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Children: Disabled

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what monitoring his Department plans to undertake to ensure that Aiming High for Disabled Children short break funding meets its objectives in respect of the provision of services to (a) disabled children and (b) disabled children with palliative care needs. (286975)

The Department has contracted with Together for Disabled Children (TDC) to support local authority and PCT delivery of the short breaks programme. TDC tracks local area progress both in terms of the work undertaken to improve services and the growth in provision and number of additional disabled children in receipt of breaks. Local authorities are expected to collect information on short breaks provision to enable this tracking to take place. The information collected does not however distinguish as to whether breaks are received as part of a package of palliative care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to ensure access for local voluntary sector providers to the Aiming High for Disabled Children short breaks funding distributed to local authorities. (286976)

The Department is advising local authorities on short break commissioning through two intermediary bodies: Together for Disabled Children and the Commissioning Support Programme. Advisors from both agencies support local authorities in securing appropriate providers, including local voluntary sector bodies.

The Department will also shortly launch a website for short break providers and local authority and primary care trust commissioners on which local providers can advertise their short break services.