Issuu on Google+

DORSET SHORT BREAKS SURVEY

Dorset Parent-Carer Council Dorset County Council

2010


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

CONTENTS Section

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Page

Introduction Executive Summary Survey Method and Responses Profiles Levels of Needs Short Break Settings Length of Short Breaks Universal or Specialist Barriers to Accessing Short Break Activities Services that are currently in use Services that are Requested Satisfaction Ideas for new Short Break Opportunities Receiving Information about Short Breaks Transport New Short Break Opportunities Other Comments

3 5 7 9 13 15 17 19 21 23 24 26 28 29 31 32 39

APPENDICES Apendix

A B C D E F G H I J K

Page

Additional Feedback from DPCC Launch Events Additional impairments listed by parents Other barriers to accessing activities Why parents are satisfied or dissatisfied with Short Break services offered Suggestions for improvement of Short Break services by parents Why families are not using Short Break services at the moment Parents suggestions for a new Short Break service Additional information that parents would like about Short Break opportunities Parents suggestions for improvements to transport Other Activities that families would like for their children. Glossary

Page 2

40 41 42 43 45 49 51 57 59 60 63


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

1. Introduction The Aiming High Programme has provided new opportunities for the development of services for children who are disabled in Dorset. For the first time the Government has recognised that there are families of children who are disabled that are finding it really hard to get the support they need. Money has been made available to support these families and the children, young people and families have a major role in deciding how this money is to be spent. The Dorset Parent-Carer Council (DPCC) was set up in mid 2009 using funding from the Aiming High Programme. The DPCC provides a strong voice for families in meetings where decisions about spending the money are made. To support the DPCC the Dorset County Council Aiming High Team and the DPCC have worked together to seek the views and opinions of parents and carers. The Aiming High Programme has three main areas: Parent participation – listening to the experts, the young people, parents and carers and the development of the DPCC. Short Breaks – providing services, events or activities that offer the young person enjoyable and developmental activities and the primary carer a break from the caring role, (formally known as ‘respite’). Transition – providing support for the young person and family through the young person’s move into adulthood. Before deciding how the Aiming High funding should be used to improve the quality, range and availability of Short Break opportunities in Dorset a wide range of detailed information was needed from families. A number of different consultation events took place in 2008 and this helped make the decisions about the new Short Break opportunities that have already been provided. It was felt more detailed information was needed so that the people who commission services can fully understand what works and what doesn’t work for families; the problems that are encountered when accessing Short Breaks; and what ideas parents have for the development of Short Break opportunities that are to be provided in the future. The Dorset Parent-Carer Council Short Break Survey was designed and undertaken in late 2009 to assist in: 1. The overall planning and development of Short Breaks in Dorset. 2. Informing existing providers of Short Breaks to make changes in how they provide services so that the problems that people

Page 3


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

experience are reduced. 3. Finding new providers of local Short Breaks by challenging perceptions and by raising awareness and understanding about what services are needed. 4. Strengthening the voice of parents and carers so that they are considered the experts and future services are always developed by listening to their ideas. The information from the survey is presented in a way that encourages the reader to make their own judgement about the findings presented for each section. However, the Dorset Parent-Carer Council and the Dorset County Council Aiming High Team have provided along the way some comments and interpretation of the findings. These views are contained in shaded boxes. All the comments are summarised at the end of the report. Shaded boxes are also used when it is felt that further clarity is required. Membership of DPCC at time of completing the survey Although the membership of DPCC is growing daily the survey took a snapshot of membership from those who replied at that time of issue. 22% (44) of replies were from existing members. Information about how to join the DPCC is available at the end of this report. Many thanks are offered to those members of the DPCC for their significant contribution to this study and to the Aiming High Team in Dorset County Council for collating the responses and writing the report.

Note: For a number of reasons some children and young people are looked after by carers who are not their parents. On occasions this report uses the term ‘parent’ as a shortcut to describe both the parents and other people that provide primary care for the child.

Page 4


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

2. Executive Summary i.

ii.

iii.

iv. v.

vi.

vii.

viii. ix. x.

xi. xii.

The questionnaire was produced in a partnership between Dorset County Council Aiming High Team and the Dorset Parent Carer Council. It was designed using examples of surveys from across the country and was adapted to ensure that the use and development of Short Breaks was the focal point of the survey. Over two hundred replies were received. An incentive of a £10 shopping token was used. Some families refused to accept the £10 token. Ninety percent of responses came from the mothers of the young people who are disabled. All the six locality areas of Dorset were represented within the study. Christchurch area and Purbeck area were the least represented areas. Most replies came from the Dorchester postal area. The average age of the children represented in the survey was eleven years with the largest proportion being twelve years old. Thirty five per cent of the respondents indicated their child had a learning disability. There was a fair distribution of impairment types across the county. Most young people were deemed by their parent to have ‘Medium’ care needs and most carers were deemed by themselves to have ‘Low’ needs for a Short Break. Compared together half of the carers with children with ‘High’ needs indicated that they had ‘High’ needs as carers. Carers with ‘Low’ needs outnumbered the children with ‘Low’ needs by 3:1. The preferred Short Break activity for young people was based at a ‘school or youth centre’, with some age ranges preferring ‘away from home in the community’. The provision of Short Breaks in the school holidays and at weekends was the preferred choice of future provision for young people. Overnight accommodation for the child was the second choice for families. Over half of all respondents wanted specialist provision for their child with specialist provision being preferred for all children across all ages and impairment types. Specialist provision was favoured because of concerns around safety and welfare issues. The competence of the staff was also a strong consideration. Most families preferred longer breaks (a morning, afternoon or day) rather than one or two hours. Extended after school provision was not as valued as weekend or holiday provision.

Page 5


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

xiii.

xiv.

xv.

xvi. xvii. xviii.

A quarter of those surveyed who currently receive services access holiday play schemes and the majority select this activity as one for future development. Many families requested additional leisure activities and Saturday Clubs with ‘Day trips for the child’ being a preferred activity. There were a number of families that do not have support provided through a residential unit that requested additional residential services however this fell by eight places in terms of the nature of preferred services overall. Parents and carers considered that they would not access Short Break services because of the worries about safety and welfare of their child. Training was a major concern with the cost of buying the care also prohibitive. More people were satisfied with their Short Break provision than were dissatisfied. Most parents and carers want information posted to them or available through newsletters. Electronic information systems were not as popular. Transport issues were not particularly prevalent.

Page 6


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

3. Survey Method and Responses Methodology A survey questionnaire was designed incorporating elements from several questionnaires used by other local authorities together with additional sections and variations resulting from input by the DPCC, the Aiming High Team, the Aiming High Project Board and Dorset County Council research staff. A questionnaire was preferred to a consultation event because it was able to seek the views of a wider population of parents and carers and it gathered the views of those people who for various reasons are unable to attend events. It was also felt that more people would respond if they had the opportunity to respond over a period of time rather than on a single day. The survey form design was bright and colourful and issued in a white envelope with an eye catching label. Response was encouraged with the incentive of a free £10 shopping voucher. To ensure wide spread distribution, 500 survey envelopes including covering letter, survey form and pre-paid return envelope were issued through the following special schools in Dorset: Wyvern School Beaucroft School Portfield School

Mountjoy School Yewstock School Langside School

Westfield School Montacute School Victoria School

In addition, survey forms were made available at Dorset Parent-Carer Council launch events held in November 2009 and also circulated to Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in Dorset mainstream schools for distribution to families they believed appropriate. The survey was also promoted in the July and October editions of the ‘Aiming High’ newsletter which is widely distributed to special and mainstream schools, children’s centres, professionals, Short Break providers and third sector organisations. Envelopes were issued at the start of October and replies required by 30th October. This deadline was later extended to allow promotion at the Dorset Parent-Carer Council launch events in early November and to allow for late replies to arrive. Additional feedback was received from parents at the four Dorset Parent/Carer Council launch events held in November 2009. These results are incorporated in Appendix A.

Respondents The majority of replies were received through the post. Others were handed

Page 7


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

to members of DPCC or returned by email. A total of 203 responses were received. The majority of respondents were female 182 (90%). To ensure the survey was limited in length and not daunting to complete, no information was sought about marital status, ethnicity or similar questions.

Geographical Spread The total number of responses can be split into six locality areas as follows: Table One

Chart One

Locality

No.

%

North Dorset

52

26

West Dorset

36

18

East Dorset

50

25

Christchurch

20

10

Purbeck

13

6

31

15

Weymouth Portland

&

202

Geographical Spread: Responses by location

Weymouth & Portland, 31

North Dorset, 52

Purbeck, 13 Christchurch, 20

100

East Dorset, 50

West Dorset, 36

Replies were received from across the whole county. The highest number of replies came from North Dorset and the least from Purbeck. The largest number of replies came from the postal town of Dorchester (14.8%). This was followed by Weymouth, then Blandford and Wimborne.

Note: The high number of responses from parents and carers meant that we can be sure that the information we received accurately reflects the situation across the whole of Dorset. Other local authorities have attempted similar surveys and have gathered less than half the number of responses proving that the methodology for the survey was correct.

Page 8


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

4. Profiles Age profile of young people How old are the children represented in the survey responses? Table Two

Age No.

00 7

01 0

02 0

03 0

04 5

05 7

06 13

07 20

08 11

09 15

10 14

11 15

12 24

13 17

14 10

15 17

16 8

17 8

18 9

19 3

The average age was: 11 years. The largest concentration of a single age was: 12 children. Table Three

Age

Chart Two

Number

%

19 73 83 28 0

9.4% 36.0% 40.9% 13.8% 0.0%

203

100

0-5 6-10 11-15 Over 15 Age not given

Breakdown by Age

Over 15 7%

0 to 5 10%

6 to 10 39%

11 to 15 44%

When banded into age range groups (Table Three) the largest group is 11-15 years whilst the smallest group is in the range 0-5 years.

Impairment profile of young people Parents were asked to indicate the nature of their child’s impairment. Some children have a number of conditions or impairments and this is indicated in the total numbers in Table Four below. Table Four

Impairment type

Complex health needs

Learning disability

Visual impairment

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Behavioural difficulties

Physical disabilities

Hearing impairment

No.

