Short Breaks – legal changes - Interface Parent Forum, Redbridge

Short Breaks – legal changes
A Look to the Future
Christine Lenehan, Director of CDC
Peter Smith, social care adviser, DfE
This presentation looks at new
regulations on short breaks and what
parents need to know…
New Regulations from 1 April 2011:
1. Care Planning, Placement and Case Review
Regulations 2010 – short breaks of 24 hrs+
2. Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children
Regulations 2010
3. Looking to the future - sustaining progress made
during AHDC
Brief note on the law
• Primary legislation (Acts of Parliament) say what
LAs must do
• Regulations, called secondary legislation, also say
what LAs must do
• Statutory guidance says what LAs should do, they
may have to justify when they do not follow
Care planning 1
• Care Planning, Placement and Case Review
Regulations and Guidance 2010
• Streamlining of legal framework for care leavers
and looked after children
• Short Breaks – Statutory guidance on how to
safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled
children using short breaks
Care planning 2
• Short breaks and care very different, but
• Same legal framework (Children Act 1989 and
Children and Young Persons Act 2008)
• Some shared elements and questions
– Assessment, planning, intervention, review
– Is it good enough for my child?
– If it does not work, is there back up plan?
– Is it tailored to individual need?
Short breaks statutory guidance
Why change?
• Current regulatory requirements - a barrier to
expansion required by AHDC
• Disproportionate degree of regulation for some
• Short breaks are changing, more home based, less
• Widespread non-compliance with law
Proportionate approach
• There should be administration proportionate to
apparent level of need
– Many children receiving breaks need little more
from social services
– Others are children in need with family support
plan including the provision of accommodation
– Others are looked after children
Headline change 1
• Disabled children provided with overnight
accommodation do not have to become looked
• So no requirements for Independent Reviewing
Officers, and much of the paperwork e.g.
Integrated Children’s System, notifications etc
• Disabled children in short breaks can be provided
with accommodation under section 17(6) of
Children Act 1989
• If section 17(6) then child in need plan is required
Child in need plan
1. have clear and realistic objectives
2. include ascertainable wishes of child and family
3. follow consideration of options, including but
not limited to direct payments
4. state nature and frequency of services, as far as
is practicable including health and social care in
the same plan, especially if short breaks are
provided from different agencies
Child in need plan - 2
5. state communication methods, clinical needs, risk
assessment including moving and handling,
dietary requirements, behaviour management,
6. state contact arrangements for emergencies
7. state commitments of professionals involved
Child in need plan - 3
8. refer to or summarise any other important
documents about the child’s development
9. confirm those caring for the child have been
selected following the advice in paras 143 to 156
in the guidance on direct payments (September
10. outline arrangements to review the plan
Headline change 2
• If a child is looked after under section 20(4) of
Children Act 1989 a series of overnight short
breaks can be treated as one (Reg 48). This is to
reduce paperwork.
• The limits for a series of placements to be treated
as one have been reduced, a maximum of 75 days
in any 12 months and no short break may last
more than 17 days.
Section 17 or 20
• This decision should be based on particular needs
of child and family
• Cannot be blanket policy regardless of needs of
individual children
• Based on assessment, needs of child, capacities of
parents, family and environmental factors
• Lengths of short breaks, views of family, contact,
etc [See para 2.8 of guidance.]
Summary – Part 1
• Many children who are now part of LAC system
who do not need to be can be removed
• There should be proper planning, consultation, and
agreements for all children in need using short
• There are new time limits – Regulation 48
Breaks for Carers of Disabled
• From 1 April 2011 new duty on LAs to provide
‘breaks from caring to assist parents and others
who provide care for disabled children to continue
to do so, or to do so more effectively.’ [Section 25
Children and Young Person Act 2008]
• breaks should be provided to those for whom a
break from their caring responsibilities will
improve the quality of the care they provide as
well as to those struggling to care for disabled
Why the new duty?
• Amendment tabled by Lord Rix on advice from
charities including Mencap, Contact a Family and
Council for Disabled Children
• The Government accepted amendment to provide
legal back up to consolidate AHDC progress on
short breaks
• As close as the Government would go to agreeing
legal entitlement to short breaks
The new duty
• “It is a vitally important step along the road
towards better supporting families and carers of
disabled children.”
- Sarah Teather, Minister of State, to Legislation
Committee 19 Jan 2011
Breaks for Carers of Disabled
Children Regulations
Aim is to
• provide opportunities for disabled children to
enjoy themselves and fulfil their potential; and
• enhance the abilities of carers to care more
Breaks for Carers of Disabled
Children Regulations
These regulations address
• who should be considered for access to breaks
from caring;
• the range of short breaks the local authority should
provide, so far as it is reasonably possible; and
• the preparation and publication of a short breaks
services statement.
Who must be provided with a short
breaks service?
People with caring responsibility for a disabled child
or children, LA’s
• Must provide a service to carers of disabled
children in order to
a) allow them to continue to care; and/or
b) to allow them to care more effectively
• A short break must allow carers to undertake
education, training, regular leisure activity and/or
day to day tasks
What must be offered?
A short breaks service must
• Comprise a range of short breaks including:
− day time care in or outside the child’s home
− overnight care in or outside the child’s home
− educational and leisure activities
• Must be available in the evenings, at weekends,
during the holidays
Short breaks services statement
This statement must set out details of
• the range of services provided
• eligibility criteria
• how the range of services is designed to meet the
needs of carers in their area.
• be published by October 2011
Short breaks services statement
• The Regulations say, ‘In preparing and revising
their statement the LA must have regard to the
views of carers in their area.’
• This statement must be publicised and kept under
• There is/will be guidance to help local areas
implement the new duty
Guidance on short break duty
The guidance will emphasise
• Short breaks should be preventative, not just crisis
• Breaks should support carers, and provide benefits
to children
• Short breaks service should consider siblings as
part of family assessment
Summary Part 2
• Every LA must provide breaks from caring for
carers of disabled children
• Every short breaks service must provide a range of
short breaks
• Every LA must prepare and publish a short breaks
services statement by 1st October 2011
• Every LA must consult carers in preparing the
Looking to the Future
- levers for change
• Duty to provide short breaks – section 25
• Funding
• The Green Paper on special educational needs and
• Increasing personalisation
• The role of the Every Disabled Child Matters
• Parents and professionals as allies
• In December the Government announced it will be
providing £800m over 4 years for short breaks for
disabled children
• This is a ‘£22m year on year increase from 2010
• It also announced £40million of capital investment
in 2011-12
Green Paper
• Out soon for a twelve week consultation
• Will set a vision for services post AHDC
• Will encompass issues across SEN and Disability
• Is keen to provide a less adversarial system for
• Parents and young peoples’ views essential
• Will be part of the Green Paper
• Government keen to extend choice and control
• More Individual Budgets?
• Better links with Education and Health?
What can Every Disabled Child
Matters do ?
Campaigning is key, locally and nationally
Looking at system improvement and rights
Working with Parliament and local government
Providing national evidence of local issues
Ensuring your voice is heard
Working alongside the National Network of
Parent Carer Forums and keeping the lives of
disabled children and their families central to the
Parents and professionals as allies
• In a time of uncertainty more important than ever
• Both groups need to take responsibility
• Both groups need to agree a vision
• Parents have to be able to work together to support
each other