4 Voluntary Organisations Could Be Big Losers in Budget Cuts For Children with Disabilities

Central Bedfordshire Council are currently reviewing the way that short break services are funded and delivered. Under review is a draft proposal to lower the Budget for Children With Disabilities (CWD) by £158,000.

Short breaks are opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to spend time away from their primary carers, and provide opportunities for their parents and carers to have a break from caring responsibilities. Short breaks applies to disabled children aged between 0-18 who live in Central Bedfordshire and their families.

In Central Bedfordshire Short Breaks can include day, evening, overnight, weekend or holiday activities that take place within the home of the child or young person, in the home of an approved carer, a residential or a community setting.

Families and carers can phone 0300 300 3000 and asking for the Children with Disabilities Team. The Team will also be able to give information about who is the best person to speak to for more specialised Short Breaks.

Find out more about Central Bedfordshire's policy on Short Breaks: DOWNLOAD NOW
Or request by email: Christine.Collis@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, said: “We know that the short breaks service we offer is incredibly valued by families and that any proposed changes will be sensitive.

“But, in common with all councils nationwide, Central Bedfordshire is facing increasing pressure on limited financial resources and we need to make sure that services are run in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. My hope is that all those potentially affected will see that we want to ensure that our short break services can continue – and in a way that is sustainable and gives choice and opportunity to children and teenagers with disabilities."

To reduce the budget by £158,000 the Council would reduce funding to organisations that help support the provision of short break opportunities for children with disabilities, including:

  • Remove the top up payment to Adult Social Care Occupational Therapy Services by £40k

- this payment helps ensure that disabled children are assessed more quickly and essential
equipment is provided

  • Remove the top up payment to Disabled Facilities Grant by £50k - this payment helps to

ensure that additional provision is provided to ensure that disabled children are safe in their
own home

  • Reduce funding to Voluntary organisations by £68,000, which would include the following reductions to Service Level Agreements with:
    • Autism Beds – reduction from £35k to £17.5k
    • Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy – reduction from £35k to £17.5k
    • Family United Network – reduction from £30k to £15K
    • Special Needs Out of School Club – reduction from £30k to £15K

DOWNLOAD FULL DETAILS of these proposals.

Consultation closes: 1 March 2017

Follow this link to take part in the Council's consultation.