Hampshire County Council is asking for people’s views on proposals for overnight residential respite – the outcome of which could help to shape the future of overnight respite services for children and young people with disabilities, and their families.
As part of the County Council’s work to deliver vital services, in the face of ongoing national austerity, the Authority wishes to explore the possibility of re-designing the overnight respite service; with a view to providing a wider range of options which could offer families greater choice and flexibility in the type of support they access.
To do this, the County Council is holding an eight week consultation on proposals to close two residential respite care homes: Merrydale in Winchester, and Sunbeams in Aldershot.
Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, said: “I am aware that this can be an unsettling time for those families who could be affected by proposals on possible changes to services. However, at this stage, I must stress that no decisions have been made. I think it is extremely important that the groups of people who could be affected, as well as the wider public, have the chance to have their say, and I urge them to do so through the public consultation.”
From midday on 7 August until 11:59pm on 2 October 2017, all those that could be affected by the proposals – if they are taken forward – and the wider public are encouraged to make their views known. They can do so via the online consultation response form at www.hants.gov.uk/consultations
The County Council is aiming to develop a potential offer which has a less institutionalised approach to respite care and is more in line with choices that children and young people with disabilities, and their families, are asking for.
For example, the offer could include commissioning a much wider range of services comprising: whole family breaks; specialist foster care for one or a number of nights; home care breaks with a carer staying overnight in the home; and activity centre trips; as well as residential respite care provided by other organisations.
Following the close of the consultation, and analysis of the responses, a report on the feedback will be prepared for Councillor Mans to consider, later in the year – together with recommend