The Government will provide £800 million to local authorities (LAs) over the next four years to fund short breaks for families with disabled children, Children’s Minister Sarah Teather has announced.
The short breaks programme, introduced in 2008 as part of the Labour Government’s Aiming High for Disabled Children initiative, provides respite support for families through a range of short breaks services for families, including overnight stays, day trips with groups of children, fun activities in the community and one-to-one support.
The announcement follows an evaluation of the short breaks programme by the National Development Team for Inclusion which highlighted the positive impact that short breaks can have on families with disabled children. Funding for short breaks has survived the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and will be included in the new Early Intervention Grant for LAs.
National charity the Children’s Trust, Tadworth, a short breaks provider, has welcomed the news of the Government’s commitment to short breaks. Chief Executive Andrew Ross said: “Providing high quality short break care for severely disabled children, which allows families to recharge their batteries knowing that their child is safe, can be a source of strength to families who might otherwise be stretched to breaking point.”