2. Eligibility

Eligibility for short breaks range from no eligibility criteria for instance for universal services to an assessment under the Children Act 1989 for instance overnight short breaks.

When completing an assessment that will determine eligibility the following definition of disability acts as a base line.

Oldham use the Equality Act 2010 definition of disability to decide where a child or parent/carer has a disability ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’

  1. ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and
  2. ‘‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’

A child is taken to mean someone under the age of 18 years of age.

Level 1 Universal needs

Most children achieve Outcomes through the care of their families, plus the support of a range of services that are available to all via Universal services that includes health, education, play, leisure and other community services. Children and young people identified at level one are making good overall progress in all areas of their development with no additional support.

Families may also find the https://www.sendirect.org.uk/ or the https://www.oldham.gov.uk/localoffer of benefit and may never need to contact the local authority for support.

Level 2 additional low level needs/Early Help

These services are aimed at children and young people with disabilities that require more targeted support to access universal service provision (level 2) or more specialist support to access provision (level 3).

Children, young people and families maybe struggling and need more specific support aimed at children with disabilities and their families.

This group of children and young people may need groups and services that are specifically designed to meet their needs. Targeted services will need to be accessed through a referral from the early help team or allocated social worker and are not universal access for all. These services are targeted solely for disabled children and young people. 

Level 3 Intensive complex and/or multiple needs/Child in Need

These services will be accessed via an assessment, this maybe by early help/short breaks team or a social worker.

For some families they will try the hardest they can and want to achieve the best for their child/young person, but without targeted support there will always be support needs for the child and the family. Without this support the family will not be able to offer a safe and healthy home life to the child.

Level 4 Specialist Acute needs/Statutory and/or Specialist high level intervention

These services are only accessible by a Social Worker assessment. These families are struggling with the care of their child/young person or the family are facing a very difficult time that may be putting pressure on the family staying together.

There are major concerns about the family’s skills and abilities to keep their children safe and well without exceptional support the child could be at risk.

Support and service can be provided by one agency or several agencies, to best support the whole family and meet the needs of the child.

This level will include one or more of the following:

  • Children who are subject to a Child protection Plan
  • Looked After Children
  • Children with high with complex needs that require an extensive package of support from a number of agencies.

Support and service can be provided by one agency or several agencies, to best support the whole family and meet the needs of the child/young person.

The child/young person has significant and/or multiple needs because of their disability which prevents them from making friends and/or accessing local services and activities without high levels of support.

Neither the child/young person’s nor the parents/carers needs are being met and there is a serious risk of family breakdown.