29

163

21

93

87

59

16

Page 9


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Chart Three

Impairment Profile Hearing Complex health Physical needs disabilities impairment 3% 6% 13% Behavioural difficulties 19%

Learning disability 35%

Visual impairment 4%

Autistic Spectrum Disorder 20%

The most common impairment was ‘Learning Disability’. Other conditions listed included: Fragile x syndrome, Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, speech disorders and communication difficulties, dysphasia and cerebral palsy. A full list of all other impairments or conditions specified is contained in Appendix B.

Note: Having an understanding of the diagnosis or impairment type for the children whose parents responded to the survey is interesting because it shows that the survey captures information from a wide range of families who are caring for children in very different circumstances. You will see that the numbers of different impairments is greater than the number of children. This indicates that many families gave detailed information about their child and some children have a number of diagnoses or impairments.

Page 10


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Impairment profile and locality Table Five shows the distribution of impairments based on locality areas (largest numbers only). Table Five Impairment type Complex health needs

Learning disability

Visual impairment

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Behavioural difficulties

Physical disabilities

Hearing impairment

North Dorset

8

44

7

22

17

15

5

West Dorset

6

30

3

20

21

12

3

East Dorset

8

38

5

23

19

13

3

Christchurch

2

16

2

11

8

3

1

Purbeck

2

12

2

3

8

6

2

Weymouth & Portland

3

22

2

13

13

10

2

Locality

Note: Dorset is split into six locality areas, Weymouth and Portland, Christchurch, Purbeck, North Dorset, West Dorset and East Dorset. Each locality area has a local network of services that offer support to children who are disabled. This local network is coordinated through a Locality Manager. More information on Locality Teams is available on Dorset for You. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/

Page 11


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Table Six shows the distribution of impairment types based on age (largest numbers only) Table Six Impairment type Complex health needs

Learning disability

Visual impairment

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Behavioural difficulties

Physical disabilities

Hearing impairment

0–5

3

18

3

9

12

6

2

6 - 10

7

57

7

35

31

17

6

11 - 15

14

63

10

36

30

26

6

Over 15

5

23

1

13

12

10

2

Age

Note: Understanding the number of children with a specific diagnosis or impairment type can give an indication of the amount of support that families will provide for their children. However, this information on its own is not sufficient to make any form of clear judgement. Within each impairment type, for example ‘learning disability’, there are huge differences in the support that young people may need. Some families have an extended family to support them and other parents are on their own. Some people live close to a number of services whilst others live in rural communities where access to support is difficult.

Page 12


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

5. Levels of Need Child’s Level of Need The impairment type (Table Five and Table Six above) offers a broad indication of the level of need. However, more detail was requested from the questionnaire recipients regarding the level of support their child generally needs. Table Seven

Level of need

Number

Three broad definitions were offered:

%

High

61

30

Medium

114

56

Low

28

14

1. High = (total care, one to one help, need for hoists, very challenging behaviour). 2. Medium =(needs practical help for some areas of personal care, close supervision)

3. Low =(fairly independent but some 203

supervision and a little practical help needed)

100

The survey results showed a spread of need but focusing in the medium to high level.

Parent/carers levels of Need The care needs of the child as shown above do not necessarily show the true picture of the needs of the families. The assumption was made that the child’s impairment type or diagnosis is not an accurate measure of the parent’s need for a break. There are many factors that contribute to the ability of a family to manage their own situation and determine their level of need for Short Breaks. These factors might include: •

The availability of additional support (e.g. partner, parents, family, friends)

The age of the child

Family make up and dynamics

Health of the parent/primary carer(s)

Opportunities for breaks already available and their accessibility

Page 13


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Table Eight

Level of need

Number

Three broad definitions were offered:

%

High

43

21

Medium

74

37

Low

86

42

203

100

1.

High = (“Desperately need Short Breaks and support to continue to care for my child at home”).

2.

Medium = (“Coping is sometimes difficult and I need regular support and breaks to help me cope better”).

3. Low = (“I manage reasonably well most of the time”).

The survey sought to gain a view of the needs of parents as well as those of the child. The largest number of the responses stated that they were in the low category i.e. “I manage reasonably well most of the time”.

Comparing the needs of the children and the needs of parents/carers. Table Nine shows a comparison between the data collected in Table Seven and Table Eight. Table Nine

Parent/Carer Need

Child’s need

High

Medium

Low

High

30

19

12

61

Medium

13

52

49

114

Low

0

3

25

28

43

74

86

Note: Table seven and eight and the summary in table nine show there to be a difference between the needs of the child and the needs of the family. There is a significant difference between the number of children with high and medium needs and the number of families with high and medium needs. This suggests that many families with children with high and medium needs already feel supported. There were circumstances where the child had low needs and the family high needs. This shows that using the diagnosis or child’s needs will not always respond to the needs of the families. Other factors need to be considered.

Page 14


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

6. Short Break Settings Preferred Short Break Settings Short Breaks can take place in a variety of settings. The survey presented several common options and asked that one or more be ticked to indicate preferences as appropriate. Table Ten

Preferred setting for Short Break by age:

At a school/youth centre

Away from home and in the community

In my own home

In someone else’s home

A venue with specialist equipment

Other

Under 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 18+

4 0 0 0 3 1 6 14 6 9 7 6 13 9 6 9 4 5 3 0

0 0 0 0 2 3 6 10 3 5 8 6 12 13 6 9 4 6 2 2

3 0 0 0 1 6 9 8 4 4 7 2 6 7 4 5 1 2 1 1

2 0 0 0 2 2 5 5 4 5 3 6 8 6 0 5 2 2 5 1

1 0 0 0 3 1 4 9 2 4 8 3 3 4 3 2 4 1 2 1

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 4 2 5 0 0 2 0 2 2 0

105

97

71

63

55

20

Total Number

The majority of replies indicated that they preferred Short Breaks to take place in ‘a school/youth centre’ (105) closely followed by ‘away from home and in the community’.

Page 15


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Note: When answering this question some parents and carers responded by offering a number of Short Break venues. Some anomalies can be seen in the data, (for example, children under one will not be attending school for Short Breaks). However, it is clear from the data that parents and carers prefer venues that are familiar and comfortable for their child. As the young person reaches teenage years having breaks away from the home environment is the preferred option. The choice of Short Break setting is also determined by the confidence that the parent or carer has with the venue, (does it have trained staff, the right support levels, a safe environment?). Parents and carers prefer the Short Break to occur where staff know the child and where the child feels most comfortable.

Page 16


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

7. Length of Short Breaks There are many different types of Short Break. Some of the most common include: Overnight care at home or in a residential setting

Befriending or ‘buddy’ schemes

Daytime care

Sessions in playgrounds or holiday play schemes

After-school clubs

Daytime sitting or overnight sitting services;

Nursery provision

Weekend clubs

Day trips

Accordingly, the length of a break can vary from an hour or two to one or more nights away. The survey asked parents to indicate their preferred length of five optional breaks in a priority order of 1-5. Table Eleven

Length of break 1-2 hours a week 3-5 hours a week Overnight A weekend Daytime in school holidays

1st choice

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

27 31 16 65 78

15 28 45 23 45

28 39 23 36 0

20 62 25 22 9

70 7 28 26 6

Not all responses to this question were fully completed but from the information received it is clear that the majority of replies placed breaks of ‘daytime in the school holidays’ as their number one priority. This was fairly closely followed as a first choice by ‘a weekend’. ‘Overnight’ was the leading choice for 2nd place, whilst the highest count for 5th place was breaks of 1-2 hours per week. When linked to the age of the child, the most and the least preferred length of breaks were as follows: Table Twelve

Age group

Length preferred

Least preferred

0-5

Daytime in school holidays

1-2 hours a week

6-10

Daytime in school holidays

1-2 hours a week

11-15

Weekend

1-2 hours a week

Over 15

Weekend

1-2 hours a week

Page 17


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

For the 11-15 group ‘weekend’ (41%) was very closely followed by ‘daytime in the school holidays’ (37%). The difference was more substantial for the over 15 group (41% and 27%). When broken down by impairment type, the results show little variation, other than a preference for ‘weekends’ for children with complex health needs or hearing impairment. Short Breaks of 1-2 hours remain the least popular choice.

Note: All the information prior to this research indicated that the difficult time for families was school holidays and weekends. The evidence for the survey supports this and indicates that the most preferred Short Break is a long half day or whole day session in the holidays. The use of extended school provision (after school clubs that last for two hours) for Short Breaks is valued much less for families and they don’t appear to offer the family with sufficient time to feel they are having a break from caring.

Page 18


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

8. Universal or Specialist? Although many parents and children want to encourage integration into mainstream activities wherever possible, there are others who feel more secure and comfortable in a specialist setting with other children having additional needs. Benefits of the specialist setting may include specialist equipment and parental confidence in the abilities of experienced staff. Table Thirteen

Chart Four

Specialist or Universal Setting

Preference

Number

%

Specialist:

114

56

Universal:

75

37

Didn’t Answer:

14

7

203

100

Didn’t Answer: 7%

General: 37%

Specialist: 56%

To discover any link between preferred setting and the nature of impairment the results were further analysed to produce the table below. Table Fourteen Impairment type Behavioural difficulties

Physical disabilities

Hearing impairment

TOTAL

Over 15

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

11 - 15

Visual impairment

6 - 10

Universal Specialist Universal Specialist Universal Specialist Universal Specialist TOTAL Universal Specialist

Learning disability

0–5

Preferred setting

Complex health needs

Age

1 0 4 10 3 5 1 4 28 9 19

6 8 20 37 21 38 9 13 152 56 97

3 1 2 5 1 3 2 2 19 8 11

2 4 13 23 12 26 2 6 88 29 59

2 6 10 22 8 29 2 4 83 22 61

4 2 4 16 4 15 2 7 54 14 40

2 0 1 3 0 3 1 4 14 4 10

20 21 54 116 49 119 19 40 438 142 297

Note: In every age group and in all but two categories specialist services were preferred by families.

