Short breaks consultation background
Consultation closed: Thursday 10 November 2022
Consultation opened: Thursday 1 September 2022
We have a legal responsibility to provide or commission short breaks for children with SEND.
Since Central Bedfordshire Council was created in 2009, there have been two grant funding pots that fulfil this responsibility.
1. Children with Disabilities Grant Fund which has funded four voluntary organisations
2. Childcare Sufficiency Grant Fund which is provided to the same and some additional voluntary organisations to ensure there is adequate provision throughout holiday periods.
Currently, eligibility criteria are set by the voluntary organisations and is generally universally available for children and young people with SEND and their families, who meet these criteria.
The current grant funded provision supports only a small proportion of children, young people and families with SEND. For instance, in 2017/18 292 individual children from Central Bedfordshire accessed this provision. This was out of a total of 4,917 (January 2018) children with SEND support plans and 1,501 (January 2018) with education, health and care plans, meaning less than 5% were supported by this provision.
We've been working with families, providers and other professionals to review the funding and delivery model to see how this could be changed in order to improve the services, whilst giving organisations the funding they need to provide the services.