How will you streamline the admin by C48y311X

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									                              PROVIDERS’ QUESTIONS
These questions were raised at the Providers Forum meeting in November 2011; and
 we felt it would be useful to publish them onto the Short breaks web pages so that
     any provider can view them and hopefully get answers to their questions.
               Where questions were repeated, we have just used one
                   as an example, or amalgamated your questions.

THE GATEWAY CARD

What is Gateway and how will it be used in practise?
  - The Gateway Card is for children and young people who:

have a disability and/or additional needs and may require support to participate in
leisure and recreation activities, are between 0 to 19 years old, and live in Hampshire
and/or attend a school in Hampshire (excluding Portsmouth, Southampton and the
Isle of Wight as they have similar schemes).

                         The Gateway Card is free and gives access to activities, play
                         schemes and buddy schemes available through our short
                         breaks programme. When families register, they will not
                         need to fill out funding forms at each activity their child
                         attends. The card indicates that the child has a disability
                         and/or additional needs and may require support to access
                         activities; and can access Short Breaks funding.

It helps activity providers apply for funding to support children and young people with
disabilities/additional needs, such as training, resources and additional staff. The
information provided helps us plan short breaks so that there is a fair distribution
across Hampshire.

How many children actually know of or have even heard of Gateways?
  - This is a new scheme, as of January 2012 we have sent out 1650 Gateway
     Cards and applications are continuing to come in to the team most days.

Is it possible to use SEN school registers to send the forms targeted at those
children directly to the school?
     - At the start of the autumn term in September 2011, we sent a letter along with
        the Short Breaks & Gateway Card leaflets to all Hampshire special schools to
        be sent home with children. We then sent the same to families where a child
        was attending a residential special school (as they will often be home in the
        holidays); and also to children attending resourced units (special needs unit
        within a mainstream school). We have also communicated with Special
        Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) in Hampshire’s mainstream
        schools. We have also given information to special schools in Southampton
        and Portsmouth who may have children living in Hampshire attending their
        schools. This Spring term we will follow up with reminders to all of these
        where needed.

How will you determine which children have access to a Gateway card and to
what extent?
  - The Gateway Card application form, which can be viewed at
      http://www.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/shortbreaks/gatewaycard.htm is
      applied for by the parent/carer, on behalf of children with disabilities or
      additional needs. When they are processed if there is a query about any of
      the details we contact the parent/carer to clarify.
How will it be rolled out to families with children Educated Other Than At
School (EOTAS)?
   - As above, SENCOs have been given all the information and they are aware
      of children with disabilities who are being educated at home. We will also
      contact the EOTAS service to promote the Short Breaks programme. Some
      providers are helping, for example we spoke to one parent who educates her
      child at home, but had been prompted by the child’s Buddy Scheme provider
      to apply.

What if children don’t have a Gateway Card? What happens when families
have a Gateway Card but lose or can’t provide the number?
   - We are encouraging people to apply before April 1st 2012 and get their card.
       We hope that if people have any questions they will contact the Short Breaks
       team to talk them through. If people lose or forget the card number they can
       contact the team by phone or email to get a replacement. For providers at
       activity sessions, the family could let you know the card number later on, or
       you can take the name and address and we could find the card number from
       our database.

Why have Providers not got any Gateway Card packs to distribute?
  - Many providers have already asked us for Short Breaks & Gateway Card
     leaflets to give out to families, and this works really well as families have a
     chance to talk through with someone they already know. Please email us at
     shortbreaks@hants.gov.uk, or phone us on 01962 846399 if you need some
     leaflets, we are happy to send you some. Of course the information is all
     available online along with the application form too.

Does ADHD or emotional issues qualify for a Gateway Card?
   - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder can often mean a child has additional
      needs and providers may need to consider additional support for those
      children to join in.

Hard to reach/ high level needs families completing the forms for Gateway
Card is a concern.
   - Participation Workers at Parent Voice are aiming to support these families if
       required (contact details are on the Short Break web pages or at
       www.parentvoice.info ). Also, social workers in the Disabled Children’s Teams
       are aware and are promoting with families they support. Providers can help
       too if they know such families and offer a little extra support to them so they
       can access all the benefits of Short Breaks.


THE GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS

Why are forms not easy to use online font size and style keeps changing? How
will you streamline the admin/ paperwork so that we only are asked once and
not duplicate information?
    - We have written to providers on our contact list recently to explain that
       Hampshire County Council is implementing a new online application system
       for all grants. At the moment the Short Breaks team (along with other HCC
       departments) are involved in testing the new system; and a small number of
       Short Breaks providers have agreed to help with testing too. We hope that
       any glitches in using the form will be ironed out at this stage so it is a much
       smoother process for you to apply in future and will avoid you having to write
       the same information several times. Providers can request a paper copy of
       the application form at any time if preferred.

Why are we made to re-invent the wheel, e.g. writing policies? Then you
request that we have another policy.
   - The policies and Supporting Documents requested have been set by
      Hampshire County Council rather than the Short Breaks team. There will still
      be a need for some Supporting Documents with the new online application,
      but this has all been reviewed as part of the new system. From April 2012,
      ALL applications must include their Safeguarding Children/Child Protection
      policy as a minimum. We will discuss issues like this at our Providers Forums.