Page 19


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

9. Barriers to Accessing Short Break Activities The rural nature of Dorset and the geographical spread of services means that many families can encounter barriers when trying to access activities. Staff training, safety and welfare issues are also a major concern for parents particularly when leaving younger children or those with more complex needs. Parental responses to the section on barriers indicated the following numbers encountering the difficulties listed when trying to access activities: Table Fifteen

Barriers to Accessing Activities 1.

2.

5.

7.

8.

9.

Not permitted by organiser

Building not accessible

27

23

24

9

Chart Five

Building not accessible 2% Not permitted by organiser 4% Lack of appropriate equipment 4%

Barriers to Accessing Activities Worries about safety and welfare. 22%

Other 11%

Not able to get there 5% Inconvenient times 8% Too far to travel 12%

Costs too much 13%

Page 20

Staff not sufficiently trained. 19%

10. Other

Lack of appropriate equipment

43

6. Not able to get there

68

Inconvenient times

75

4. Too far to travel

Staff not sufficiently trained. 104

Costs too much

Worries about safety and welfare. 124

3.

62


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

The most frequently encountered barrier revealed is “worries about safety and welfare” (124). Travel is always an issue for families in rural Dorset and the survey asked specific questions about this in more detail. See section 17 (Transport issues) below. Examples of some other additional further barriers specifically listed by parents included: “Child is not able to cope with certain situations” “I don’t know about activities that are suitable” “Nothing local” A full list of additional barriers given by parents is contained in Appendix C.

Note: For Short Break services to offer services to a larger group of children they need to be aware of the major factor why families are not using Short Break services. Clarity around the skills that staff have and the training available to staff, alongside reassurances around safety would significantly increase opportunities for families. Reducing the cost of services would also encourage more people to access services.

Page 21


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

10. Services that are currently in use. Not all respondents to the survey currently use Short Break services. The reasons for this vary. Of those who replied to this section of the survey the most common form of service currently used was ‘Holiday Play Schemes’. Table Fourteen

Short Break Service currently used

No.

%

Holiday play scheme

81

26.0%

Overnight stay in residential unit/hospice

35

11.3%

Supported play outside of home

30

9.6%

Daytime stay in home with support

26

8.4%

Leisure activities in the community

22

7.1%

Daytime stay in carers home

22

7.1%

Saturday club

18

5.8%

Other

17

5.5%

Overnight stay in carers home

14

4.5%

After school club

12

3.9%

Day trips for child'

11

3.5%

Daytime stay in hospice

7

2.3%

Holidays for whole family

5

1.6%

Day trips for family

5

1.6%

Holidays for the child

3

1.0%

Befriending/buddying scheme

3

1.0%

311

100

Note: The results from this section were surprising. The number of young people that receive residential care in Dorset is comparatively low, yet 11% of respondents suggested they were using this type of service. The buddying scheme wasn’t in operation when the survey took place and yet some people suggested they were using this service. The inconsistency may relate to some people indicating the services they would like rather than what they receive

Page 22


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

11. Services that are requested. Parents were then asked which of these services they might want in the future. Table Fifteen

Currently Used

Requested Future Use

Increase

Holiday play scheme

81

79

-2

Overnight stay in residential unit/hospice

35

45

10

Supported play outside of home

30

54

24

Daytime stay in home with support

26

29

3

Leisure activities in the community

22

58

36

Daytime stay in carers home

22

27

5

Saturday club

18

58

40

Other

17

3

-14

Overnight stay in carers home

14

32

18

After school club

12

50

38

Day trips for child'

11

68

57

Daytime stay in hospice

7

7

0

Holidays for whole family

5

48

43

Day trips for family

5

42

37

Holidays for the child

3

54

51

Befriending/buddying scheme

3

48

45

311

702

391

Short Break Service

Page 23


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Note: The replies show that given the opportunity, the pattern of Short Break usage might change. For example, only 3 replies showed current use of a befriending scheme but 48 parents would like to use such a service. Another example is ‘day trips for the child’ where current use is 11 but 68 parents would like to use such a service. The table below indicates in the No. column the numbers of parents who would in the future like to use the services listed and these are set out in order. The next two columns show the difference in numbers between those currently using these breaks and those who would like to make use of them in the future. Holiday play schemes are still the main priority followed by day trips for the child and then leisure activities in the community.

Table Sixteen

Short Break Service Holiday play scheme

Position 1

Day trips for child'

Up 9

Leisure activities in the community

Up 2

Saturday club

Up 3

Holidays for the child

Up 10

Supported play outside of home

Down 3

After school club

Up 3

Holidays for whole family

Up 5

Befriending/buddying scheme

Up 7

Overnight stay in residential unit/hospice Day trips for family

Down 8 Up 3

Overnight stay in carers home

Down 3

Daytime stay in home with support

Down 9

Daytime stay in carers home

Down 8

Daytime stay in hospice

Down 3

Other

Down 8

Note: The tables above indicate that more families would choose to have more frequent Short Breaks that are not necessarily overnight care if these breaks were provided safely with trained staff.

Page 24


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

12. Satisfaction. Providers often indicate that their services are well received and enjoyed. Most of the feedback though is anecdotal. It was important to find out if parents are on the whole, happy with the services they are currently able to access. Table Seventeen

Overall satisfaction level

No.

%

Very satisfied

27

19

Fairly satisfied

46

32

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

23

16

Very dissatisfied

19

13

Fairly dissatisfied

14

10

Not sure/don’t know

15

10

144

100

Not all respondents currently receive Short Breaks but of those that do, levels of satisfaction were indicated in the following proportions: Chart Six

Overall levels of satisfaction with Short Breaks currently being offered

Not sure or don’t know 10%

Very satisfied 19%

Fairly dissatisfied 10%

Very dissatisfied 13%

Fairly satisfied 32% Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 16%

Page 25


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Note: Although not all the respondents received Short Break services most of those people that did were satisfied. The percentage of people who expressed dissatisfaction with Short Break services is concerning with a quarter of all recipients dissatisfied.

To expand upon the replies about satisfaction levels, parents were asked why they were satisfied or dissatisfied and how they would change things. A large number of comments were made (130 replies)to this section including responses such as: “Most activities are too far away or local activities do not have sufficient support; Short Break(2 hours) is not worth the travel time; more days spread out over the summer holidays so I can spend time with my other children”. And “There is a good variety – art, sport, physical, craft; Direct payments are working well, friendly and supportive helpers”. The full list of replies is contained in Appendix D

Note: It is important that parents continue to provide feedback on the services they receive and whether they fulfil the needs of children and families. This will help ensure available funding goes to the right providers and that the providers also respond to families’ comments and improve or change their provision where necessary. Where DCC are funding opportunities they already have a monitoring process in place and parents are encouraged to complete all feedback forms they receive as fully as possible. It is hoped that opportunity for additional feedback will be available via the DPCC website later in the year when parents can post comments on the website. This provision is also hoped to extend to the Dorset Family Information Service website with a feedback section later in the year.

Page 26


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

13. Ideas for new Short Break opportunities. Parents were asked what new service they would like to set up if they could start a new Short Break service in Dorset. Replies varied considerably and indicated the breadth of individual ideas about useful Short Break opportunities for the future. Examples of ideas include: “A wing needs to be built at Wyvern for overnights so all the facilities in the school can be used”. “Better facilities for older kids”. “A co-ordinated one stop shop for Short Break opportunities”. “Longer, more frequent breaks in school holidays”. The full list of suggestions made by parents is set out in Appendix E

Note: Many of the ideas for new Short Break opportunities from parents and carers were based on increasing the frequency of what is currently being offered. Other ideas, (like the one about Wyvern School above), confirmed that parents and carers will choose Short Break providers when they have the security that their child is safe and the staff properly trained. The list of ideas for new types of Short Breaks provided by parents and carers (in Appendix E) are diverse and require full consideration by the Aiming High Project Team.

Page 27


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

14. Receiving information about Short Breaks. Is there enough information? It is important that information about available Short Break services reaches families in a timely and useful format. Lack of sufficient information is one of the frequent areas of concern or dissatisfaction raised by parents. Lack of information leads to families: •

Being unaware of available opportunities

Feeling that there are no opportunities, or insufficient opportunities available

Being annoyed or frustrated when they find out too late

Table Eighteen

Chart Seven

No “Do you feel that you receive enough information about available Short Breaks and how you can access them?”

Yes

Not sure

140

23

35

70%

12%

18%

Do you receive enough information?

Not sure 18% Yes 12%

No 70%

Appendix H contains a list of additional information and suggestions from parents and carers.

Note: The lack of available information was reflected in the survey results. When asked, 70% of parents indicated they feel that they don’t receive enough information about Short Breaks or how to access them. Parents and carers were particularly keen on having a single source of information. To address this issue an online directory has been made available for Short Breaks which is regularly updated and circulated to schools, children’s centres and professionals. In the longer term, the pan Dorset online resource of the Family Information Services and the developments by DPCC of their website should provide parents with easy, reliable access to up to date information. This should be available in 2010.

Page 28


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

How information should be distributed Receiving information One of the challenges is finding the most suitable means of regular communication that meets the needs of families. Where additional information was wanted, there was a spread of responses for methods of receiving that information. The most popular methods chosen were by post (113) and booklet or leaflet (109). The full list of delivery methods and numbers of responses are indicated below: Table Nineteen

Method

No.

%

Post

113

22.07%

Booklets/ leaflets

109

21.29%

Newsletters

82

16.02%

Email

70

13.67%

Website

62

12.11%

Face-to-face

39

7.62%

Telephone

29

5.66%

Other

8

1.56%

512 Other methods suggested by parents were: “through school letters” “delivered by key workers” “from a social worker who should know the family and what their experiences are.” “a mention on the local radio”

Note: The responses showed that parents and carers want to have information about services and they want it as something physical they can hold and look at. When information is distributed in the future a variety of methods will need to be used so that everyone is satisfied.

Page 29


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

15. Transport. The rural nature of Dorset and the spread of facilities means that time taken in transport to and from events can dramatically reduce the available time left for parents to enjoy a break opportunity themselves. This is particularly the case when the break event only lasts for a couple of hours. Some parents do not have their own transport or cannot drive and need to rely upon school transport, taxis and public transport where available. 167 survey respondents did not reply to this section. Of those who replied, 43 said they needed transport to be provided to enable their child to access breaks. Of those needing transport, 18 didn’t know how to access it and 17 felt that there was insufficient transport available or provided. There were a range of suggestions made for improvements to transport including: •

Parents and carers being informed about availability

The school transport being available for transport to and from opportunities

Having adequately trained transport staff

Having wheelchair accessible vehicles.

