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Please note - this consultation closed on 5 March 2016.

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Discretionary short breaks statement

Consultation on the draft discretionary short breaks statement and grant applications.

What is a short break?

A short break is an opportunity for parents and carers of a disabled child to have a break from their caring responsibilities, a chance to rest, spend time with their other children and give brothers and sisters an opportunity to enjoy family time too.

North Yorkshire County Council's Children and Young Peoples Service is committed to the delivery of short breaks. Our resources are used to prioritise services for the most vulnerable, but also to offer services at the lowest possible level of need. Not all children and families require the same level of support; some need more than others because of the nature of their child's disability or individual family circumstances. This is why we may need to assess your child and family circumstances to ensure we provide the right level of support and services at the right time.

The Council's revised Short Breaks Statement explains what is available at different levels of need and how this can be accessed. We want parents and their children and young people to have as much choice as possible in the type of short break available to them.

Why are we seeking your views?

We are seeking your views in relation to the way North Yorkshire County Council allocates discretionary short break grants. The public consultation on the Council's strategy to support disabled children, young people and their families conducted in 2015 generated considerable support for the continuation of the discretionary short break grant.  Many families reported that they continued to value and benefit from this support without the need to access statutory services provided via the Disabled Children's Service. 

In line with this response, the discretionary short breaks grant will continue but will reduce from £150,000 per annum to £100,000 per annum with effect from 1 May 2016. In light of this, a new system which will allow for more greater targeting of the grant has been considered, in partnership with a Parent Reference Group from NYPACT, the parent carer forum for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Prior to finalising arrangements for the allocation of the discretionary short break grant from May 2016 we would now like to seek your views in relation to the following key areas:

  • Financial value of short breaks grant (currently £500)
  • Application process for grants
  • Targeting of grants to those in receipt of state benefits or tax credits
  • Guidance around how short breaks grants can be accessed and used

What are the detailed proposals about short breaks?

Below you will find links to the draft short breaks statement and proposed application form and needs levels. These documents outline in the more detail the proposals for short breaks upon which we are consulting.

You can give your views through our online survey here:

The consultation is open until 5 March 2016.

Consultation events

In addition to the on-line consultation, North Yorkshire County Council will also be holding two public consultation events at which you can share your views in person.  These will take place on: 

What will happen next?

After consultation closes, officers from across North Yorkshire County Council will consider the responses received, and refine the proposed approach accordingly. The final proposals will be prepared and presented to the Council's Executive for decision, and it is expected that the new short breaks statement and short breaks allocation process will come into effect from May 2016.

This page was last updated on 15 March 2016