Plans to extend 'highly valued' services for Hartlepool children in need of support

Council chiefs are planning to update and extend ‘highly valued’ services to support children in need of support in the town.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to combine their short breaks and specialist equipment services for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

A report to go before the council Children’s Services Committee proposes to join both these services together and got out to tender for a joint Short Breaks Extended Activities and Specialist Equipment Service.

This would be for one year with an additional year included as an option dependent on performance and the budget situation.

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Currently there are two contracts for the area of work, one for extended activities and after school sessions, and one for specialist equipment services to provide items needed by families in caring for the young people.

Hartlepool Families First currently deliver both of the services but the contract is coming to an end in March 2020.

A report from Sally Robinson, director of children’s and joint commissioning services, said the service is key for many families in the town.

She said: “Information gathered by the Parent Carer Forum from parents states that the services currently delivered is highly valued and offers varied activities for children and young people with SEND.

“Short Breaks offer respite care for families which is of paramount importance to support families.

“There is a risk that if these services are not procured there will be children and young people with SEND and their families not able to access the support they need.

“The commissioning of short break services is likely to have a positive impact on all children and young people with SEND and their families.”

Short breaks are part of a range of services which support children and young people with SEND and their families.

These include the provision of day, evening, overnight and weekend activities, and can take place in a child’s home, the home of an approved carer, or in a residential or community setting.

Councillors had previously asked whether the specialist equipment service could be delivered in house, but it was confirmed the funding was not available.

A decision will be made on the proposal at the children’s services committee meeting on Tuesday, January 28, at the Civic Centre at 4pm.