A full list of suggestions received is included in Appendix I

Note: The lack of response in this area was surprising. Dorset is a large rural county and some people have to travel to activities on a regular basis. The Aiming High Project Team will be looking at the responses in Appendix I.

Page 30


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

16. New Short Break Opportunities. What activities are wanted Knowing what types of Short Break opportunities are wanted by children and families is essential if opportunities are to be improved and the available range increased. So, while most families express a want for more breaks, details are needed of the exact types of activity that children want to take part in during those breaks. Without this information there is a risk that providers may continue to arrange activities that they feel are suitable or which they are able to easily provide, without necessarily taking into account families specific requirements. The survey provided a selection of activity examples broken down into 5 categories: •

Sporting Activities

Arts and Crafts

Group Activities

Trips out

Other

Families were asked to tick as many types of activity as they felt were appropriate for them and which their child would enjoy doing. The results below have been sorted into numbers of response for each category. Table Twenty

Sporting Activities Trampolining

Sailing

Football

Tennis

Ice Skating or Inline skating

Rock Climbing

Archery

Basketball

Rounders

Badminton

Cricket

Scuba Diving

Fencing

Swimming 167

126

71

62

50

42

40

40

34

33

32

23

20

17

22.1

16.6

9.4

8.2

6.6

5.5

5.3

5.3

4.5

4.4

4.2

3.0

2.6

2.2

Page 31

%


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Table Twenty One

Arts & Crafts Art/painting

Pottery

Photography

Other arts and crafts

63

43

37

38.6

27.0

18.5

15.9

%

90

Table Twenty Two

Group Activities

Horse riding

Ten Pin Bowling/Skittles

Cookery

Musical workshops

Activity weekends away

Dance

Drama/singing

Local Youth Clubs

Local clubs with support e.g. Brownies/scouts

Quasar Laser

Fishing

Educational events e.g. filming

114

101

94

87

69

67

58

57

36

32

25 15.1

13.1

11.6

10.8

10.0

7.9

7.7

6.7

6.5

4.1

3.7

2.9

Table Twenty Three

Other Activities

Family fun events

Playschemes

Overnight breaks

Activities for under fives

104

90

4

15.1

13.1

11.6

10.8

Page 32

%

111

%

132


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Table Twenty Four

Trips Out Zoos

Cinema

Cafes/Pizza Bars etc

Parks/Gardens

Music Events

Theatre visits

Disco/Dance clubs

Science centres

Shopping trips

Football matches

Museums

Historical buildings

Pubs

Other sports events

Art/craft galleries

Cricket matches

141

105

104

101

82

74

73

55

46

44

38

29

27

26

23

15

14.3

10.7

10.6

10.3

8.3

7.5

7.4

5.6

4.7

4.5

3.9

3.0

2.7

2.6

2.3

1.5

%

Activities wanted by age group Table Twenty Five

Breakdown of activities wanted - Top ten choices by age group 0 – 5 years

6 – 10 years

11 – 15 years

15+ years

1

Swimming

17

Swimming

61

Swimming

69

Trips to zoos

21

2

Trips to zoos

15

Trips to zoos

55

Trampolining

55

Trips to cafes, pizza bars etc

21

3

Horse riding

12

Horse riding

50

Ten pin bowling/ skittles

53

Swimming

20

4

Dance

11

Family fun events

49

Horse riding

52

Ten pin bowling/ skittles

19

5

Play schemes

11

Trampolining

48

Trips to cinema

51

Horse riding

18

6

Art/Painting

10

Play schemes

48

Trips to zoos

50

7

Family fun events

10

Trips to parks/gardens

41

Trips cafes, pizza bars

46

8

Trampolining

9

Cookery

39

Overnight breaks

44

9

Art/painting

37

Sailing

43

Theatre visits

17

9

Ten pin bowling

34

Activity weekends away

42

Activity weekends away

15

9 10

Musical workshops Trips cafes/pizza bars etc

Page 33

Trips to cinema Musical workshops Trips to musical events

18 17 17


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Note: When providing a Short Break for parents and carers it is essential that the young person has an activity that is enjoyable and fun. To satisfy the majority of young people it appears the ideal activity would be swimming and trampolining followed by some art and painting. In the afternoon some horse riding and ten pin bowling with a trip to the cinema in the evening and a visit to the zoo the next day. This ideal Short Break combination changes as the young person becomes older and prefers more mature activities. However, swimming continues as the favourite activity at all ages. Verbal parent feedback has indicated that sometimes families just want simple play activities and not overly complex or elaborate events.

Activities wanted by location Table Twenty Six

Christchurch

West Dorset

East Dorset

Weymouth + Portland

Purbeck

North Dorset

Swimming

17

33

38

25

9

45

Trampolining

17

27

28

18

6

29

Sailing

9

11

21

13

6

10

Football

8

10

17

7

3

16

Tennis

10

8

11

6

2

13

Ice Skating or Inline skating

7

8

15

1

1

10

Archery

7

8

11

4

1

9

Rock Climbing

6

7

12

5

4

6

Basketball

7

5

7

3

3

8

Rounders

8

6

6

4

2

7

Badminton

7

7

5

5

1

7

Cricket

3

6

5

2

1

6

Scuba Diving

5

3

7

0

0

5

Fencing

3

5

5

1

1

2

Sporting Activities

Page 34


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Table Twenty Six (continued)

Christchurch

West Dorset

East Dorset

Weymouth + Portland

Purbeck

North Dorset

Art/painting

12

14

19

17

4

24

Pottery

10

8

17

9

4

15

Other arts and crafts

3

4

12

5

2

11

Photography

5

10

12

8

1

7

Horse riding

11

25

33

22

5

29

Ten Pin Bowling/Skittles

15

21

27

17

5

28

Cookery

14

16

23

20

7

21

Musical workshops

8

19

18

18

2

26

Activity weekends away

13

13

26

10

5

19

Dance

7

13

15

13

4

17

Drama/singing

5

10

19

12

5

16

Local Youth Clubs

5

11

15

11

5

15

Local clubs with support e.g. Brownies/scouts

7

5

20

6

1

13

Quasar Laser

8

4

9

4

11

6

Fishing

4

6

10

2

2

12

Educational events e.g. filming

1

7

8

1

5

6

Arts & Crafts

Group Activities

Page 35


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Table Twenty Six (Continued)

Christchurch

West Dorset

East Dorset

Weymouth + Portland

Purbeck

North Dorset

Zoos

15

19

35

21

10

40

Parks/Gardens

8

17

26

17

4

28

Cinema

10

19

27

16

6

27

Cafes/Pizza Bars etc

11

18

24

16

6

29

Music Events

8

12

22

13

6

21

Theatre visits

6

10

23

10

6

18

Disco/Dance clubs

8

13

19

13

5

15

Science centres

9

3

18

8

1

16

Shopping trips

3

7

12

11

3

10

Football matches

4

8

11

4

3

13

Museums

5

1

12

3

1

16

Pubs

0

4

8

5

2

8

Historical buildings

4

1

6

3

1

14

Other sports events

3

4

6

4

1

8

Art/craft galleries

3

2

6

1

1

10

Cricket matches

1

2

5

2

0

5

Trips out

Sorting the activities wanted by locality gives an indication of the variety of needs spread across Dorset and pockets of particular interest or demand. The tables above show this breakdown in terms of numbers per locality for each specific activity. They are not grouped in any particular order other than highlighting the two most popular choices at the top of each list

Page 36


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Overall, the two most popular activities in each category were: Table Twenty Seven

Ist place

2nd place

Swimming

Trampolining

Arts and Crafts

Art/painting

Pottery

Group Activities

Horse riding

Tenpin bowling/skittles

Zoos

Cinema

Family fun events

Playschemes

Category Sporting Activities

Trips out Other

Other activities listed by parents The survey form could not list all possible activity options, so parents were asked to write down any other specific activities which their child might like to take part in. Replies varied from general (“anything musical” or “anything that’s fun with other children of his ability”) to more specific ideas including boxing, life skills, group cycling and clay pigeon shooting. A full list of the suggestions received is contained in Appendix J

Note: Dividing the types of preferred activities according to the areas of Dorset showed that there was a great deal of consistency. This data will be useful if an organisation wants to set up a club for young people in an area and want to know the level of interest for the activity.

Page 37


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

17. Other comments Other comments Any survey form risks being limited in not allowing comments or suggestions unless they fall within specific categories. To allow for more effective feedback the survey asked for respondents to add any other comments or suggestions about Short Breaks on a separate sheet of paper. These comments are being analysed by the Aiming High Team.

Page 38


18. Appendices Appendix A – ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK FROM DORSET PARENT-CARER COUNCIL LAUNCH EVENTS DPCC held four launch events in November 2009. Theses were at: •

Wyvern School, Weymouth

Yewstock School, Sturminster Newton

Allenbourn School, Wareham

Youth Centre, Bridport


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix B – ADDITIONAL IMPAIRMENTS LISTED BY PARENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ADHD Angelman Syndrome Attachment Difficulties Cerebral Palsy Coeliac Disease Development Coordination Disorder Diabetes Downs Syndrome Dysphasia Epilepsy Fragile X Syndrome Gastrostomy Fed Global Development Delay Hydrocephalus Microcephaly Mobility

Page 40

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

No Speech Limited Sign Language Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Poor Sleep Pattern Prader-Willi syndrome Rett Syndrome Sensory processing disorder Severe LD and Autism Sleep disorder and language difficulties Sotos Syndrome Speech delay Stammer Unique chromosome disorder Unknown genetic syndrome Waiting for tests to come back


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix C – OTHER BARRIERS TO ACCESSING ACTIVITIES 

Activities just don’t exist for disabled, sports etc.



Can be too boisterous/noisy.



Challenging behaviour.



Child has high level of anxiety.



Child not able to cope with certain situations.



Child not keen to participate.



Child's autistic traits hinder new activities.



Not enough staff.



