People are being encouraged to have their say about the development of short breaks services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Short breaks enable children and young people aged up to 25 to enjoy activities and receive care and support, usually away from the home, while their parents and carers have a break from their caring role.

They range from daytime, evening, weekend and holiday activities to play schemes, school based activities and overnight and residential breaks.

The services are due to be recommissioned next year and so a consultation is now underway to find out what people think of the existing services, and what could be done better in future.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We know that families and carers get a great deal of benefit from our short breaks service, and we want to ensure they are the best they can be.

"A number of existing contracts are coming to an end next year, and so this is a great opportunity for parents, carers, children and young people to tell us what they think of existing services and what we can do better in future.

"I would encourage them to be part of the consultation by completing a short online survey or taking part in one of the focus groups which will be taking place over the next few weeks."

There are 2 online surveys, one for families and children and young people available at Type=links;Linkid=11199;Title=Short breaks for families with children and young people;Target=_blank;, and one for professionals, staff and other stakeholders at Type=links;Linkid=11200;Title=Short Breaks Staff / Organisation Survey;Target=_blank;.  

Alternatively, people can have their say at one of the focus groups, details of which will be available shortly. The consultation ends on Friday 21 December.

Councillor Sweet added: "There is a statutory requirement for councils to provide short breaks for children and young people with disabilities up to the age of 25, and it's important to stress that this review isn't about saving money - it's about making sure short breaks are working as well as they can for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families and carers."

  • released: Tuesday 30 October, 2018