The number of disabled children receiving short breaks more than doubled between April 2008 and March 2011, with rises in every area of the country,
In 2010-11 more than 162,800 children with disabilities received a short break compared with just under 57,400 in 2008-9, according to a government-commissioned report published by Together for Disabled Children.
The government has committed more than £800m through the early intervention grant for local authorities to invest in short breaks between April 2011 and March 2015. This compares with £270m between 2008 and 2011.
Despite this investment, a Community Care investigation this month revealed that councils were spending on average just 6% of their early intervention grant on short breaks for disabled children.
Since April, local authorities have been legally obliged to provide the breaks and any shortfall in commitment could result in court action. They must also publish before October information for parents on the short-break services they offer.
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