Short breaks brokerage

Over recent years the ways in which unpaid carers can access short breaks have evolved. Policy changes such as the introduction of the Carers Act have meant that organisations such as local authorities and carers centres have had to rethink how they work with carers to deliver a break that works best for them. 

One way to make this happen can be through a ‘short breaks brokerage’. A number of carers services had spoken to Shared Care Scotland about their interest in exploring how a brokerage model of short breaks delivery could work to increase capacity and offer carers greater choice and control.

We recognised that while a good brokerage service can have a very positive impact, pinpointing what brokerage is and does can be more challenging!

We also knew that there are already fantastic examples of brokerage services across Scotland and so we saw an opportunity to bring together a group of people to create a model for high-quality short breaks brokerage and identify what support different organisations might need to deliver new or develop existing services.

The result is a staged process with a focus on positive and forward-looking actions and with different opportunities and ways to participate throughout. 

There is a focus on three key aspects: 

  • Agreeing on a clear and simple definition of ‘short breaks brokerage’ that is meaningful for carers and supporting organisations.
  • Developing a vision for short breaks brokerage: What does high-quality brokerage look and feel like? What ethos and principles should be integral to every service?
  • Identifying the essential components of high-quality brokerage: What makes brokerage effective and a positive experience?