Q. Who can help me complete the online assessment form?
A. Guidance for completing the online form is provided within the Short Break area of the Local Offer including easy read guides. This will give you the information needed to complete the form.
In addition, a guidance video demonstrates how to complete the online form.
Direct support to complete an application is available via the Ask Us Nottinghamshire service by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0800 1217772.
Q. What should I do before starting my online application?
A. Make sure you have:
- Read the guidance notes and/or watched the guidance video.
- The consent of the parent or legal guardian with parental authority to apply.
- The contact details referred to within the guidance.
- The current version of the documentation referred to within the guidance for uploading.
Q. Where can I find information about completing the online form?
A. Guidance explaining how to complete the online form is available within the Online Assessment page on the right side of the page under downloads.
Q. What evidence do I need to upload with my application?
A. If your child is in receipt of any of the following:
- Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments (Higher/Middle Bands)
- High Level Mobility Disability Living Allowance
You will need to upload the most recent award letters/documents relevant to the award of these benefits as evidence that you are currently receiving/due to receive these benefits, any documents not related to these benefits or relevant to previous financial years will not be accepted.
Q. Why have the documents I have uploaded not been accepted?
A. You may have attempted to upload incorrect or out of date documents.
Q. What should I do if my documents have not been accepted?
A. Please refer to the guidance within the Local Offer explaining which documents are needed to support your application. Then check that the documents are current.
Then fill in the online form and upload the correct documentation. Direct help to fill in the online form is available through Ask Us Nottinghamshire by email: email@example.com or tel: 0800 1217772.
Q. If my documents were not accepted the first time round will that affect the results when I reapply?
A. No, all applications are judged by the same criteria and you will not be disadvantaged in any way if you have had to send in another application with updated documentation.
Q. Do I need to be the parent of the child or young person in question to make an application?
A. You do not need to be the parent or legal guardian of the child to fill out the form, but you must have explicit permission from the parent or legal guardian with parental authority for children below 16 years of age. For young people aged 16 and 17 years you must have the permission of the young person, where they have capacity. This must be indicated on the online application form.
Q. Can my child apply for a Short Break directly?
A. Young People aged 16 and 17 years years can make a direct application to the Council for a Short Break.
Q. What age does my child need to be in order to be eligible for a NCC funded Short Break?
A. NCC funded short breaks are provided for children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18. If you are applying for a child who will turn 18 within the year, then any offer of support made will be pro rata.
Q. How can I get support if my child is under 5 years of age?
A. Support is offered through Children’s Centres for children under the age of five years. Information about Children’s Centres can be found in the Parent/Carer Zone of the Nottinghamshire Help Yourself website.
Q. Is there a time restriction when filling in the online form?
A. For data security purposes the form will time out after an hour if the data has not been submitted, this is to limit the potential for a data breach.
Q. Can I apply for Short Breaks if my child is currently Electively Home Educated and does not hold an Education Health and Care Plan?
A. Short Breaks cannot be used in place of Education, however you can apply for Short Breaks if you wish your child to to participate in positive activities which promote independence and provide the parents/carers a break from caring. If your child is age between 12 and 17 years of age then you can apply using the online form. If your child is under the age of 12 you will need to download the Short Breaks Application Form which can be found under downloads on this page, or request a hard copy from Ask Us Nottinghamshire at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0800 1217772.
This form should then be completed and returned via email to email@example.com or by post to Short Break Assessment & Review Team, Ground Floor, Meadow House, Littleworth, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 2TB.
Q. Do I need to give my consent during the application process?
A. Yes, you will be contacted by email/call within 5 working days requesting that a consent to share information form is completed and returned, the application cannot be fully completed without this.
Q. What happens if the initial online assessment form indicates that my child is not eligible for an NCC funded Short Break?
A. If your application is not successful, you will receive information about alternative sources of support. You will also be directed to the Local Offer website which contains up to date information about providers of Short Breaks in Nottinghamshire.
Q. When will I receive Short Break support for my child?
A. The initial decision about eligibility is provisional and dependent upon the supporting documentation being correct and up to date. Once the supporting information has been checked you will receive an email informing you of the decision. It will outline the next steps include the time frames you might expect.
Q. How will I be kept up to date with progress about my application?
A. The application process has been designed so that emails are sent out at key times. These will inform Parents/Carers what they can expect next, when information will be required of them, when they can expect to hear from the Council, and when they can expect to begin receiving formal Short Break support.
