2nd Jul, 2022

Short breaks for disabled youngsters to stay in Council provision

John Carlon 22nd Nov, 2019

DISABLED youngsters in Coventry will continue to have their ‘short breaks’ provided by the City Council, after the authority failed to find a charity to take over provision.

The council gives respite care to families with disabled children, to give youngsters opportunities to make friends and develop independence.

It recently held a consultation on the way to provide breaks in future, but no charities bid for a contract.

Officers have recommended to Coun Pat Seaman, cabinet member for children, that she keep the respite service in council management.

Staffing hours could increase to help give kids more sessions.

Helen Rennocks, director of children with disabilities team, said: “In order to be able to respond to and meet the needs of children and young people with disabilities, there is a need to maintain flexibility within the service offer.

“An illustration of the impact of the increase in staffing hours is that it would be possible to facilitate 11 sessions per week during term time. This represents an increase of three sessions per week when compared to the current offer.”

In its short breaks statement, Coventry council said: “Community short breaks provide group activities for children and young people with disabilities to relax, have fun, make new friends and develop independence skills. Activities last up to 2 hours during term time and school holidays. Our aim is to ensure that all children accessing the service have the support they need to engage in community-based activities.”

Overnight short breaks take place at Broad Park House, run by Coventry City Council. The NHS also provides The Birches for children and young people

with complex medical needs, and Bradbury House, for children with learning difficulties.

Care workers who run the short break sessions will also have their contracts changed from casual to permanent jobs.

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