Short Breaks For Children And Young People With SEND Consultation

Central Bedfordshire Council is proposing a new funding and delivery model for non-residential short breaks for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their families.

Non-residential short breaks are defined as all social, leisure and play activities that are organised by charities, the council and other local groups. This includes activities after school, at weekends and during school holidays ranging from 30 minutes to full days (not overnight).

The aim of the new model is to improve the range and geographical spread of options for families whilst maintaining a degree of funding stability for organisations.

The Council currently grant funds to six organisations:

Autism Bedfordshire
Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society (BDCPS)
Families United Network (FUN)
Special Needs out of School Club (SNOOSC)
Leighton Buzzard Mencap
Bedford Mencap

The new grant funding process will enable all relevant, local, organisations to bid for funding, with the aim of providing more choice and locations for children, young people and families to access social, leisure and play activities.

Download the consultation documents.

Reason Why

Central Bedfordshire Council is under a legal obligation to provide or commission short breaks for children with a disability. The Council currently meets its statutory short break duty through a range of provision including targeted short breaks, community support, play schemes, family link scheme and overnight residential provision. Section 17 (11) of the Children Act 1989 states that a child is disabled if they are: ’blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from mental disorder of any kind or are substantially and permanently handicapped by illness , injury or congenital deformity, or other such disability as may be prescribed’. The Council for Disabled Children* suggests  a child with a ‘mental disorder of any kind’ is ‘disabled’ and therefore a child ‘in need’, this will include conditions such as autism and ADHD which are found within the relevant diagnostic manuals for mental disorders .

Follow this link to find out more.


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Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter

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