Q. What if I don’t agree with the outcome of the online assessment form?
A. A template appeal form is available within the Local Offer in the After You Have Applied page under downloads on the right side of the page. This will need to be completed and returned either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Short Break Assessment & Review Team, Ground Floor, Meadow House, Littleworth, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 2TB, within 10 days of receiving the decision. Once a completed appeal form been recived Parents/Carers can expect to receive an email/letter within 5 working days explaining the process and when they might expect to hear an outcome.
Q. What is the Standard Offer?
A. The Standard Offer is a direct payment of £216 per annum, for activities. This is the equivalent of 24 hours funded support per annum at our standard direct payment rate of £9 per hour.
Q. How will I receive the Standard Offer?
A. You will receive a payment card in the post, with the full amount of the Standard Offer loaded onto the card as a direct payment. This will enable you to purchase Short Break services for your child in the most flexible way possible to suit your own family circumstances.
Q. What if I don’t think the Standard Offer will meet the needs of my child?
A. When completing the online form rather than selecting the option for a Standard Offer, you should select the option for a RAS Assessment. The online form will provide information about what happens next and you will be contacted by the Assessment Team to arrange a RAS appointment to assess your child’s needs in detail. However, it is possible that the outcome of the RAS assessment will still be in line with the Standard Offer. The Resource Allocation Assessment, known as RAS, is a tool that is used to determine what type and level of support your child requires.
Q. How will I receive payments where my child has been awarded a greater level of support?
A. This will depend upon the level of support that has been awarded. Where the level of support is equivalent to 72 hours per annum or below, Parents/Carers will be provided with a pre-payment card to be used for activities with the annual sum loaded onto the card. Allocations of 96 hours or above give Parents/Carers the option to use a direct payment to employ a PA and/or have an NCC directly commissioned service. In this case, your annual allocation will be loaded on to your pre-payment card every four weeks.
Q. Why do you use a scoring criteria to determine Short Break support?
A. Co-production work revealed that Parents/Carers wanted greater transparency around decision making to determine levels of support. So a solution was developed where a scoring system was directly linked with the Resource Allocation System to give a much clearer view of the decision making process.
Q. What if I opt for the Standard Offer but during the year covered by the offer feel that my child requires additional support?
A. It is possible for parents who have opted for and received a Standard Offer to apply for an additional assessment to determine eligibility for further support. To apply for further support Parents/Carers will need to use the online portal and select the RAS option. Having a RAS may not result in an increase in support.
Q. What if I don’t agree with level of package awarded through the Resource Allocation System?
A. A template appeal form is available within the Local Offer in the After You Have Applied page under 'downloads'. This will need to be completed and returned either via email email@example.com or post to Short Break Assessment & Review Team, Ground Floor, Meadow House, Littleworth, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 2TB, within 10 days of reciving the decision. Once a completed appeal form been received Parents/Carers can expect to receive an email/letter within 5 working days explaining the process and wen they might expect to hear an outcome.
Q. What should I do if I can’t find a provider that I can use my Direct Payment with?
A. If you are finding it difficult to purchase activities/services for your child using the Nottinghamshire County Council funded Direct Payment, you should contact the Commissioning duty desk via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. What are outcomes and how are these identified?
A. Outcomes are goals that can be achieved by children and young people. These will be realistic and relevant to your child’s current needs. Outcomes are identified as part of the assessment/review process, following discussion with parents/carers and young person, where appropriate. Outcomes will be reviewed annually alongside the Short Break annual review.
Q) How long will it take to set up my provision?
A. On receipt of the request for a commissioned service, the Commissioning team will contact you within 10 working days to discuss how you would like to use your short break allocation. The completion date for a commissioned service is dependent on:
- how quickly signed paperwork is returned for a Direct Payment
- completion of DBS checks for the employment of a Personal Assistant
- the availability of provision when a commissioned Provider service is requested
Q) How do I use my pre-payment card?
A. The card works in exactly the same way as an ordinary debit card. You can access further information on this by clicking on the following link: Pre-Paid Debit Card.
Q) How do I activate my pre-payment card?
A. You will need to call PFS to retrieve your PIN. The telephone number is: 0203 327 1991 or 0203 468 4112, which is a IVR (interactive voice response) system. You will need to enter the 16-digit card number on the front of the card and your date of birth. If you forget your pin to can phone again and go through the same process. You can access further details by clicking on the following link: Pre-Paid Debit Card.
