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Short breaks service statement

Last updated: 21 October 2022

Why we have a short break service statement

We are committed to supporting the best outcomes for children (0 to 19 years) with disabilities and their families. One way we do this is by providing high-quality short break services.

It is important that parents and carers understand how short breaks can support them. This service statement sets out the range of short breaks available to families living in Buckinghamshire. It forms part of our legal duty to help carers.

Buckinghamshire Council (the council) and the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) work together to provide these short breaks.

What are short break services?

Short breaks help disabled children and young people to stay in their own homes. They range from activities that anyone can join to specialist overnight residential services. They are not just a break from the daily routine. They also help to improve wellbeing and much more.

Disabled children and young people have the opportunity to:

  • make new friends
  • learn new skills
  • develop independence
  • relax, have fun and reduce loneliness

Parents, carers and families have the opportunity to:

  • take a break from their caring responsibilities
  • rest, unwind and spend time with other family members
  • provide the right support at the right time
  • build their family resilience

What the law says

Disabled children and their families have the same human rights as people without a disability.

The law says that we must provide services to help carers continue their caring role or to provide care more effectively. It also says we must:

  • provide a range of appropriate breaks during the day, night, weekends and school holidays
  • provide parents with information which tells them about the range of breaks and any eligibility criteria. This is called a ‘service statement’

The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011 will tell you more about our legal duties.

What a service statement does

The service statement contains information about short breaks. It tells you:

  • what types of short break services are available in Buckinghamshire
  • who can use each type of service
  • how we decide who has priority for services
  • why we think short break services are important