Have your say on modernising short break services for children and adults

The Council is seeking your views on how it plans to modernise short break services in Buckinghamshire. Consultations for both Children’s and Adult’s short break services will runside by side from 5 November to 14 January.

Think of respite services [short breaks] and you are more likely to think overnight residential care, than horse riding. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We know that people with very complex needs may always need some type of specialist care. However, short breaks can be so much more than traditional residential or respite care. They can help people to be more independent, learn new skills, make friends and overcome loneliness.

Warren Whyte (Cabinet Member for Children’s Services) and Lin Hazell (Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing) are in agreement about the new approach and say: “We want to make sure that people can access a wide range of short-break options close to where they live. Although short breaks are a vital part of supporting carers theydo not have to be in a residential setting. Our current short breaks offer does not provide enough flexibility and choice.”

Short breaks include day, evening, overnight, weekend or holiday activities. They can take place in your own home, the home of an approved carer and in your local community too.

Both councillors are keen to make the best use of resources and say:”We want to make sure that the money we have for short breaks is spent where it is most needed. Carers provide most of the care in our communities and without them public services would struggle to cope. However we do have to consider budgets. We believe that by modernising short break services we can meet need and make the best use of the resources we have.”

Parents, carers and service users have already helped to and adult short breaks policy and children’s short breaks service statement. Once finalised and agreed, these will guide how short break services are delivered in the future. To get to that stage we need your views on the several features that have been included. These are how we will:

• define what a short break service is
• make access to short break services fair
• decide who is eligible for short break services
• make sure people get the right type of short break to meet their needs
• fund some types of short breaks

The decision to consult on short break services was made at the Cabinet meeting held on 22 October 2018 more details can be found here.

If you or someone you care for or uses short break services, it is very important that you have your say. To have your say either complete our online questionnaires on the ‘Have your say’ pages of www.buckscc.gov.uk

People can also ask questions or give their views by coming along to one of eight ‘Talk to us’ drop-in sessions at libraries across the county [dates venues in further information below].

More information about the Children’s Short Breaks Service Statement Consultation can be found at www.buckscc.gov.uk/shortbreaksforchildren

More information about the Adult Short Breaks Policy consultation can be found at www.buckscc.gov.uk/shortbreaksforadults