Q) Why isn’t there any money on my pre-payment card?
A: Once your pre-payment card has been ordered it can take PFS up to 10 days to process and post out. Your card will be credited with the amount of your Direct Payment in the next payment run, which occurs every 4 weeks. For audit purposes and security reasons, money cannot be pre-paid onto your card.
Q) How often will I receive my Direct Payment money?
A. Payments for an allocation of 96 hours or less are made as a one off payment. For allocations over 96 hours payments are made 4 weekly on the first Tuesday of the month. Payments take up to 4 days to reach your account/payment card.
Q) How often will my direct payment account be audited?
A. An audit of your Direct Payment is usually undertaken annually, however, if your circumstances change or you wish to change how you receive your Short Break package, an audit will be undertaken to establish how much money is left in your account.
Q) How do I send in receipts and bank statements?
A. If you are in receipt of a pre-payment card you do not need to send copies of bank statements to the Council. Receipts should be uploaded onto your PFS account through the ‘upload supporting documents’ on the PFS system. You can access further details by clicking on the following link: Pre-Paid Debit Card.
If you have a separate bank account for your Direct Payment you will need to send copies of bank statements and receipts to the Children’s Commissioning Team, Audit Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council, County Hall. It is recommended that you use recorded delivery when sending information to the Council.
Q) If my child/young person has been issued a direct payment for activities what am I allowed to spend this on?
A. If your child/young person has been issued a direct payment for activities you can read further information on this, including what activities the direct payment can be used for by clicking on the following Local Offer page: Short Break Providers. This contains a guidance leaflet under downloads on the right side of the page.
Q) Do you have a list of providers and activities that my child/young person can access with their allocated short breaks money?
A. You can find information on a range of different short breaks providers by clicking on the following link: Short Break Providers.
You will be able to find further information on each provider, including what services they offer, dates, times and costs by clicking in to their individual record. Each provider has also listed their contact details so you can make direct enquiries with them for further information.
Q) My child/young person has been issued a direct payment for a Personal Assistant do you have a list of PA’s who can provide support?
A. You can find PA’s who have completed the Council’s Support with Confidence Programme by clicking on the following link: Personal Assistant Directory
Q) I would like to employ a member of my family as a Personal Assistant?
A. Direct Payments can be used to pay relatives (not living in the same household as the child), as carers to meet the assessed need. By law, Direct Payments cannot be used to pay relatives who are living in the same household. For further information please click on the following link: Direct Payment Guidance
Q) My child/young person has been issued a direct payment for a Personal Assistant and I would like to use a company to manage my payroll. Do you have any details?
A. There are several companies who offer specialist payroll support services and you can find further details by clicking on the following link: Short Break Providers
Q) My child has a health need, for which my personal assistant requires training. How do I access training for the personal assistant?
A. Training for delegated healthcare tasks can be accessed via the Childrens Community Training Team. Requests for training is via an on line referral accessible through the link on the NHS website or by calling; 0115 993 4544 or 0115 993 4545. Anyone can access this training, which is free of charge.
Q) How many times can I change my package in a year?
A. Parents/Carers can request a change in the short break package up to two times in any 12 month period unless there are significant problems with the package.
Q) Once I have had my allocation do I keep it until my child reaches 18?
A. No, this is not automatic. The short breaks allocation will be reviewed annually and can go up or down. If your child no longer meets eligibility, then the short breaks will stop.
Q. I receive a Standard Offer, do I need to reapply for a Short Break before my current allocation ends?
A. Yes, a Standard Offer is the equivalent of a 24 hour allocation per annum, where parents/carers and young people receiving Short Break allocations of 96 hours and below, need to reapply for their Short Break prior to the end of the 12 month period.
Q. My child has been awarded an allocation in excess of 96 hours per annum, do I need to reapply for a Short Break before my current allocation ends?
A. No, parents/carers and young people who receive a Short Break allocation in excess of 96 hours per annum will be reviewed by the Short Break Assessment & Review Team either on an annual basis or when their circumstances change.
Q. If I have to reapply for my Short Break will I be reminded before my current allocation ends?
A. After 9 months of the start date for the current Short Break allocation, you will receive a reminder to reapply from the Short Break Commissioning Team.
