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More local choice for parents is provided in proposals from Hampshire County Council to deliver £3.25 million on short breaks for families with disabled children in 2011/12.
Cllr Roy Perry, Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Children's Services, is being asked to approve a budget and delivery arrangements for the coming year which will mean no overall loss of service despite the enormous budget pressures facing the Council.
Holiday, activity and play scheme sessions that more than 2,000 Hampshire families benefited from last year to give them breaks from caring will not only be sustained but be potentially greater than this year and with enhanced choice.
More emphasis on what parents want The proposals have arisen from consultation with parents via an organisation called Parent Voice, funded by the Council to develop engagement with parents so that they know what support services are available. There will be more emphasis on what parents have said they wanted. This includes better value holiday and weekend schemes rather than more expensive after-school or evening schemes, which parents said often posed transport difficulties. There will also be greater choice through a wider range of providers. A buddy scheme will be developed for older children to help them access universal services such as sport, leisure, music, art and drama.
Through better integration of the services provided at local special schools and those in the community the Council is also improving what's on offer, so that all local disabled children have a better choice of what they can access according to what suits them best.
Grants to voluntary sector organisations Breaks will be delivered through grants to voluntary sector organisations across Hampshire and a full list of those being recommended, by local area, is in the report to Cllr Perry's Decision Day.