Short breaks statement – new legislation
A new law came into force in 2014 that has implications for short breaks.
Some disabled children and children with special educational needs have had a statement of special educational need. This is being replaced by an education, health and care (EHC) plan that brings together in one place the three main types of support that a child might be receiving.
If a child with an education, health and care plan is getting short breaks, then the details must be set out in the plan.
Every local authority must publish a 'local offer' setting out what support services are available to families.
Although the Care Act is aimed mostly at improving care services for adults, it also has implications for disabled young people aged 18 to 25 years, particularly when they are approaching adulthood.
The act says that the local authority must carry out a transition assessment where there is significant benefit to a young person or their carer in doing so, and they are likely to have needs for care or support after turning 18.
Local authorities must continue to provide a young person with children's services until they reach a conclusion about their situation as an adult, so that there is no gap in provision.
To try to ensure that specialist services are not disrupted (for example, direct payments) we have moved our disabled children's service into the same part of the council as the similar service for adults. We are also reviewing how we provide short breaks for adults.