Short breaks are services offered to families to give them a break from caring for a disabled child. This can include holiday play schemes, Saturday clubs, overnight respite, direct payments, befriending services and more.
From September 2013, all referrals and requests for short break services will be processed through Prevention and Assessment Teams (PAT), which will act as a single point of contact for all services to children. The Prevention and Assessment Teams are the joining up of two existing services – MAST (Multi-Agency Support Team) and Children’s Social Care.
The Special Needs Inclusion Playcare Service (SNIPS) will be aligned to the three PAT Teams, which are organised into three service areas across the city: North, East and West. SNIPS will continue to provide training, mentoring support and grants to help mainstream childcare providers include children and young people with additional needs, but will also become much more involved in developing local community provision.
The overarching aim of the new service is to ensure that the right children receive the right support at the right time and are included.
As part of a new referral process, a new form called a “Family CAF” (CAF = Common Assessment Framework) has been developed. This form looks at the needs of the whole family, not just the needs of the disabled child. It replaces the old-style CAF. A Family CAF can be completed by any professional who knows the family, such as a teacher, GP, youth worker or MAST worker. Once a Family CAF has been received, the PAT team will decide how the family should be supported; this could be by SNIPS or by a Social worker.
Contact your local PAT:
North: Sorby House, 42 Spital Hill, Sheffield S4 7LG
Tel: 0114 233 1189 or 203 9591
East: Shortbrook Primary Site, 1st Floor, Westfield Northway, Sheffield S20 8FB
Tel: 0114 205 3635 or 203 7463
West: Old Sharrow Junior School, South View Road, Sheffield S7 1DB
0114 250 6865 or 273 4491