Action for Children Overnight Short Breaks & Support Update


Shropshire Council and Action for Children have advised PACC of a letter issued to families in early September explaining the temporary arrangements for the Specialist Short Breaks provision available. Within the letter, issued to families currently using the provision, it was detailed that while several job roles have now been successfully filled some staffing challenges remain, meaning there is still a significant impact on capacity within the service.

This means they have taken the decision to reduce the service operation times from 7 days to 5. They will now provide Short Breaks from Wednesday to Sunday while they continue to recruit more staff and to make better use of the resources they have available.

Families will be contacted directly by the service and or their Disabled Childrens Team Social Worker to discuss the impact of this change on their provision.

The letter states:

“Unfortunately, we have so far not been able to recruit to some other vacancies, but our efforts continue. This will start to have a significant impact on the service as we go into September with the team being very stretched. We have been exploring different options of addressing this situation so as to avoid any further reduction in service or last-minute cancellations and to minimise disruption of service delivery as best we can in the circumstances. As a result, we have condensed the days that the service will operate from 7 to 5 days (weds-sun) to make better use of the staffing resources available. We will be in contact with families whose stay dates are changing to inform them of the alternative dates being offered by the 7th September. We do appreciate the potential impact of these late changes, but hope you understand they are being made to support safe and happy stays for the children. These new arrangements will be subject to regular review, allowing for a return to a full 7-day service at the earliest opportunity.


We continue to work closely with the Disabled Children's Team who are keeping PACC informed of the situation. In addition, in partnership with DCT, we will be looking to consult with yourselves to gain an understanding of how to prioritise the development of the service and to inform the allocation of the October and November stay dates.”


In the meantime, PACC continues to raise concerns about the impact this will be having on families, and the challenges these changes may present. We are working closely with Shropshire Council and Action for Children to continue to address this issue as well as discuss what we can learn from this to inform future commissioning and service developments.


If you would like to share with us your experience of the service, support, or any other information that could support our conversations, please email or contact us via our Facebook page.

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