Q. What can I do if I don’t feel that my application has been dealt with correctly?
A. If you feel that the processes as described have not been applied correctly to you in relation to your application for an NCC funded Short Break, you will need to write to the NCC complaints team at Complaintsand Information Team, County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7QP detailing the reasons for bringing a complaint.
The NCC Complaints Team will ivestigate on your behalf, communicating their findings and any potential outcomes when the investigation is concluded. It should be noted that the complaints team only deal with matters of procedure, challenges to allocation levels should be raised via the appeals procedure.
If you are still not satisfied that procedures have been followed correctly, it is possible to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. Find out more on the Local Government Ombudsman website.
Q. What can I do if I am not satisfied with the quality of the Short Break offered by my provider?
A. Where services are commissioned directly by Nottinghamshire County Council, you should contact the Commissioning duty desk via email@example.com, your complaint will then be investigated by the Market Development Officer.
Q. How was the Short Break offer developed?
A. Over the course of the last year co-production workshops were held with groups of Parents/Carers working in equal partnership with NCC officers to develop the new Short Break offer. Upon the development of the draft offer, a county wide consultation invited further comments from parents/carers. The Co-production working group then took these comments into account in the final design of the new Short Break offer. This final design was then approved by elected members.
Q. Why was a new Short Break offer developed?
A. The new Short Breaks offer was developed to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the NCC funded Short Break service, ensuring that the maximum number of Children and Young People could be supported while focusing resources upon those Children and Young People who are most vulnerable.
Q. What are the benefits of co-producing the solution with Parents/Carers?
A. Working with Parents/Carers in equal partnership presented a unique opportunity to design the new offer to best fit the needs of Children, Young People and their families, in addition by working with Parents/Carers, a better understanding was gathered of how the previous offer was experienced and the new offer was the designed to overcome any issues Parents/Carers had with the old system.
Working in this way has enabled the development of a new offer which will provide quicker and clearer responses, keep Parents/Carers informed of progress and ensure that Parents/Carers can understand decisions and why they have been made.
Q. Why do I need to supply documentation within the online form giving personal data related to my child’s health & social care needs?
A. Part of the new design was to providing faster and more transparent decisions. The solution developed with Parents/Carers involved the use of a scoring criteria to determine eligibility based upon the needs of a child, where supporting documentation is required to verify eligibility scores.
Q. Why does the online form ask for my child’s NHS number?
A. In this case the NHS number is asked for, so that when working with the health service it is possible quickly and efficiently to correctly identify your child, enabling responsive and joined up service delivery. This is not a mandatory field as not all parents/carers will know this information and also this information is purely used for the purposes of service delivery and not as part of the scoring criteria.
Q. What happens to the personal data that I provide as part of the application for an NCC funded Short Break?
A. In the event of an application being successful the information entered into the online form will be retained for the purpose of service provision for a period of time in accordance with the Information Commissioners Officer (ICO) data retention guidelines for children’s data. The documents uploaded to support the initial application will not be retained, but a tick box record will be made to show the documentation was received and verified.
If an application for NCC funding is not successful, the data will be securely retained for a period of 100 days in case of an appeal being raised, and then automatically deleted.
Q. Is the data that I provide held securely?
A. The data entered into the initial online form is held on internal Nottinghamshire County Council servers, these are protected by a firewall and also have a secure back-up system. The data collection process has been subject to a security audit undertaken by NCC ICT colleagues to ensure that only authorised personnel involved in service delivery can view data. Furthermore, all personnel involved in the handling of personal data at NCC have received training regarding data security in response to the new GDPR legislation.
Q. Was privacy considered when designing the new Short Break offer?
A. Privacy has been at the forefront of the work to implement solutions co-produced with Parents/Carers for the provision of Short Breaks. This has been evidenced by the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) completed as part of this work, underpinning the data security aspects of the processes enabling service delivery.
Q. Can I object to the use of an online portal to provide a decision on my child’s eligibility for a Short Break?
A. Applicants do have the right to object to the automated processing of their data. As such, applicants can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and can expect to receive a paper copy of the form within 10 working days of the request being sent.
The applicant will need to provide the same details as applicants using the online form and include relevant documentary evidence with the completed paper form, NCC recommend sending completed forms via recorded delivery. The form and accompanying evidence returned will be scored in the same way as an application received via the online form, however due to the nature of the communication process the decision will take longer to reach the applicant.