Families with disabled children and young people aged 0-19 can now apply for a one-off grant payment of up to £400 per family. To qualify, parents must be resident in Sheffield and Sheffield City Council must have a responsibility for their child or young person (e.g. education).
The money can be used for anything that gives parents a break from their caring responsibilities. For example, you could use it for a family holiday, for a carer to support your child to access an activity, or for your child to attend a holiday/weekend playscheme.
The deadline for applications is 31 January 2015, and the money must be spent by 31 March 2015.
You are automatically eligible for the grant if:
* your child receives the high rate care or high rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
* you already receive another form of assessed short break, e.g. residential provision, SNIPS, direct payments
If none of these conditions applies you may still be eligible, but will need to ask a professional who knows your family to fill in an Additional Information Form. If you were awarded the grant in 2013/14 following the submission of additional information, you do not need to resubmit this provided it is less than 12 months old.
Further information (including an FAQ document) and an application form can downloaded from the Council website.
For general information about short breaks, please contact the SEND Information Advice & Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership) on 0114 273 6009 or email email@example.com.
Update (19 September 2014): The council officers dealing with the applications are really snowed under at the moment, and are asking that parents wait six weeks before enquiring about the progress of their application. They say they completely understand that parents are anxious to make sure their application has been received, and want to find out if their grant will be approved in time for October half term. However, they are only a very small team, and if they spend a lot of time answering phone calls, they can’t get on with approving the applications.