To be eligible, the child or young person must have a physical or mental impairment that is substantial and permanent, where:
- Substantial means considerable or significant factors that are life-changing or limiting, and likely to involve risk and dependence
- Permanent means existing indefinitely and unlikely to improve (allowing for the episodic / intermittent nature of some conditions)
The Short Breaks team cannot accept applications for children under the age of five. The expectation is that they should be receiving their universal Early Years funding (available from age two for children in receipt of disability living allowance) and also support from the Early childhood and family service (ECFS)
If a child under five has exceptional needs they would need to be referred by a professional to CADS clearly explaining why it was felt they had exceptional needs. If appropriate they would then be referred to one of the specialist Children with Disabilities social work teams for a holistic social work assessment of the child and family’s needs. This would still not be an automatic right to access short breaks as many services do not provide for under-fives.
In Norfolk we use a Resource Allocation System (RAS) which is a strengths-based assessment tool that identifies the barriers to disabled children accessing everyday opportunities. If a child or young person over the age of five scores 70 or above on a Resource Allocation Questionnaire it is likely that they will have some eligibility to an indicative individual budget.
Resource Allocation System (RAS)
The Resource Allocation System (RAS) questionnaire calculates a disabled child's or young person's individual budget for play and leisure activities and support to unpaid carers of disabled children. These individual budgets are not to pay for health or educational services.
The RAS questionnaire enables the local authority to ensure disabled children and their carers receive fair and equal resources.
In the sections below, you can find out more about the RAS questionnaire and what the financial banding for disabled children look like.