Future of Short Breaks – Important to act ASAP before January 2016

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“Two hours a week literally is all we get. With no family support for him, if he loses that he then loses those social connections and understanding of the world and then the confidence that he can go away for a couple of hours and manage without mum and dad.” Caroline, Parent Carer


Short breaks are among the most fundamental services for supporting families with disabled children. They help parent carers avoid crises by providing breaks from caring, and offer disabled children opportunities for social interaction and independence. A lack of access to short breaks provision was the single biggest issue that arose from the 2006 Parliamentary Hearings on Services for Disabled Children, which resulted in the launch of the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign.

EDCM’s final campaign report, ‘Short Breaks in 2015: an uncertain future’, looks at parent carer experiences of short breaks in today’s challenging financial environment. Our findings included:

  • 58% of local authorities have cut spending on short breaks since 2011/12, by an average of 15%
  • 24% of parent carers who responded to our survey, had fewer short breaks now than in the past due to service closure
  • Only 9% of parent carers agree that families with disabled children can access the short breaks they need

EDCM is calling for the Government to secure continued funding through the Spending Review to sustain short breaks services. Our campaign partners at Contact a Family will continue campaigning to protect short break services after EDCM comes to an end.

If you’re facing cuts to short breaks in your local area then make sure you look at our legal resource for parent carers, ‘Challenging cuts to short break services’.

For more information go to the EDCM website www.EDCM.org.uk

Posted in Independent Support, News, Parent Carer
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