people who are eligible for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team||All year||5 to 17 years||Assessment and referral by social worker or specialist family support worker. Will be considered by panel||Wheelchair accessible|
|Moor Lane Centre Groups||Fun activities for children and young people who are eligible for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team||Monthly||5 to 17 years||Assessment and referral by social worker or specialist family support worker. Will be considered by panel||Wheelchair accessible|
|Saturday Group||Fun activities for children and young people who are eligible for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team||All year||8 to 17 year||Assessment and referral by social worker or specialist family support worker. Will be considered by panel||Wheelchair accessible|
|Home and Community Support||One-to-one support in the home and in the community for children and young people who are eligible for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team||All year||0 to 17 year||Wheelchair accessible|
|Overnight short break in foster carers home for children and young people who are eligible for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team||All year||0 to 17 years||Assessment and referral by Social Worker or specialist Family Support Worker. Will be considered by panel||Wheelchair accessible|
|Rainbow House||Overnight short breaks for children and young people who are eligible for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team||All year||5 to 17 years||Assessment and referral by social worker or specialist family support worker. Will be considered by panel
|Direct Payments||Children and young people who meet the eligibility criteria for services from the Disabled Children’s Social Work Team can receive direct payments or personal budgets. This funding can be used to provide a short break.||All year (monthly)||0 to 17 years||Assessment and referral by social worker or specialist family support worker. Will be considered by Panel
See Appendix B on page 24 for frequently asked questions and answers.
The Local Offer provides information on additional universal activities which take place across the boroughs of Kingston, Richmond and surrounding areas.
Who can I contact for more information?
Please contact Geraldine Burgess, Short Breaks Operations Manager
Phone: 020 8547 6212 or 07707 281 322
How we listen to the views of children and young people with disabilities
Achieving for Children requires all organisations commissioned to provide short breaks, to consult regularly with children and young people with disabilities to ensure the services they are providing meet the very highest of standards.
The Participation and Engagement Team for children and young people with disabilities meets with children and young people on an ongoing basis and regularly consults with them about the short breaks they enjoy. The participation manager is also a representative on the Short Breaks Strategic Board.
Achieving for children values the participation and involvement of children, young people and families who are in receipt of short breaks in shaping the future of service for the future. If you would like more information regarding how to get involved please contact our Participation and Engagement Team (opens a new window).
What children and young people have told us
Whilst updating the Short Break Service Statement, the Participation Team for children and young people with disabilities provided us with feedback from children and young people about the activities they enjoy and activities they would like to do in the future. They told us that short breaks they enjoy included drama and dance, youth clubs, activities in the community such as visiting parks and taking part in sports.
The Participation and Engagement Team also provided us with children and young people’s suggestions for improvements to the short breaks that children and young people attend. The suggestions included installing wireless internet at the Moor Lane Centre, more swimming and horse riding opportunities across Kingston and Richmond.
How we listen to the views of parents and carers
Achieving for Children values the views and opinions of parents and carers to help shape services for children and young people with disabilities. Parent and carers are consulted regularly about the types of short breaks their children enjoy. Feedback from parents and carers is also requested on a quarterly basis from commissioned short breaks which is presented to the Short Break Strategic Board for review.
Parent panels and support groups across Kingston and Richmond have provided valuable feedback from parents and carers with varied experiences that help to inform how we can best meet their children’s and young people’s requirements. We will continue to request feedback in this way in the future. In line with data protection and privacy laws, we have also developed a contact list of our service users. We will request feedback directly from our service users as well as from parent panels and support groups. We welcome feedback from all would like to provide it.
Parents and carers have provided us with feedback on a range of short breaks including specialist groups, youth clubs, holiday clubs and activities in mainstream settings.
How we ensure the short breaks are safe
We take the safety of children and young people with disabilities seriously and ensure that any short break activity provided undergo the appropriate checks.
