Short breaks Q&A

Fundamentally a short break can be anything that provides the primary carer of a disabled child/young person a break from the additional responsibilities that this brings.  Short breaks can be overnight or day care and take place in a wide variety of settings.

During 10/11 Sheffield City Council received £2,025,000 revenue funding and a further £787,000 capital funding to support the transformation of short breaks.  This is in addition to the money that is already being spent on Short Breaks in the city, which is in excess of £4,000,000 per annum.

Fun in the Park

Disabled children and their parents, carers and siblings enjoyed a fun-filled day at Norfolk Heritage Park, courtesy of Sheffield Parent Carer Forum.

Glorious sunshine and a good mix of indoor and outdoor attractions meant that even with a record turnout of over 300 people, nobody had to wait long to try out the activities.

Two bouncy castles and a set of orienteering trails around the park proved a popular way to burn off some energy, while arts and crafts activities provided more sedate entertainment. Children in need of some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle had the opportunity to retreat to a “chill-out” room with fairy lights and sensory toys.

Improving childcare for disabled children in Sheffield

DCATCH (Disabled Children’s Access to Childcare) is a 3-year programme aimed at improving the range and quality of childcare available to families with disabled children/young people.

Under this initiative, Sheffield City Council has received a one-off grant payment of just under £120,000.

A working group of officers and parents has been meeting since May 2010 to decide how this money could be used to improve childcare for disabled children in Sheffield in a sustainable way (bearing in mind that the grant is ringfenced and must be spent by April 2011!). As central government have made no commitment to continue the DCATCH funding, the group is keen to maximise this opportunity and leave a legacy that lives on beyond March 2011.

Achievement for All

Sheffield takes part in pilot project

Achievement for All is a new pilot project which aims to improve outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and Sheffield is one of ten local authorities in England taking part.

The project will run between September 2009 and September 2011 at 51 primary and secondary schools in Sheffield, as well as Talbot special school.

Going to Cabinet

Many of you will have seen the article in the Sheffield Star highlighting a survey by our group about special educational needs in Sheffield, which showed that only 10% of parents feel there is adequate provision for children with special needs in mainstream schools.

As a group, we thought we had an idea of how parents felt from our own experiences about the difficulties our children were facing but wished to ask as many other families as possible for their views. We decided to conduct a questionnaire so we had more clout facing the local authority with our concerns. Clare Peck, one of our members, put the questionnaire together and we received more than 200 replies. Once we looked at the responses we decided to raise the issues at the Cabinet Meeting in November to talk to the politicians face to face. We wanted them to know the difficulties our children face on a day to day basis and give them a chance to look at the issues and improve the social and educational experience of our children.

We've become incorporated!

Our registration was approved by Companies House on the 17th of April 2010, and we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) 4 days later. At the AGM we dropped the “Interim” from our name, approved our constitution, elected a management committee, and presented an annual report and accounts. Minutes can be downloaded from the “Resources” section of this website.