Not understanding the needs of my child on a personal level.



Not very informed of activities during the summer break.



Occupying my two other children at the same time.



Play schemes are for 6-18 year olds.



Our child is too young.



Equipment/grounds not suitable for wheelchair or user.

So far we cannot get funding for Short Breaks.



We are exhausted help us please.



Finds new venues/people stressful.





Like to do the same things.

Short Breaks for the whole day with trips out is what we need (not activities).



Sensory problems. Don’t know about activities that are suitable.





Services for children like mine are not available.

Lack of appropriate clubs.





The whole effort of trying to sort it out.



Lack of availability.





Lack of confidence from child.

Times of things clashing with medication time’s staff not able to administer it.



Lack of opportunities.



Needs one to one at all times to ensure safety.



Too noisy - he can’t tolerate shouting/raised voices/crying etc.



New to area and not sure what's available.



Too many well meaning amateurs and not enough trained staff.



No local Short Break opportunities.



Unable to follow group rules even with 1:1 support.



Page 41


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix D – WHY PARENTS ARE SATISFIED OR DISSATISFIED WITH SHORT BREAK SERVICES OFFERED Dissatisfied

Satisfied

2 hour slots don’t really give you enough time away especially if you have to travel to the venue.

They sometimes talk down to or patronize him.

The siblings are not included.

Any break is better than nothing.

The only difficulty is the activities are as far away as Weymouth which is too far to travel for two hours when I have other children to cater for as well.

There is a good variety - art, sport, physical and craft.

1:1 help is available if necessary.

Helpers are friendly and supportive.

I have had 3 assessments for Short Breaks over 4 years, only now have we finally been granted some hours using direct payments.

Artz+ and Sportz+ are well organised with good staffing ratios.

As far as I know I am not entitled to Short Breaks through social care but my child does access the Artz+ activities.

Apart from YMCA play scheme in the summer holidays there's nothing else local for special needs children.

As my son is almost 18 I don’t know what is yet available to him as I have not been offered Short Breaks.

My son is in a setting with other children and he has made friendships.

Only been helped by SureStart and helping to fund one session carer at Oscars I have to pay a fee of £5.

My son knows and trusts his care assistants. That gives me confidence in the care he receives.

Both services we get (Digby court and Acorn club) are excellent, if we could change anything it would be to have more of these services.

You cannot have exactly the dates/times that you want.

Our daughter cannot go out when others are arriving at the residential unit even though she has full funding 1:1 and 2:1 in community because they say they need extra staff there for handovers and ‘people settling’.

Increased weekend Short Breaks and more days on the play scheme.

The worker I have for my child listens to us and gives the firm boundaries my child needs.

Dorchester is too far to travel for our son.

Have only been able to access 2 sessions with Artz+ and Sportz + as this was first year any were in Purbeck.

Child is very happy using residential unit, it has been his second home for some years & this will help him when he goes on to adult residential services in four years time.

Most activities are too far away or local activities do not have sufficient support.

Coping with Chaos during the holidays is excellent it provides small groups and one to one supervision.

We do not qualify for direct payments.

Coping with Chaos have made a huge difference to our holidays and we would be lost without them.

Page 42


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix D – continued WHY PARENTS ARE SATISFIED OR DISSATISFIED WITH SHORT BREAK SERVICES OFFERED Dissatisfied

Satisfied

More hours would be useful to give me longer to spend with my other daughter and give me a break.

I still do not know when or where he goes out with the carers there are no dates put in place. So we cannot make plans. I also do not know anything about an after school club.

Finding a babysitter that could cope is a problem.

Creekmoor YC should be fun but now seems to have remit to teach independent living skills.

I have had to battle to get any type of support as although my son has severe challenging behaviour he does not have SLD he doesn’t come under Disabled Children Social Services. He did until the criteria changed.

My son goes to the home of a shared carer every few weeks on a Saturday day time. Unfortunately his complex needs have been so bad these last few months that he has barely been. We desperately need a service that will provide us breaks when his health is poor.

The breaks we have are good but insufficient.

The only improvement would be more days spread out over the summer holidays so I can spend time with my other children.

Page 43

Artz + we used for the first time this summer holiday – fantastic.

Digby Court is amazing.

Direct Payments are working well.

I am satisfied with the weekly breaks I receive.

I am very pleased with the direct payments Short Breaks we receive as I can relax knowing my son is happy and safe with his carer who knows him very well.

It has taken several years for my son to 'cope' with The Cherries. He is happy there, will now eat food at tea visits and is able to play in an outdoor environment in safety.

The play scheme at Wyvern School is just the right amount of time for me and my child; he thoroughly enjoys the activities laid on.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix E – SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF SHORT BREAK SERVICES BY PARENTS •

A co-ordinated one stop shop for Short Break opportunities.

Activities need to be easy to access, flexible and safe.

A greater range of Short Breaks need to be offered.

A 'sunsport' type facility accessible to all children regardless of disability and guaranteed support for them to participate.

A time frame, from when discussed to places being offered.

A wing needs to be built at Wyvern for overnights so all the facilities in the school can be used. It would be much nicer than the cherries and the only obvious choice - Do it.

After school clubs and Home carers for overnight breaks.

Investment in training is long overdue in the area of Short Breaks.

At present several people appear to monopolise the Cherries i.e with a minimum of two residential weekend/midweek stays per month. This limits the opportunities available.

Better facilities for older kids and more transition to adult services information for other families to access the facility.

When breaks are requested there are no spaces.

Better staffed and to have more smaller homes, or allowing parents to get through the 'criteria system' for individual budgets with much more ease. More activities directed at severely disabled children.

Page 44

I would like to see special schools opened during the holidays for play schemes because the facilities are all in place.

I’d like to see more opportunities for Short Breaks using befriending schemes so my child had more local friends.

If places are cut at The Cherries, there needs to be more specialist provision somewhere else.

Improved information about what is out and to be more regular during the holidays. After school my son is too tired, weekends are not a problem but the holidays are when a break is really needed.

improvements on how to access over night breaks (regular) for my son -no one seems to know of any all I have been offered 4 years ago was an untrained worker to come to my home and tell me how to look after my son (I am a specialist nurse with a degree).

It would be good to have some available that are suitable for age and ability.

Keep up the momentum that is currently being generated. Do not allow programme to vanish once initial funding ends. Ensure content/age range continues to rise with the increasing ages of the children.

Longer breaks in school holidays and more frequent.

Made available to everyone not just those at special schools. Then my son and I would have been helped by them long before he was 18.

More available for families. We currently get one weekend a month at Digby Court. Would like this increased so we could function as a normal family more often.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix E – continued SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF SHORT BREAK SERVICES BY PARENTS •

Both Artz+ and Chaos are funding dependant and thus cannot be guaranteed to be available.

The Cherries would be better if a greater range of needs were catered for i.e moderate-complex so that there is a good peer group.

Chance for occasional overnight breaks.

Choice, more hours and comprehensive service across all of county as currently patchy.

Clarity on who is dealing with our case and not feeling as though the 'buck' is being passed from one department to another.

More breaks for the whole family - my child does not want to be sent off by himself at the moment - perhaps he might when he is older if he gains confidence.

More choice and variety of residential provision.

Units with daytime activities appropriate for individual service users and staff trained to deal with individuals appropriately.

Even if parents cope on the surface they may (and I know) not be coping as well as it seems.

More clubs close to Dorchester, including cycle training/sessions for 12 + at gym or St Osmund's.

More directed at older teenagers with severe learning difficulties.

Cost of day trips with own carer.

Count me in scheme extended to older children and available to support young people at activities such as scouts.

Each case should be assessed individually. I have no family support and a very challenging child yet I get no Short Breaks - children I know who are placid with support network get breaks. It doesn’t seem fair.

More flexibility and access. List of available Short Break carers. Less paperwork!

Things to happen on a shorter time frame and children not to slip through the net.

Breaks to be more than simply childminding.

Guaranteed places at weekends and holidays in a suitable residential unit or hospice.

More general outside activities and leisure centres being able to take them without it being an issue.

More homes - currently have only 4 hours per month in term time and 1 day a week in holiday time.

More information about what is available.

More local to Purbeck. Longer - 2 hours is not long enough. Regular holiday activities - at least 1 day a week.

More of them and for them to be in the whole of the county (Dorset). North Dorset seems to miss out.

More opportunities for disabled children

Help available when it is needed without families having to be humiliated into begging letters explaining of threatened suicide and marriage break-up - yes this is the level we were allowed to get to before we were allowed to get to before anyone listened. More holiday play schemes, my son has attended the one at his school (Montacute) and he really enjoyed the scheme and benefited from the familiar

Page 45


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

faces and surroundings.

and their siblings. Special schools which are equipped should offer more help.

Appendix E – continued SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF SHORT BREAK SERVICES BY PARENTS •

Currently, I am unable to find a holiday club with 1:1 help for special needs children where the 1:1 worker is fully trained in the child's disability.

I think people should be assessed on the needs of the child. My son is severely disabled with complex health needs. It • breaks my heart to see other families having overnight and weekend breaks yet their children are healthy and ablebodied. We are exhausted. • I want a centre where our children can go for day time breaks (10-5pm) in the holidays as well as the term time. This will enable parents and siblings to have • quality time and rest together. Those centres will have trained staff.

I would like it to be easier to access Short Breaks. Also more for siblings of the child who is disabled.

I would like my child to be able to access a residential unit nearer to home and not as far as Weymouth.

I would like to see communication with parents to inform them of activities which are available. In the past I have relied on other mums to tell me of day trips and activities which are suitable.

My son attends the Wessex lodge at Portfield School, which I am very satisfied with and they are always improving their services.

Not to have to worry that they are going to take Short Breaks away.

Overnight hospice stays.

Perhaps concessions for children who have a disability. A scheme similar to Poole’s access to leisure scheme.

Page 46

More play schemes for children with disabilities and play schemes and activities cater for children over 5 years old with disabilities. A better explanation of how Short Breaks work, e.g. payments to care for a child with disabilities, turn to an accessible. More staff training in behavioural management and signing. Wider range of activities available e.g. swimming. More up to date play equipment both inside and outside. More opportunities for family members & staff to meet. A separate chill out/time out room. More weekend breaks including overnight allowing families to spend 'normal' time together with other children without the constraints of a disabled child. While that child is enjoying their time as well in a suitable environment.