- All staff undergo Disclosure and Barring Service checks and the safer recruitment protocols
- Feedback is obtained from short break providers quarterly to evaluate the short breaks from the view of children and young people as well as parents and carers
- All short breaks adhere to Kingston and Richmond boroughs’ and Achieving for Children’s safeguarding procedure
- Home and Community Support is registered as a Domiciliary Care Agency with the Care Quality Commission and has to comply with the National Minimum Standards for Domiciliary Care published by the Secretary of State under the Care Standards Act 2000. The service is inspected regularly by the Care Quality Commission
- Every organisation providing a short break also has its own specific safeguarding guidelines which they adhere to
- All data provided will be treated confidentially in accordance with the Kingston and Richmond boroughs’ and Achieving for Children’s Data Protection Policy
- Training is offered and advised to all providers and there is an opportunity for more specialist training to meet the needs of the children and young person with varying disabilities. Providers also have access to the workforce development training supplied by Achieving for Children. This can be applied for online (opens a new window).
How we review AfC short breaks
The Short Breaks Services Statement is reviewed as required. However, we monitor the services during the course of the year which informs the review itself.
- The inclusion officers personally visit the mainstream settings where AfC have funded one-to-one support workers to ensure inclusion of children and young people with disabilities.
- Consultation with parents, carers, children and young people, the participation officer for children and young people with disabilities.
- Quarterly feedback from families accessing the commissioned short break services.
- Quarterly feedback from the commissioned providers.
Appendix A: Eligibility criteria for Integrated Service for Children with Disabilities social care teams
The Children’s Act 1989 places a duty on children’s services to provide or coordinate the provision of services to all disabled children. The overall provision of these services is a responsibility across children’s services, and associated health and voluntary sector services. All the Disabled Children’s Teams provide specialist services to a defined group and at times this may include support to access, care or short breaks provisions if needed.
This document details the eligibility of a child or young person for support and services from the Integrated Service for Children with Disabilities Social Care Teams. The framework for the assessment of children will be used to gather information to determine if the threshold for the teams are met or not, and will identify the level and type of resource provision needed. For some children these resources will fall outside the criteria of the teams. This includes children without permanent and substantial disabilities at a severe to profound level.
The definitions of permanent and substantial are as follows.
- Substantial means considerable or significant factors that are life changing or limiting, and might include issues to do with risk and dependency.
- Permanent means existing indefinitely and not expected to improve. However there must be sufficient flexibility to take account of intermittent or episodic conditions.
The Disabled Children’s teams comprises of social workers, family support workers, transition workers and social care occupational therapists. This eligibility criteria applies to children who have social care and/or occupational therapy needs relating to their permanent and substantial disability.
Eligibility criteria for the Children with Disabilities Teams
Children from birth to 18 years of age who have a permanent and substantial severe or profound disability (Levels 3 and 4) who live in the Kingston or Richmond boroughs meet the eligibility criteria for the Disabled Children’s teams. The following table outlines and defines the factors taken into consideration when making a decision regarding eligibility.
To qualify for support from the Integrated Children with Disabilities Team, the child must meet the requirements in the profound or severe labelled columns in at least two of the dimensions, for example, in health and communication or self-care and safety.
Children who are not included in the eligibility criteria
- A disability or disabilities that is not permanent and substantial.
- Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties due to social or environmental factors such as the behaviour is not associated with a disability.
- A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) unless in conjunction with an additional severe to profound learning, physical or communication disability.
- Children with mental health disorders unless in conjunction with a severe to profound level of learning, physical or communication disability.
- Children who have a health condition unless in conjunction with a severe to profound level of learning, physical or communication disability.
Case responsibility and management
Taking into consideration all available information a decision would be made by the Integrated Children with Disabilities Team Manager in conjunction with the Single Point of Access Manager as to whether the child meets the eligibility criteria.
