Thanks to funding from the Scottish Government, the Short Breaks Fund makes grants to third sector organisations to develop the choice and availibility of short breaks so that carers and the people they care for feel better supported, less isolated, and have some quality time away from their caring routines. The fund is managed by Shared Care Scotland on behalf of the Nation Carer Organisations. It contains two grant programmes, Creative Breaks and Better Breaks and a Learning Exchange.
In 2011 the Scottish Government announced a further £2 million would be made available in 2011-12 specifically to improve short break opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families. £100,000 of this was to be used to support the exchange of learning and good practice emerging from the funded projects. £700,000 was allocated to the Family Fund to administer grants directly to families.
The £3 million total grant funding has been confirmed for 2012-13 and provisionally agreed until 2015.
We expect 5-6% of the funds will be used to manage and administer the fund, to provide assessment, monitoring and evaluation and to deliver learning exhange activities.
The guiding principles of the Short Breaks Fund are:
- to provide tangible outcomes for carers, improving their quality of life and those they care for;
- to support the personalisation agenda, providing early intervention, choice and tailoring service provision to meet the needs of individuals;
- to support the key policy areas of reshaping care, strengthening self-directed support and developing person-centred solutions;
- to be additional to existing provision.
The Fund is comprised of the following programmes:
The Creative Breaks programme: to provide grants to third sector organisations to develop new and existing short break provision in the line with the fund’s overarching aims of promoting greater choice, flexibility and personalisation of services and support. It also provides opportunities to channel funding to carers, via local support organisations, to enable carers and people with support needs to arrange the break of their choosing. The first stage of this aspect of the programme was piloted in 2011 and now organisations can apply for a grant through the Creative Breaks Programme that they can use to help carers self-purchase breaks.
The Better Breaks programme: to provide grants to third sector organisations working in Scotland to develop additional, responsive and creative short break opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families. The programme is particularly keen to fund projects which improve the choice and availability of breaks to children and young people with complex and multiple support needs.
The Short Breaks Learning Exchange: to support the sharing of information, experience and learning across the funded projects, and to a wider audience. We want to spread the lessons learned so that good practice becomes common practice.
The take a Break programme: to provide direct grants to families of disabled children and young people to support personalised leisure activities or holiday breaks. This grant programme is administered by the Family Fund.
Grant Advisory Panel
To assist the NCOs in ensuring the Short Breaks Fund is well managed, is delivering its outcomes and is operating openly and transparently, Shared Care Scotland has set up a Grant Advisory Panel.
Click here to see who’s who in the Grants Advisory Panel
The Short Breaks Fund is being set up and will be managed by the National Carers Organisations with secretariat through Shared Care Scotland.
The National Carer Organisations are:
- Carers Scotland
- Coalition of Carers in Scotland
- Crossroads Caring Scotland
- MECOPP – supporting minority ethnic carers
- Princess Royal Trust for Carers
- Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance
- Shared Care Scotland
Scotland’s Funders Forum
Shared Care Scotland has recently become a member of Scotland’s Funders Forum. The Forum is a gathering of funders in Scotland, including statutory bodies and independent grant making trusts, who are committed to best practice in funding the voluntary and community sector and to maximising the impact of funding for the benefit of Scotland. We come together to share information, to identify and address areas of common interest and to share best practice and learning.
For further information about the Forum, click here.