Short Breaks Capital Grant Scheme
Decision Maker: Cabinet member children and families
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To approve the creation of a short breaks capital grant scheme.
Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to have enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers, thus contributing to their social inclusion and personal and social development. They also provide the parents and carers of disabled children with a necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibilities.
Feedback from families highlighted that children wanted to access more activities alongside other children, to increase socialisation, and that support currently provided, whilst meeting a number of key outcomes, may limit opportunity for increasing levels of independence for some children.
The grant scheme will ensure maximum benefit for children with disabilities and special educational needs across Herefordshire, approved at the council’s budget meeting on 15 February 2019 as part of the council’s capital strategy. The aim of the scheme is to improve access to universal and targeted activities across Herefordshire for children with special educational needs and disabilities by delivering capital improvements, thus creating greater opportunity for spending time with friends, and developing independence.
The maximum capital funding available for this scheme is £118,000, which is non-recurrent. It is intended that all funding will be committed by the end of March 2020. If required, further bidding rounds will be scheduled during 2020 until the budget has been fully allocated.
The funding will be used for capital projects that support the provision of regular, inclusive universal and targeted activities to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Herefordshire.
Wide publicity and awareness through existing networks will be undertaken to ensure that eligible organisations are given the opportunity to apply and demonstrate that their project will improve short breaks provision locally, achieve defined outcomes for children and young people, and will be sustainable beyond the grant intervention. Applications received by the deadline will be assessed by an appraisal panel against the scheme criteria. Post implementation evaluation and reporting requirements will ensure that successful schemes are able to demonstrate that they maximise the benefit for children and young people with disabilities across Herefordshire. Case studies and other monitoring information will be collated to ensure that the learning and impact from the grant scheme can be captured.
(a) A capital Short Breaks Grant Scheme with a non-recurring budget of £118,000 is made available for projects that will increase access to regular, inclusive universal and targeted activities to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Herefordshire;
(b) the Director for Children and Families be authorised to determine grant awards inaccordance with the scheme criteria and having regard to the recommendations of the appraisal panel established as set out in appendix 1.
Alternative options considered:
1. Dedicate the funding to support alternative capital projects unrelated to short breaks provision. If the funding is not utilised, capital improvements to further enable disabled children and young people to access appropriate activities will not be delivered.
2. Support delivery of the short breaks sleepover scheme for disabled children (occasional overnight fostering support) through provision of equipment and adaptations. This would require both long-term commitment to the scheme from carers and a willingness to accept equipment/ adaptations in their homes. This option would significantly limit the number of children who may benefit from the capital funding.
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Contact: Amanda Price Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 10/10/2019
Date of decision: 10/10/2019
Effective from: 17/10/2019