If the eligibility criteria is met or likely to be met, then an assessment will be undertaken by the Integrated Children with Disabilities Team. Once the child’s needs have been assessed by a social worker, a decision will be made as to the most appropriate team to support the child and their family, such as the Children with Disabilities Social Care Team, the disability specialist Transition and Family Support Team or the Occupational Therapy Team. If eligibility is not met and there is an identified need for support, the child will be transferred via a transfer meeting to a non-disability specialist team.
A child will remain open to the statutory Children with Disabilities Social Care teams if there are safeguarding concerns, complex needs or they receive a package of support that includes more than two nights a month of short break care.
The Disabled Children’s teams will provide a fully integrated service and undertake all statutory and/or safeguarding responsibilities including Section 47 child protection procedures.
When the assessment identifies the need for services from the Disabled Children’s Team, these services will be put in place and a review will be undertaken every six months to determine if the eligibility criteria continue to be met and if services are meeting assessed needs.
Children who have an allocated social worker will be visited every six weeks and more frequently if this is deemed necessary by the social worker and team manager. These visits will be undertaken at home and in other settings which the child attends.
Appendix B: Questions and answers about direct payments
What are direct payments (DPs)?
A direct payment is a payment given to a parent or carer by Achieving for Children (AfC) so that they can arrange and pay for support for a child or young person who is eligible for a service from the Disabled Children’s Social Care Team or Family Support Team.
How can I apply for DPs?
The need, level of support and the number of hours support each week, will be assessed by a social worker or family support worker and presented to the Short Breaks Funding Panel.
If agreed, the Short Breaks Team contact Kingston Centre for Independent living (KCIL) who will help parents set up the direct payments (DPs).
What can KCIL help me with?
- Employment of a personal assistant (PA)
- Providing and signposting to training for employers and PAs
- Contracts of employment
- Setting up a bank account
- Pension, if relevant
- Support with completion of the monitoring form for AfC
- Timesheets for the personal assistant
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
What do I need to do set up direct payments?
- Sign a direct payment agreement between Achieving for Children, KCIL and yourself
- Set up a designated bank account for the money to go into
- Employ a personal assistant to support your child
- Comply with current employment, health and safety and equal opportunities legislation which KCIL will help you with
- Ensure the personal assistant has a DBS check that contains no information that would prohibit them working with children and young people
- Record the hours worked by the personal assistant each week
- Facilitate the payment to the personal assistant for hours worked. The parent or carer should discuss with the personal assistant how often the personal assistant will be paid and an agreement reached on whether you will pay weekly or monthly
- Regularly (either monthly but no longer than quarterly) complete the monitoring forms and submit them to KCIL
Does AfC review my direct payments?
The level of support will be reviewed annually to assess if the care package continues to meet your child’s needs. If your child’s needs alter before the review takes place, please contact your child’s social worker or family support worker.
Why do I need a separate bank account?
When monitoring the direct payment, KCIL will need to see the transactions in and out of the account. If they are looking at a personal account, there will be other transactions not linked to the support of your child.
How do I find a personal assistant for my child?
Some people have a friend of the family in mind before they ask for direct payments. KCIL will inform you about the personal assistant Finder, or contact your child’s school as many teaching assistants are happy to work with the children out of school hours. There are voluntary sector organisations that may also be able to help find a suitable personal assistant for you such as RUILS, Kingston and Richmond Crossroads Care.
Does the person I want to employ as my child’s personal assistant need previous experience with working with children with disability?
No, they don’t. However, it is helpful for the PA to have had some experience.
I have known my personal assistant for years. Why do I need a DBS?
To safeguard yourself and your child we ask that anyone working with children have a DBS check carried out.
Training for your personal assistant
There is training available from the Kingston and Richmond Local Children’s Safeguarding Board: www.kingstonandrichmondlscb.org.uk as well as from AfC Workforce Development Team: www.afccpdonline.co.uk. A charge may be requested for some courses
As an employer, do I need to pay for a pension for my child’s personal assistant?
