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Important information about direct payments (SEND)

We have listened and recognised that direct payments are very important for many of our families and that the current uncertainty about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is very unsettling. Following national guidance, we encourage you to continue to access short break services when you can.

We are closely monitoring the guidance being provided by central government so that we can ensure we provide clear advice to families whose access to short break support services (commissioned or through direct payments) may be disrupted if further restrictions are announced. We will make sure that the SEND local offer and social media are kept up-to-date to provide the latest information.

For now, please continue to access short break provisions wherever you can whilst feeling comfortable doing so. The current direct payments policy enables some flexibility when a child’s short break provision availability is affected.

Parent carers can reorganise the amount of direct payment funding spent on the provisions outlined in the plan without the need to contact the service. For example, if a holiday club is not available, you could choose to spend that money on another provision in your child’s plan instead, such as the enabling service.

If you are unable to access any of the provisions outlined in your child’s plan and this is causing you difficulty please contact our Disabled Children’s Service who will offer support for individual families. We will listen to and consider the difficulties you are facing, and will help to find solutions so that you and your child can continue to access the support you need.

Please contact us on the relevant contact number below:

We will continue to review the situation and provide updates on this website, through the DCC SEND Twitter account and through the Parent Carer Forum Devon.