In his Annual Report of 2012-13 the Children’s Commissioner for Wales made a commitment to undertake a distinct piece of work that would examine the implementation of the Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children (Wales) Regulations 2012.
The regulations provide for a range of services to be put in place to meet this duty and required local authorities to prepare and publish a ‘Short Breaks Services Statement’ by September 2012. Whilst the short breaks services statements published by local authorities acknowledge the important role of short breaks in supporting children and young people to engage in social and learning activities, overall, the Commissioner remained unconvinced that the short breaks services statements go far enough. Some local authority short breaks statements go further than others in communicating the importance of short breaks in providing access to new opportunities that support good outcomes for children and young people with disabilities and those that care for them.
For this very reason, the Commissioner decided to examine in more depth the impact that the new regulations, as interpreted through local services statements, were now having in terms of provision for children and young people with disabilities and their carers.