SureStart 'count me in' funding should support standard placement fee also even extend it to sports clubs e.g. swimming. Increase frequency and availability of existing services.

More opportunities which involves siblings. Saturday clubs – possibly involving sport.

The option of a residential unit 'the Cherries, or similar' should be more available. We want professional care provided by people who are trained and supported not well meaning amateurs who can opt out when they find situations too challenging.

There needs to be a key person/social worker who contacts the carers first and informs them of all the options available to them. As a carer/parent, I do not have a social worker and do not know where to turn.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix E – continued SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF SHORT BREAK SERVICES BY PARENTS •

Personal Centred Planning (ring any bells?!) one service cannot provide for the needs and behaviours. The children are as individual as any other person when you take away their 'labels'. Be open minded and forward thinking.

Places available during school holidays that provide positive experiences. Allows my son in a wheelchair to get involved.

Private costs to be made reasonable.

Provide Short Breaks during the long summer break.

Significantly reduce direct payments paperwork/admin. Ensure Direct payments rules are applied consistently across Dorset. Extend existing 'Coping with Chaos' holiday scheme.

Support offered to all families with a disabled child (prevention rather than cure) assessment should be by other agency and not so onerous.

Page 47

After school help/clubs specialising in disabled children. More information on what is available, what our child is entitled to.

Variety, higher levels of skills and understanding in general staff.

We do not see any requirement to change the service that we use, it has worked perfectly well for 10 years, which we have used it and do not see why something that works should be changed for something that may not.

Would like a much fairer direct payment assessment. I have a very complex child who goes to a special school and was made to feel as if I was asking for the world (one session per week in school holidays).

Transparent criteria guidelines. Consistent and easy direct payments system.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix F – WHY FAMILIES MAY ARE NOT USING SHORT BREAK SERVICES AT THE MOMENT •

Able to take breaks without outside support, i.e use other family members to help.

Any school activities are always a problem as the school is to far away and I have other children at home.

At the moment I do not feel my child is ready for over night but he has had someone take him out, we have not seen them though since the summer this means me and my family cannot make plans.

My son and I have never been told about any of these services. He went to a mainstream school and tried college until he was 18. Only just started at a post 16 unit for autistic young people (only for 1 year) missed out on a lot of opportunities and services.

My son is high level registered with disability level allowance on mobility and personal care etc, but I was told he wasn’t bad/severe enough for me to need Short Breaks.

Because although it has been promised, social services has still not even allocated a social worker so are therefore not presumably even trying to match my daughter to a suitable carer.

My daughter has only recently been statemented and has only just been diagnosed although we've had severe problems for 2 + years in the school environment.

Believe he gets enough breaks by going on school breaks. In addition he has just started working at weekend.

Boys are too young or can’t take both or no spaces. Lots of Excuses!

Can only use Chaos or Artz + as my child gets no funding. Even though his consultant, GP and Teacher agree that we both need a break. Particularly in the mornings, given up asking.

Social services – Short Breaks are very erratic (entitled to 2 hours per week) had none all of September for example. As my son is able bodied not severely disabled doesn’t fall into the bracket of 'high need' but just as challenging - no service available.

Some services I can’t access due to the distance, lack of funding at home and feasibility due to siblings other activities.

The cherries was not thought to be appropriate for my son as it was not autism-specific enough, nor had the appropriate degree of sensory input he requires to remain calm.

The majority of holiday activities for disabled children are not appropriate for my son who cannot manage busy environment.

Unsure how to access this help, didn’t know about this range of help available, for my son whose needs are within the higher end of moderate learning disabilities, thought it was for more physically and mentally disabled

Children’s disabilities vary greatly. His problems are mainly communication. I feel breaks services should be arranged by levels of need and not all children lumped together.

Did not think I was entitled, or ever offered any help.

Didn’t qualify for funding.

Do not feel that our child needs a break from us or us from his; going to school is enough of a Short Break.

Do not qualify for Direct Payments. Artz and Sportz have only come to Purbeck

Page 48


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

twice. Other venues are too far away for just 2 hours.

children.

Appendix F – continued WHY FAMILIES MAY ARE NOT USING SHORT BREAK SERVICES AT THE MOMENT •

Don’t try and re hash the old. Be innovative and listen to the needs of families. Find it difficult to trust handing care over to someone who does not know my child's particular problems.

After school activities or holidays they are too expensive.

Used to attend YMCA club but disabilities team stopped funding it.

School holiday activities only for 2 hours. Its too short for me so I don’t book any.

Have found it difficult to obtain information as don’t have a social worker.

We do not get any Short Breaks and do not have a social worker for our son. We do not meet the criteria.

Have not heard of it until I got this questionnaire.

Haven’t been advised by any. Gave up trying to get Short Breaks when my son was younger (none available).

I do not believe we are entitled. We currently cope quite well - but envisage needing help in the future.

I did apply via social services disabled children but we didn’t tick all the boxes and no advice was given to us for alternatives, we had to find out what was available.

I do use chaos and he went to 2 YMCA sessions but I am not sure of the quality of care he would get at the Artz+ and Sports+ and play sessions are difficult as he doesn’t engage well with activities.

I have direct payments but cannot get a carer.

Just moved to the area from XXX, never had a Short Break.

My child goes to his dad’s house every other weekend. The only time I need a break is in the summer holidays and maybe Easter holidays.

I don’t know about this I have managed to use count me in for 1:1 in one Ofsted holiday registered play scheme, but I would like to access other activities in the community.

I feel there are children who need the places more than my child.

I feel that as a family I like to keep us together, as this has worked very well over the years.

Page 49


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix G – PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW SHORT BREAK SERVICES •

A buddy scheme.

A carer who would come to your home and look after the children over night. Also help with going to brownies.

A centre of fun activities where children could make new friends, do arts and crafts as well as sport activities, singing and drama to build up confidence.

A club where my child could mix with his peers and interact with children that they know in a relaxed environment i.e - after school club or Saturday club.

Local fun/activity weekends for the children allowing parents and siblings time out, and sport e.g. swimming, cycling, table tennis, basketball, dodge ball, netball, running

Longer sessions, help to support children in their local clubs, holidays overnight for children. Also trying to link up disabled children with other disabled children in the community, maybe one carer taking 2 children out together to help with friendship

Maintain the Cherries current provision, additional holiday breaks such as the YMCA programme. Offer parents the option of purchasing additional provision from the above.

A half way house for children between Children's Services and Adult Services.

A kind of drop in centre for special needs children, so parents could go shopping • etc for couple of hours maybe with a days notice. In particular at weekends.

A new build residential unit with en suite rooms, providing an opportunity of weekend/weekday/holiday stays for disabled children which is adequately staffed. Various trips and outings arranged, onsite pool, sensory room and swings. A new day care centre specifically for weekend and school holidays, provision with the same level of security and trained staff A new service would contain overnight, mid week and weekend stays complimented by Daycare supported play outside the home when not in overnight care during weekends and especially school holidays. A once or twice weekly activity for autism/ Aspergers, made available to all autistic people (e.g. mainstream, special schools, out of school pupils, nonschooled pupils and home tutored) it could be at various venues and not always same activity

Page 50

Making it accessible to children with special needs, after school activities e.g. swimming and music lessons with 1:1 help if needed

More carers to take a young person out

More Feedback Fun

More information needed

More places for breaks (if we want to go on holidays/weekend breaks) in hostels/residential units

More Short Breaks i.e weekend/overnights in carers home.

My daughter gets a support worker to sometimes take her out

Offering an overnight facility especially weekends

One that would be fully inclusive but staff are trained to understand and manage the behaviours of all the children.

Perhaps something catering for more specific age groups - I sometimes worry that there wont be children of a similar age to interact with. My child would love a trip to the theatre or a show so those


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

sorts of events would definitely appeal.

On the coast, Poole etc, plenty of room and fresh air.

Appendix G – continued PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW SHORT BREAK SERVICES •

A place where my child can be with his school friends - people he knows and trusts and communicates with.

A play scheme/activity based scheme in East Dorset with a variety of leisure opportunities.

A positive youth club for disabled but can open to the family members with trained staff and organised events. A place where you could leave your child in safe care if necessary for a break.

A service committed to finding and funding the needs of each individual 'service user' providing everything from babysitting services to weekend and full week breaks as necessary. A service like Digby Court, but that my daughter could go to from school on a Friday and go back to school on a Monday so that we had a total break. Any residential place with trained medical staff. But small enough for my daughter to be happy because she doesn’t like big groups.

A service that would include the entire family if that was what people wanted as well as the individual child.

A small home country setting: a dedicated regular team of staff: Much more choice of activities, rather than have carers just following young person around a few rooms all day.

Probably after school clubs, sporting types available for epileptic children.

Regular activities for small groups (<6) of children so that they can get to know staff/other kids. Quiet, nervous, ASD kids need familiarity.

Regular breaks that could include an over night so we could take our other family away.

Regular holiday club within a 30 minute drive. Various activities available at same venue.

Regular range of different sporting/art activities and cookery days.

Regular school holiday clubs based at the school where it is a secure familiar environment.

School holiday clubs that have qualified 1:1’s and are sympathetic to my sons needs and are reasonably priced as I'm on benefits. Or help towards paying them.

Significantly increase in direct payments to enable parents to take a reasonable holiday, either without the child or with the child and carer.

Small bungalow of users with similar disabilities and high staffing levels.

Small residential autism-specific unit with autism-trained staff. The ability to access daytime activities suitable for individual residents and access to outdoors with space.

A summer camp where children could go in the summer holidays for a long weekend with lots of outdoor activities • especially designed for children with high sensory needs. A Sunday/Saturday session at a sports centre with coaches to have small groups of children to learn a sport e.g. tennis, badminton, gymnastics, dancing e.g. line or folk dancing.

Page 51

Small with maybe 1 adult to 1-2 children ratio. Staff who understand the child's individual needs, with a wide range of activities. Something like Chaos at school with all the equipment but where parents can leave the children.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix G – continued PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW SHORT BREAK SERVICES •

A sunsport type facility 'play scheme' accessible by all children including those with special needs. Highly trained carers including 1.1 for all ages if required.

