Services for disabled children in Hertfordshire

SIR – I am sure many of your readers will be interested to know that the Children, Schools and Families (CSF) department of Hertfordshire County Council is currently consulting on proposals to develop local Short Breaks (respite care) for disabled

SIR - I am sure many of your readers will be interested to know that the Children, Schools and Families (CSF) department of Hertfordshire County Council is currently consulting on proposals to develop local Short Breaks (respite care) for disabled children and their families.

This is part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme, which is a national initiative to improve services for disabled children and their families throughout the country.

CSF is proposing a model of service in which five strategically located centres or hubs, including one in Welwyn Hatfield/Hertsmere and Broxbourne/East Herts, will co-ordinate a range of local services or spokes, such as residential short breaks, mentoring schemes and specialist youth clubs.

There are some difficulties with the proposals, which include closing three existing residential respite services: Stairways (Harpenden); Woolmer Drive (Hemel Hempstead) and Adrian Road (Abbots Langley). These would be replaced by the Pines, a new centre in Hertford and a second new centre in either Hemel Hempstead or Watford.


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The consultation is running until November 27 and copies of the consultation document can be obtained by ringing CSF on 01438 737502/ 01923 471502; it can also be viewed online at www.hertsdirect.org/specialneeds.

A public meeting is being held in the centre of the county to enable parents of disabled children and young people to discuss the proposals on October 6 at County Hall (Beane Room) in Hertford from 7pm to 9pm.

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We would encourage all parent carers to respond to this consultation and to make their voices heard.

Carers in Hertfordshire [CiH] is available to support parents with information and we will also be providing parents with the opportunity to discuss and comment on the proposals - if any of your readers would like more information they can contact our parent carer involvement workers who cover Welwyn Hatfield/Hertsmere and Broxbourne/East Herts on 01992 586969.

Sue Reeve, chief executive, CiH.

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