The new offer ensures that information regarding Short Breaks is easier to understand and accessible on the Nottinghamshire County Council’s SEND Web page which is called the Local Offer.
The Local Offer is the single point of access for information about the support and the services available for parents/carers of children and young people with Special Education Needs or Disability (SEND) including Short Breaks.
It is a key tool in ensuring that families are supported in their search for Short Break information and Short Break provision.
The content of the Local Offer in relation to Short Breaks has been co-produced with families.
Many services are available to all young people who live in Nottinghamshire; whether or not they have a disability. These are known as universal services and include play activities, leisure centres and childcare. Providers of Universal Services have to ensure that their services are accessible to children and young people with disabilities.
Levels of support can vary in line with children and young people’s needs and circumstances. This is explained more fully in the Pathway to Provision.
The Short Break offer introduces an online self-assessment to help families find out whether they meet the threshold for a County Council funded Short Break. The assessment uses a co-produced eligibility criteria and provides families with an immediate response about whether they qualify for a funded Short Break.
If families do not have access to online technology, a paper application can be made. If families feel unable to complete the assessment themselves, then support can be provided by Ask Us Nottinghamshire. They can be contacted by email: email@example.com or phone: 0800 121 7772. Ask Us provide free, confidential and impartial information, advice and support around special educational needs and disability issues.
The initial online assessment focuses on the child or young person. If this shows that the threshold has been reached, the pathway will be:
- You will automatically receive the Standard Offer of £216 (24 hours) which will be in the form of a direct payment for 12 months. This allocation aims to ensure that the Council can support as many children and young people as possible within available resources. There will be the opportunity for families to pay directly to providers to top up their allocated hours or to pay for further activities if they choose.
- If families feel they need more support than the Standard Offer, they can request a further assessment which applies the Resource Assessment System (RAS). This second assessment requests further information including the wider family circumstances. However, families should be aware that the outcome of a RAS might still be the Standard Offer of £216 (24 hours).
If the initial online assessment shows that the threshold for a funded Short Breaks has not been reached, families will be signposted to the Local Offer for local community providers and given the opportunity to purchase provision themselves.
Children and young people who have been allocated the Standard Offer, or 96 hours and under, will receive this provision for 12 months will have to re-apply each year if they continue to need a service. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information
Allocation of over 96 hours a year will be reviewed annually by the Short Break Assessment & Review Team to ensure the service continues to meet children’s needs. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.