Having a break: good practice in short breaks for families with children who have complex health needs and disabilities

SCIE Guide 25

Published December 2008

About this guide

In December 2007 SCIE published 'Necessary stuff. The social care needs of children with complex health care needs and their families’ (Knowledge Review 18).  This outlined the evidence base for working with this group of children and their families. One of the key areas identified for further development was ‘short breaks’, a service which parents often request. It is a service that also needs to address several complex issues.

SCIE has carried out further research to gather information about innovative and imaginative practice in providing short breaks. The project involved:

This project was supported by The Council for Disabled Children at the National Children’s Bureau and the Aiming High Implementation Group. These groups also highlighted the importance of this topic, particularly as a new duty on local authorities to provide short breaks for disabled children was introduced in March 2008.

Who is this resource for?

This guide has been written for commissioners and service providers responsible for services for children with complex health care needs and their families. It has drawn upon the experience of organisations that have broken new ground in the area of short breaks for families such as these. By sharing these examples of good practice, SCIE hopes to facilitate the spread of more innovative and family-centered services.

If you would like further information about any of the services described in this guide, please contact Mary Sainsbury at SCIE (mary.sainsbury@scie.org.uk).

Acknowledgements

The organisations which contributed to this project were:

SCIE would like to thank all those in the above organisations who provided the information about their work, and also Christine Lenehan, Director, Council for Disabled Children, for her support and advice.

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  • Having a break: good practice in short breaks for families with children who have complex health needs and disabilities (Guide)