A unit that is staffed by paid, trained staff to provide proper professional care to children - clearly those with very challenging behaviours need priority but many children, our son included.

A universal service for all children with disabilities, but catering to specific needs. Services should include all activities, from breakfast clubs and after school clubs, to sports, crafts etc. A weekend residential service for able bodied disabled children involving lots of physical activities e.g. climbing walls, gokarting, bikes etc. Accessible swimming sessions with appropriate facilities for changing and access. With other families/carers. Not a general open session, it would be less busy then. Activities for kids giving parents a break, opportunities for parents to get together for support, maybe activities for the adults - a good outlet for stress and bonding with other parents.

Activity days when I can stay or not (as I choose) with swimming/horse riding etc.

Adventure training for the visually impaired.

An after school club with mainstream children with a provision for children to join with a disability. The club would have a higher level of staff with appropriate training.

An option for children to stay overnight or days where they are safe, happy with trained staff. Worry free day off for parents/carers to have quality time with siblings and a break to reflect and recharge batteries, a friendly home or

Page 52

Something for 10 to 15 year olds so they can hang out with main stream children and children with special needs. Maybe a youth club but with lots of people keeping an eye on them all. Dancing, singing, acting, cooking and having fun.

Something like Chaos, A Playday with staff - but for longer instead of 2 hours. Perhaps a day a week where the children can be left to have a great time and parents and other family members can use the time effectively.

Something next to his school where everyone knows him and what his day has been like - if he's been upset etc.

Something regularly available locally - in Christchurch - at weekends and in school holidays.

Something tailored to each child's needs, with exciting activities each child to have a play keyworker.

Somewhere for children to have fun and for the carers to feel happy they are being looked after by people who know what they are doing.

Somewhere my child could be left safely for a few hours/a day. With trained staff appropriate for his needs. I worry about leaving him anywhere with anyone because he has no awareness of danger and needs to be watched constantly.

Somewhere rural, Farm etc.

Somewhere that can offer a safe environment for a child who is the size of a 8/9 year old but has the limited ability of say a 1-2 year old. Every child's need is different. One person allocated to your child for play schemes/holiday clubs.

Somewhere which really involves the child and is not a babysitting service. Where the child has the chance to get involved in new/fun and safe activities.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

place.

An on-going holiday club.

Appendix G – continued PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW SHORT BREAK SERVICES •

An outward bound weekend. Kayaking, trampoling, bouncy castles, football, rugby mixed in with drumming and arts and crafts Someone use their common sense and build accommodation at Wyvern for overnight/Weekend facilities. Staff are excellent, Christ they even have a swimming pool. As well as improving organisation, it would be helpful if some of the clubs/weekend activities were available in North Dorset i.e closer to Sherborne.

Assisting in session i.e at Youth Club, life skills.

Breaks and holidays for whole family, without means testing or assessment. Families encouraged to access service if they feel it would benefit them. Stop treating families like they are stupid/criminals just because their child is challenging.

Breaks during school holidays.

Breaks for the whole family with support worker, of half a day, whole day, overnight, weekend or a week as per child/family needs at a holiday cottage near sea or play facilities. Any family with a disabled family member invited/offered.

Clear easy referral route/access to over night or weekend breaks for parents/carers with qualified carers in ideally a residential unit or community based hostel with fun outings for the children. Community Farming! Fantastic idea! Adventure days involving team and confidence building exercises and camping. Dancing classes for teenagers, social club, bingo, café, dancing. Listening to music.

Page 53

Sporty breaks with access to a swimming pool and sports centre.

Support in the home in the evening when preparing the tea, someone to care for and play with my son and keep him safe.

Swimming or horse riding, football.

Tea time, baby sitting and Saturday day service, one which allows siblings to stop being carers and start enjoying their childhood.

to enable a decent break for families whilst the child also has the best things for them i.e play in community with other non-disabled.

to enable my child to do things she enjoys so in could give time to any other children to do things they enjoy e.g. go for a long walk.

To look at all the family (brothers and sisters) not to have a social worker saying we go and see what we can offer them. When they are back in the office. They should have it in place already. Holiday places away for the families and places for the child.

Training for community groups e.g. brownies, swim schools, gym clubs, youth clubs etc.

Trips out for children with carers who know the child and I would feel confident about leaving them with them.

Unable to comment as this is the first time ive read anything about what you offer, or would like to improve, perhaps something that allows younger siblings to be as much appreciated as the child with needs.

We are lucky to access the residential department of Victoria Education Centre in Poole. This is ideal as children are with their peers and use the expert staff


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

and great facilities at the school.

Appendix G – continued PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW SHORT BREAK SERVICES •

Day trips for all the family. Sport activities - football clubs, swimming clubs. Mixed ability clubs to include siblings. Days out for the whole family with other families with disabled teenagers. I don’t want him 'taken off my hands; I want to take him out myself but be in a supportive and understanding atmosphere meeting others like us. Days out to zoos, parks or horse riding (with proper supervision and trained staff/helpers).

Different groups for physically/psychologically challenged children.

Do you think that I have the energy to even think or answer the above question because I don’t.

Dorset needs a residential service for those children who could not cope with families but in addition a dedicated day service should be an option. Perhaps in a building that could be shared so that it is used term time aswell.

We don’t know what is on offer so can’t comment, sorry. More clubs and activities are needed.

Swimming, horse riding, holiday breaks and possible overnight or days away.

Weekend or weekday overnight provision overnight for 3 days and nights.

Weekend residential care at specialist school at a reasonable cost (affordable).

Weekends just for children, not attend by parents.

Whole day activities either in or out e.g. 9 to 5 not 10 to 3 to give a good chunk of time to parents. Saturdays would be great. Not every Saturday but maybe once a month or once every 2 months.

Whole day activities in or out e.g. 9-5 not 10-3 to give a good chance of time to parents. Saturdays maybe once a month or holidays.

Wider availability of Short Breaks, Cherries closing to all but a select few will reduce availability within the local area, using local amenities. Familiar surroundings that the children are at ease with.

Support workers who the child know and trust.

Drama and interactive breaks for children who thrive on creativity but have learning and behavioural difficulties.

Family coach trips/days out.

Flexible Short Breaks.

Flexible, friendly, fun and extremely reliable well informed and understanding of own needs. An alternative to home which our child would enjoy. Enabling us parents to have a break without feeling guilty and fearing the resentment of own child.

For my son to be taken out for day at weekends and maybe overnight for us to spend some time with our other son.

Group activities involving both able bodied and less able bodied children. Available during school holidays in Weymouth.

Open a Short Break centre aimed at school leavers up to 25 years, so that when your child has to leave school and the children's services, it would be less of a shock as they leave school and straight away go into adult services.

I would run a register of carers and service users matching carers with the right qualifications to users specific

Page 54


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

needs.

Grouped activities around different experience.

Appendix G – continued PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW SHORT BREAK SERVICES •

Has enjoyed music and PE activities in the holidays.

If we had a Short Break it would be something which is not dull and it would have to be something that would make us have a laugh.

Help in school holidays.

Highly trained staff and plenty of them. A real need for outdoor/indoor play areas etc that they can safely play in. Ball pits, slides etc.

Holiday club/activities with other disabled children. A supervised Short Break through the school they attend so with people they know and trust and friends.

It would have to be of a similar unit (or house) like Cherries, in order for our son to feel comfortable. He would need wheelchair access, hoisting and transport access as he particularly enjoys outings. He is also used to being with other children.

Just a few hours away morning/afternoon just for a Short Break.

Horse riding and sports give children a sense of achievement.

Just like the cherries but a bit closer to home (Blandford).

I don’t want to take my child to activities I want someone to come to me. He is very resistant to anything new and so by the time I have chased him around the garden or dragged him from under his bed/suffered verbal and physical abuse it is more than a Short Break that I need.

Just some sort of holiday park where special needs children can go and they wont be judged.

Let families use the carers/childminders they want. We simply want funding for our son to go to his beloved childminder. We have no family help at all. Families need breaks or they will become ill.

Like Julia's House, but with overnight facilities.

I would like a break for just a couple of hours a week. And to know that my daughter would be well cared for and understood.

I would not start a new one, I would ensure that the existing day care remain in place at the Cherries. A building based specialist service is vital for children like my son. He feels safe and I know that he is supported by staff who understand him.

Page 55


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix H – ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT PARENTS WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ABOUT SHORT BREAK OPPORTUNITIES •

A central list or website telling people of all activities going out.

A directory of services in Dorset.

A full and comprehensive list of everything that is available.

A leaflet detailing how to access the service and qualifying criteria.

A leaflet sent to every parent with a disabled child, listing activities, day care, home care people and babysitting.

A list of everything that is available and how to access it.

All of it in one place DPCC website.

All services I've found out about through fighting for help or by accident, needs to be promoted better.

Any information generally about services available/concessions etc for disabled children (I have never received this information).

Any information that is available regarding Short Breaks services.

Appropriate activities etc to my son especially in the school holidays.

As a single parent of an 18 year old autistic young adult plus another 15 year old child, any help would be good. Make it known to as many carers as possible.

As carers, we want to be contacted and offered services. In reality we have to struggle and find our own way which causes us great stress.

As we have registered on the disabilities list in Dorset it would be good to get information on all activities available through the post - not word of mouth and social workers when they get to hear of things by word of mouth.

Page 56

I often get information from friends, not Dorset council. The only information I get from DCC is Artz and Sportz +.

Information before it’s out of date.

Information to come out through schools/ DCC to those families in need currently parents/carers have to do all searching most of the time to exhaust to do this.

It seems you really have to search for information about activities for disabled children -it hasn’t been easy, but getting better. Central information site/newsletter listing all available services.

It would be good to have a disability pack containing information about all Short Break services and accessible ads-friendly holiday play schemes rather than gleaning information about different services as you go along.

It would be good to see an updated list each year and early changes so that families can plan.

Mail shots, to make us aware.

Make Short Breaks/activities known to all families, not for us to find out when it’s too late.

Maybe I don’t get enough information as it doesn’t exist.

