Scottish government to invest £2m extra in short breaks

A further £2m is to be invested in Scotland on short breaks for families with severely disabled children.

A further £2m is to be invested in Scotland on short breaks for families with severely disabled children.

The money is expected to prioritise children with complex and exceptional needs and their families.

It follows last July’s announcement by the Scottish government that £1m would be spent on short breaks each year between 2011 and 2015.

“Providing a short break – either for parents and their other children or for the whole family – can make a huge difference in sustaining families and keeping them going,” said public health minister Shona Robison.

The latest award is a key recommendation in the National Review of Services for Disabled Children, published today. The review was conducted jointly by the Scottish government, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the For Scotland’s Disabled Children (FSDC) liaison project.

The review also confirmed the government’s pilot of the FSDC Charter for Scotland’s Disabled Children in several local authority and related health board areas in 2011-2012. The charter pledges an authority’s commitment to meeting all statutory obligations towards disabled children and young people and their families.

The review also said the Scottish government would publish new national guidance on manual handling of disabled children and develop an evidence base of good practice.

The government is exploring how integrated children’s services inspection regimes can focus on disabled children as individuals in order to improve service provision.

England is also reconsidering its services to disabled children. Proposals are to be outlined in a government Green Paper due in mid-March.

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