Agenda item

Short Breaks Innovation Programme


Report from the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services.




That Cabinet:


1.    Accept the Short Breaks Innovation grant funding from the Department for Education and approve the approach to management of the grant as outlined in the Cabinet report.



Consideration was given to the report which requested that the Short Breaks Innovation Grant 2023-24 be accepted and allocated against the priorities outlined. The report also provided an update on progress made on the Grant since commencement on 1 April 2023. The Short Breaks Grant was made available to Rotherham under the open application round of the Short Breaks Innovation Fund (previously called the Better Integrated Care Fund) for year two of the programme between April 2023 and March 2024 for the Department for Education (DfE).


The current grant funding was a one-year allocation of £569,940 for delivery of the project during 2023/2024. Children accessing the project requiring overnight short breaks received support from existing overnight short breaks provision. The cost of the delivery of existing overnight short breaks was not funded by the short breaks innovation grant. This was provided as matched funding by the Council. The project supplemented existing short break provision by developing a short break hub incorporating community-based care and support for children aged 10 years upwards with complex SEND needs e.g., children and young people with Intellectual Disability and/or Social Emotional and Mental Health and/or Autism.


The short break offer (maximum 12 weeks) would combine an opportunity for overnight respite with an intensive behavioural offer linking school, community, and home-based support. A comprehensive holistic assessment would be undertaken, and positive behavioural support plans formulated, offering a joint intensive intervention in education and at home. This would transition into a sustainable short break offer utilising (improved) existing provision. Additional key deliverables were set out in paragraph 1.8 of the report.


The aim of the project was to successfully support the young people to access education in a local special school, at an annual average cost of £25k per annum per child. Short breaks would be provided based on assessed need at an annual average cost of £18k for Personal Assistant support at home and in the community and respite of £57k per annum per child. The total cost to support a child in the community and to remain in a special school would total £100k per annum per child, compared to a residential placement of £300k per annum, per child. It was important to avoid out of Borough options as these did not benefit the children and came at a high cost.


Consultation had taken place as outlined in Paragraph 4 of the report. Letters of support were provided for Rotherham Parent Carer Forum and NHS South Yorkshire ICB, Rotherham Place.


During the meeting it was confirmed that it was important that parents were given a break when supporting children with high needs. It was also confirmed that the number of children with the level of need discussed was around 12. 




1.    That Cabinet accept the Short Breaks Innovation Grant Funding from the Department for Education and approve the approach to management of the Grant as outlined in the Cabinet report.



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