Need to find a way of tagging events so information, online is accessible. Dorset for you is especially bad - very hard to find any information on holiday activities for disability/special needs etc.

Newsletter, website, group addresses.

Places that encourage and welcome disabled, how to get the right help when using the facilities.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix H – continued ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT PARENTS WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ABOUT SHORT BREAK OPPORTUNITIES •

At the moment we are now filling in forms for direct payments which will take up to 16 weeks to process and so that means no breaks have been sorted since June 2009.

Availability, funding and location etc.

• •

Receive virtually no information. Usually come across opportunities by chance or learn about them from other parents. Directory with all Short Break opportunities listed including who is able and suitable.

Available carers and places to stay etc.

Central location with all the information in one place -central booking lines & numbers for all special schemes etc.

Regular listings of all available activities/events during term time/holiday time.

Signpost all relevant information in one accessible place and keep it up to date.

Staffing levels, training etc. suitability to child's needs.

Leaflets.

There needs to be an information booklet. Quarterly which tells you all about all services available. Sent directly to all parents of all children with disabilities undertaken various activities for my child so I think there has been a definite improvement in information.

Residential units are not 'fashionable' but parents value them and we would prefer that to the experiences we have had.

Currently there is only one or two Ofsted registered services locally that count me in will pay for a one to one. Count me in wont pay for activities for a one to one if not Ofsted registered. I would like more information on how to access other activities.

Emails.

Enough notice when things are taking part, always find about things too late.

Even through the school we hear of no help, what is Coping with Chaos?

Everything has always been word of mouth, more information needs to get to new parents as soon as child diagnosed.

Exactly what I'm entitled to and where to contact. I have previously been turned down for help by Social Services.

How I can get help with overnight breaks?

Hard to find out exactly what services are out there as have only just got social workers.

How to convince the parents that we need funding for breaks? We are too exhausted to fight anymore.

How to help my child qualify for more/some Short Breaks.

Have had one leaflet but sent 6 times. Is this all that’s available?

I actively seek them out but would like to be on an email database.

Have never been given information only - go here - do this.

Honestly from social workers - what we get Is what they want us to hear - v this is not always factual. Residential units are not 'fashionable' but parents value them and we would prefer that to the experiences we have had.

I feel this year has been the first year that I have received various magazines/literature where I have I have researched and accessed every service I have ever had. It’s a “don’t ask, don’t get” and “who shouts the loudest” situation.

Page 57


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix I – PARENTS SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO TRANSPORT

My son has transport to school but I could take him to other places.

Needs to be person known to child.

Our sons school has started offering an after school cookery course but there is no transport on offer. His school is 25 miles from our home and we work and have other children as much as he would love it we cannot send him due to transport issues.

People with individual budgets allowed to purchase transport and escorts for DCC Services as there are often shortage of escorts.

• I drive but lots of parents don’t. Why can’t we take transport that has vans, cars adapted for the school runs and use them at weekends and school holidays to give those parents who do drive a • rest.

School transport expanded to pick up children to take to Short Break centres/activities. DCC take the elderly to Day Centres why not our children.

I would like wheel chair assessable vehicle transport to take our child otherwise I or my husband have to drive her and this means I have to find childcare for my other children which is expensive.

Transport to daytrips and holiday schemes like chaos.

We currently only use school bus transport - its brilliant.

Wheelchair accessible. Adequately trained staff for transfers/toileting.

Would be great to have transport to take to and from holiday play scheme. I can spend 2 hours on the road per day when play scheme is running, Verwood to Poole x 4.

Would be good if group of children could travel together with a carer, to help with friendships etc.

Anything. Just to have one activity on a regular basis would be great.

Bus or taxi for children, which are free to take them to clubs or outing for days. Children with special needs find it very hard on public transport

I always take him to events, as at present he does not want to attend without me. In future this may change, then transport would be more important

If it is available in my area then for it to be advertised.

So far our transport arrangements have been satisfactory and reliable.

Improved awareness - didn’t know any transport was available.

It would be nice if a minibus service (like a school bus) could collect children for activities as some parents don’t drive.

More of a consistent supply (Taxi firms) that are aware of children's special needs.

Would like for our son to access after school activities and for him to have transport home afterwards.

More support with transport in the holidays if the place for the breaks long way away.

Page 58


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix J – OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT FAMILIES WOULD LIKE FOR THEIR CHILDREN •

A drama group that doesn’t cost a small fortune would be great to improve her confidence.

Animal farms.

Anything musical - discos etc.

Anything that’s fun with other children with his ability.

At the moment she must learn more skills. Beach/playing with sand. Sensory play, water and play etc.

Ballet with support. Piano/singing lessons.

Bmxing, bike rides, country walks, beach trips, amusements parks (potions etc), nature days (e.g. bug hunt, pond dipping etc.

My daughter loved horse riding with RDA when she was in reception - but now she has progressed this is no longer offered.

My son enjoys riding on trains and visiting the beach, he enjoys going out to eat in a café or a picnic.

My son enjoys spending time on computers/play station, playing games and supervised access to the internet.

Our children would love organised trips to the pantomime or a circus; these events would be lovely for our children to see. Community trips, the fire station.

Quad bikes/motorbikes.

Sensory.

Boat trip, e.g. the disabled boat that does tours of Poole Harbour.

Simple life skills e.g. hovering, washing, hanging out washing.

Boxing.

Soft play centres and beach trips in the summer.

Computer group, reading/literacy group, snooker/pool, table football, wii, table tennis, life skills.

Soft play, bouncy castle and countryside walks.

Coping with Chaos are NOT coping with chaos they cannot cope with the demand for play opportunities. You ring up and they are all gone, what good is that.

Soft Play, Sensory Room, Outdoor Play, Trampolining, slide etc.

Some sort of scheme where he can mix with other children with similar problems and maybe make a friend or get to know someone.

Cycling as a group.

Donkey rides, day visit to Sealife, Monkey World and Alice in Wonderland.

Speedway, computer club, youth club and boat trips.

Drama (the special needs groups available are a poor quality and more like playgroup than drama club - not age appropriate and not run by people with expertise in this area so please don’t put funding into existing groups it’s a waste).

Supervised walks.

Surfing, my son took part in 2 events organised by Surfable, Lifeworks ongoing specialist lessons would be great.

Swimming, she needs warm water, changing facilities and 3 helpers.

Taking out 1:1 - anywhere, cycling, walking, beach.

Driving, bike riding, kayak, canoeing.

Drumming activities, clay pigeon shooting.

Page 59


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix J – continued OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT FAMILIES WOULD LIKE FOR THEIR CHILDREN •

Educational activities: social groups, but not with Mild Ld groups who do not tolerate those with severe LD and occasionally show aggression towards our young people

The donkey sanctuary was a favourite. He loves riding donkeys.

Theme Park e.g. Adventure Wonderland, (he'd really like Alton Towers but that’s a bit too much to ask).

Tractor driving etc, Quad Bikes, GoKarts.

Train rides/stations, Martial arts.

For any activities our daughter would require 1:1 help.

Gardening.

Go to a theme park or beach.

Going to the beach, he is only 5 1/2 years old so a lot of the activities are to old for him.

Trips abroad, astronomy, sewing, nature walks, wildlife watching, gardening.

Go-karting, construction activities e.g. involvement in project to build a bike/go kart etc.

Variety shows, concerts and pantos etc specifically for children with additional needs as our daughter like many.

Walking in Countryside - bird watching, steam trains, buses etc.

Walks on wheelchair friendly sites.

Water Parks, Pony and Trap, Fairground Rides.

Weekends away with peers e.g. camping, caravans, activity weekends etc.

Horse riding. My son doesn’t like crowds, noise and large amounts of people.

Gymnastics - any physical activity.

He loves going to Oscars and adores welt on house and monkey world.

High Ropes, Low ropes, Abseiling, Cycling Course (practical help on bike maintenance), Diving in swimming Poole, quading, driving when a bit older.

The beach.

What about sensory rooms? There is a terrible shortage.

Wheelchairs on ice.

Soft play centres for disabled children only.

I am very keen for my son to make friends and participate in a regular activity e.g. scouts/sports. He is 13.

Lots of sporting activities, cricket, horse riding, arts and crafts, painting, cooking, table tennis, trampolening.

Mechanics/Woodwork.

Moors Valley, Avon Country Park, Serendipity Sams, Adventure Wonderland play park, with family plus support, our son loves going to the beach.

My child couldn’t/wouldn’t cooperate with answering what she would like to do so I have ticked the things I believe she might enjoy. Because she is the only girl in a class of boys she would really benefit from some contact/support from other girls her age.

I have not come across any Short Breaks before I wonder where I could have accessed the information.

I would like to take him to the cinema - a specific screening for disabled children.

I would like to tick all the boxes but I think the way people look at you when you’re out with special needs children is the biggest problem.

Page 60


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix J – continued OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT FAMILIES WOULD LIKE FOR THEIR CHILDREN •

Just a safe environment with plenty of visual stimulation and toys.

Kayaking, Cycling - on a tandem because he cant get his balance.

Golf.

Walking/Rambling.

Canoeing.

Local attractions/theme parks/play areas e.g. Moors Valley, Adventure Wonderland, Gus Gorillas/Farmer Palmers etc with support.

Page 61

My child is in a wheelchair and cannot take part in anything physical; he is also autistic and very noisy which excludes him from a lot of places.

My child is unable to inform me from the list above due to S + L delay, but I have ticked what know shed like to take part in.

My child would really try anything - not necessarily want to do it again and again so a good variety may be good.

My daughter completed above with help, think she has it covered. Something especially for teenagers would be good.


Dorset County Council and Dorset Parent-Carer Council: Short Breaks Survey Report 2010

Appendix K – GLOSSARY The “localities”: To facilitate the integration of children's services and to ensure that individual agencies have every opportunity to work cooperatively, a network of six locality hubs has been established across Dorset. Each hub will allow staff to be located alongside each other through permanent or 'hot desking' arrangements. The 6 localities are: o

North Dorset

o

West Dorset

o

East Dorset

o

Weymouth and Portland

o

Christchurch

o

Purbeck

Page 62


Dorset Short Breaks Survey May 2010