Hartlepool council to continue short break service to support families in need

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Council bosses are to look to continue to run a toy library and after school activities programme to aid families in need.

Hartlepool Borough Council children’s services committee moved to find a provider to run its short break and toy library services for children with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Councillor Shane Moore

Councillor Shane Moore

The short break services include after school activities for children with special needs and an 11-week playscheme, as well as a specialist toy library for them to use.

Councillors on the committee highlighted the importance of the schemes to people in the local area and were pleased to see the council looking to find the best provider possible.

Coun Shane Moore said: “In terms of the toy library it is actually a valued service.

“I know a lot of families with children with SEND who value it and use it regularly because of the high costs involved with a lot of this equipment, which puts certain toys way out of the reach of average families.

“It is important and I’m pleased that we are going to continue doing.

“In terms of the school activities and after school club, while I’m happy for that to stay as it is, I’m equally happy for that to go out for tender to make sure we get the best possible provider for it.”

Hartlepool Families First currently deliver both of these services but with the contract coming to an end in June 2019 the committee approved undertaking the procurement process.

The tender will be advertised as a three year contract with the option of one year plus one year extension.

Council director of children’s and joint commissioning services Sally Robinson added the short breaks service offers respite care for families which is of ‘paramount importance’ to support them and promote their welfare.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service