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The short break eligibility framework

Children who are disabled

Find information about short breaks in Dorset. 

The short break eligibility framework is designed to clarify:

  • how Dorset County Council (DCC) and the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) identify the needs of children who are disabled and their families using different types of assessment
  • how decisions are taken as to what type of support may be available for the child and family using the information from the assessment
  • where the money comes from to pay for the different types of support

The short break eligibility framework was written to demonstrate how it's the needs of the child and the family that decide what services are to be provided. An assessment is needed to understand the needs of the child and the family.

The type of assessment and the services that are provided are linked to the needs of the child and the family. The child's diagnosis or type of impairment is not used to decide what services are offered but will be considered in the assessment. 

Assessment is the gathering of information about what's happening and making a judgement about what's needed. Assessment isn't something that's only done by professionals. Parents can often make an assessment of their circumstances and look for solutions to meet their needs. For example, the parents may feel they could do with a night out and arrange a babysitter. This is assessment without the need to write it down and keep it on file.

If the child or the family are aware of their circumstances but can't find a solution to meet their needs, they may approach friends or professionals to help them. The assessment becomes more and more complex as the child or family identify many needs and need professional services to help them. 

In Dorset there are 4 different levels of assessment, depending on the level of need and the type of service that families need. DCC and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) make sure they gather the right amount of information so that they can make a quick decision about what the family needs. This is also to make sure the child and the family have as little intrusion and disruption as possible in their lives.

The short break eligibility framework - children who are disabled

Universal services, available to everyone. You don't need to be eligible to get these services:

The short break eligibility framework - children who are disabled
Level of needHow we identify needsHow we agree outcomesType of serviceStaff trainingCommunication to families
Low Informal self-assessment Parent or child

Extended services such as:

  • youth clubs
  • after-school clubs
  • childcare
  • Scouts or Guides
  • swimming
  • drama clubs
  • sports and leisure clubs
 N/A

Universal Partnership Plus, for people who need more than universal services:   

The short break eligibility framework - children who are disabled
Level of needHow we identify needsHow we agree outcomesType of serviceStaff trainingCommunication to families
Medium Self-assessment, early help and carer' assessment or CAF
  • extended services
  • Dorset Families Matter (DFM)
  • home support
  • sessional support
  • childcare
  • policy guidance
  • team meetings
  • briefing sheets
  • screening tool

Specialist services, for people who need more than targeted or preventative services (eligibility criteria 2):

The short break eligibility framework - children who are disabled
Level of needHow we identify needsHow we agree outcomesType of serviceStaff trainingCommunication to families
High Early help and carer's assessment Children who are disabled support team with parent and child
  • personal assistants
  • domiciliary care
  • sessional support
  • group activities
  • services by direct payments
 N/A  N/A
High Child and family assessments (includes carer's assessment) Children who are disabled (CWAD) social care teams with parent and child
  • personal assistants
  • domiciliary care
  • sessional support
  • group activities
  • services through direct payments
  • BreakAway
  • residential short breaks
  • policy guidance assessment framework
  • team meetings
  • briefing sheets
  • consultation
  • newsletters
  • parent council
  • The Xchange
  • discussion with lead professional

Services that are available to people who meet the NHS Children's Continuing Care criteria (eligibility criteria 3):

The short break eligibility framework - children who are disabled
Level of needHow we identify needsHow we agree outcomesType of serviceStaff trainingCommunication to families
Intensive NHS children's continuing health care assessment

Children's continuing care team coordinator and lead health professional, for example:

  • LD CAMHS nurse
  • SWIFTS
  • community nurses
  • nursing care
  • home support
  • domiciliary care
  • residential short breaks
  • hospice overnights
  • hospice day care
  • services through personal health budget (PHB)
  • policy guidance assessment
  • training
  • national guidance

Local communication or discussion with lead professional

We've written and updated this framework with the Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC) to show in an open way how DCC and the CCG are fair in how they make decisions and allocate services.

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