The Buzz Network is a group for Southampton parents/carers of children with disabilities/special needs. It is open to children with any disability from ADHD to visual impairments, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. It is funded by Southampton City Council who work closely with the Parent Carer Forum to make sure it is meeting parents' needs.
Short Breaks Review and Redesign and 2017-18
Short Breaks Review and Redesign
As you are aware we are currently undertaking a full review and redesign of our Buzz Network Short Breaks Offer. This gives us the opportunity to engage and co-produce with Southampton Parents/Carers and children and young people on how the offer will look in the future.
To date we have held a number of focus group meetings with the Southampton Parent Carer Forum (SPCF) who have collected views for the wider parent carer population through a number of platforms including; short surveys, social media and in direct contact with families. We have visited schools (both in mainstream and special) and colleges to gain the views of children and young people. Additionally we have linked with our neighbouring local authorities to look at their Short Break Offers to support the focus groups thinking for how Southampton’s offer could potentially look in the future.
We anticipate moving into the consultation period in the autumn 2017. During this period, Claire Pritchard (SPCF Co-ordinator) and representatives from the Southampton Parent Carer Forum (SPCF) will be working together with Officers from the Short Breaks team at Southampton City Council to deliver a joint presentation on the key changes being proposed as part of the consultation. The dates, times and venues for these events will be shared as soon as we have the official date for the consultation launch.
Delays in Direct Payment Process – April 2017 – September 2017
The buzz network would like to acknowledge that the current process for setting up Personal Budgets has not been as efficient as we would have hoped and we’d like to apologise for any inconvenience that delays to receiving payments has caused. There is very high demand for direct payments this year and we are moving through these and the internal processes involved as quickly as we can. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding on this matter.
Short Break allocation October 17 – March 18
We can now confirm that any redesign of the existing Short Breaks Offer will not be ready for implementation before April 2018. To this end, we can now confirm that we will be replicating the existing level of short breaks allowance for the period 1st October 2017 – 31st March 2018. This means that for those using our One2one service that you will have another allocation of 17 hours for this period. For those who have applied for a direct payment since April 2017, you will receive another payment of £200. You do not need to reapply if you have already applied for a direct payment since April 2017. We aim to process these payments before the 1st October 2017.
This payment will also be available to new applicants. All new applications for a personal budget must be received before 20th December 2017 to access the Personal Budget for this financial year. Any applications received after 20th December 2017 will still be eligible to join the Buzz Network and access our Play Schemes, Community Based Activities but will be unable to take up the offer of a personal budget or One2one service.