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On 8 August, Cabinet agreed to:

  • The review and redesign of the whole short breaks offer, in partnership with parents, carers, young people and providers.
  • Continuation of the Lancashire Break Time Service in its current form, until the review and redesign of the short breaks offer is completed.

A report setting out the proposal for the future delivery of short breaks will be presented to Cabinet in March 2020.

Background and context

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to our consultation on proposals to cease Lancashire Break Time. We have had a number of responses and through these it has become clear that we need to look at the whole short break service and not just Lancashire Break Time. We recognise that the wider service provision is quite traditional and could be better designed around the needs of children and their families.

We therefore want to look at how we can consider the whole service offer to make sure that what we provide offers choice and better meets the needs of users. We are planning to carry out a range of activities that include face to face meetings with parents and carers to shape a new service offer. For more information view the report to Cabinet 8 August 2019.

Short breaks give the primary carer of a child a break from their caring role whilst the child or young person attends a fun group activity. The break is for a period of at least two hours.

The criteria to qualify for Lancashire Break Time short breaks is to be the unpaid primary carer of a child or young person with special educational needs and/or disabilities, aged 4 to 18 years and living in Lancashire (excluding Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool). The child or young person will find it difficult to access universal services due to sensory issues, learning difficulties, physical mobility problems, etc. They will not be in receipt of an assessed social care outreach package; those with a higher level of need will receive services through their package of care.

Lancashire Break Time activities take place across Lancashire during term time and school holidays and will continue in their current form until the review of how short breaks are to be delivered is completed.

There is a minimum charge of £1 per hour for the activities.

If you think you meet the criteria and would like a short break, you should contact the provider direct for more information and to reserve a place.