If your child’s personal assistant will earn over £10,000 a year you, as their employer, need to register on the Pensions Regulatory website: www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk. If the personal assistant does not want a pension, you are still required to register on the website to notify them that your employee does not want a pension.
If your personal assistant would like a pension, KCIL will support you through the process. They are recommending the Government’s pension scheme called National Employers Savings Trust (NEST), but you can choose another pension scheme if you wish.
Who cannot be employed to care and support my child?
The Care and Support Regulations 2014 states the direct payment cannot be used to employ any person living in the same household as the person, who is the person’s:
- brother or sister
- stepbrother or stepsister
- aunt or uncle
When will I get the money?
The payments are made each month and will be in your bank account on or before the first of the month. The money is paid in advance for the coming month. Payments are calculated over a 12 month period. If additional funds are agreed for school holidays these will be averaged throughout the year.
How much is the direct payment?
The value of the direct payments will be no more than it would cost AfC to deliver the same level of support. Parents or carers will be expected to cover all the costs of the support with the direct payment including the employer costs. AfC will pay for the public liability insurance and if you decide to use KCIL’s payroll to pay your personal assistant, a monthly payroll fee too. This is on top of the hourly direct payments rate. Achieving for Children will also help by carrying out a DBS check for the proposed personal assistant.
Please note that if your personal assistant leaves your employment within 12 months, you will be responsible for paying the DBS check for the new personal assistant as AfC will only pay for one DBS check a year.
What if the hourly rate for the personal assistant is more than the direct payment hourly rate?
You can still employ the personal assistant, but you will need to top up the hourly rate yourself.
What can I use the direct payment for?
The direct payments are for a short break for your child.
- They can be used to employ a personal assistant to take your child into the community, or for support within the home as assessed by the social worker or family support worker
- In exceptional circumstances, the Short Break Funding Panel may consider agreeing for direct payments to be used for sessions at non AfC run after school clubs or holiday groups.
What can’t direct payments be used to pay for?
- You cannot use the direct payments to purchase services from Achieving for Children, such as Moor Lane Centre or Crofters after school club or holiday groups.
- You cannot use direct payments towards permanent residential care.
- You cannot use direct payments for health care services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy
What happens if I don’t use some or all of the direct payment money?
When monitoring your account, KCIL will inform AfC of any excess money in the account. The social worker or family support worker will contact you to discuss this and a plan will be put in place which may include putting your payments on hold for a set amount of time or for the excess money to be returned.
What happens if I forget to send the monitoring forms to KCIL?
KCIL will inform AfC if they have not received any completed forms from you at the end of the quarter (every three months). AfC will contact you to find out the reason why and to offer support if needed. If the forms continue not to be completed and returned, AfC may put your payments on hold until the monitoring forms have been received.
Glossary of terms
- Commissioned – ordered and purchased for service users.
- Complex needs – multiple additional needs and/ or disabilities.
- Consultation – formal discussion to obtain views and ideas of relevant people.
- Direct payments – Payments made in lieu of services being provided. Direct Payments may be available for health care, social care and for the special educational provision in an EHC plan.
- Disclosure and barring service check – Criminal record check.
- Eligibility – being able to obtain services by meeting the appropriate conditions.
- Engagement – participation in an activity, community or process.
- Equitable access – Fair and impartial opportunities.
- Inclusion – being included and valued within an activity, community or process.
- Local authority – A local authority in England.
- Local Offer - The local authority's publication of all the provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
- Mainstream activities – social or leisure activities designed to be accessed by all children and young people.
- One-to-one support – support from another person at a ratio of one person to another person.
- Participation – engagement with children and young people ensuring their thoughts and views are heard and seen.
- Quarterly – every three months of the year, beginning with 1 April.
- Short break – social or leisure activity, either mainstream activities or specialist activities.
- Specialist activities – social or leisure activities designed to be accessed by children and young people who have more complex needs which may not be able to be met in a mainstream setting.