Can we access a Business Support Adviser to help us write policies etc, as
HCC keep adding to the requirements e.g., latest guidelines want QA policy.
   - Hampshire has support for the voluntary sector via the Hampshire Alliance
      www.hants-alliance.org.uk and this would be a good place to contact to
      discuss what support can be accessed. Also most local areas have
      organisations to support the local community voluntary sector; more
      information can be found at the Community Action Hampshire website
      http://www.action.hants.org.uk/index.php?id=97. We are a small team but we
      are always happy to help support your queries when applying to us.

Now that it’s one fund, do we all apply for Short Break funding rather than
Inspiring You activities for all?
   - Putting all the grant types together in one pot is really just an internal
       arrangement which means we can be more streamlined in the way we deal
       with things. We hope this eventually makes things simpler for applicants too.
       In 2011-12 we have had several different grant streams brought together
       under the Short Breaks programme. Inspiring You is still in there, and yes
       please do keep planning your activities and we will aim to support these as
       much as possible in the coming year. When using the new online application
       system from April 2012 onwards you will see that when applying you will pick
       “Short Breaks (including Inspiring You)” for such applications. You can
       include these kinds of activities in a larger main application, or continue to
       apply for grants under £5,000 through the year.

Can we have more notice for deadlines etc? Many of us are volunteers
grabbing an hour here and there where we can.
   - We apologise if timescales have made it harder for some of you. This was
      partly due to Short Breaks being a new programme following the end of
      Aiming High, and several changes in staff at Hampshire. Better planning and
      more notice also works much better for us too so we are improving this now
      and will continue to do so. We have let providers know the next large grants
      round for 2012-13 is in May and we will publish confirmed dates as early as
      we are able to. The standard we are asked to work to is to be open for
      applications for a 6 week period in total, but we will give more time where
      possible. We will let people know much earlier about when we are looking for
      applications for 2013-14 too.

Can we hear about funding earlier so that we can plan and deliver key
services? – bookings happen in February!
   - As above, we will aim to do this where possible within the timescales given to
       us by the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services scheduled Decision
       Days. (For grants over £5,000, we must give our recommendations some way
       in advance of these Decision days and then await the final decision). The way
       HCC budgets work also means that like all council services we are subject
       the Council agreeing the final budget, usually in February). As we have done
       recently, we will give providers the Panel recommendation as soon as
       possible after the panel.

Can we get a contract for more than a year to allow for long term planning?
Is there any inclination to move funding to a 2/3 year basis instead of annual?
(security/continuity of provision)
    - We would like to get to the point of offering funding for longer time periods for
       some activities. This was not possible for this year but we will be discussing
       further with colleagues in HCC to see how best to achieve this in the future.

Is this the only application we will be able to make in 2012/13? Will we be able
to make applications for one-off projects?
Once the years funding has been approved, can additional smaller (less than
5k) bids be submitted for other activities?
    - We are organising another Larger grants round (more than £5,000) in
        May/June, with the final decision being late July. There may be a need to
        target certain areas/groups in this round to ensure Short Breaks are
        accessible to all in Hampshire. We will continue to consider grants under
        £5,000 regularly throughout the year, which usually works well for one-off
        projects. While you will all understand the demand and high number of
        applications we have had, we do want to support providers so please discuss
        with us if you need to about any aspect of funding deadlines or requirements.

The grant approval process for grants under £5,000 needs to be quicker,
meeting bi-weekly is not quick enough.
   - The Panel that meets usually fortnightly is made up of Short Breaks team
      members; colleagues from other HCC teams, and Parent Voice
      representatives. The Short Breaks team is a small team and the other panel
      reps have other work responsibilities, so it would be difficult for all of us to
      meet more frequently, and do all the other work we want to do including other
      developments for Short Breaks. If you have a particular timescale for activities
      you are planning then please phone or email the team at
      shortbreaks@hants.gov.uk to check when you would need to submit your
      application by.

Will there be a continuity of funding beyond the end of March to avoid
children/families being left in limbo?
    - As many providers are aware, the Short Breaks panel has to judge
       applications on several factors and continuity is an important one; although
       sometimes other factors may take precedence. We are happy to discuss
       further and try to support.

If your Business is through Inspiring You events, can you off set or include all
your business costs?
    - As with any grant, it is preferable to get a balance of contributions so a
        business is not totally reliant on one source of income. Reasonable and cost-
        effective business costs can be included in your application but the whole
        application is always considered alongside the need for the service and other
        applications received.

As a small voluntary group – we have received Children Services Integrated
(CSI) Grant and Aiming High Money this year – who should fund us this year?
   -   This can be confusing for providers. We have liaised with HCC staff working
       on the CSI Grant and a representative sat on our Short Breaks panel; and we
       will be involved in the CSI panel. It is best to contact either team and discuss
       your individual situation, but it is likely some providers would continue to get
       some funding from both Grants.

Are there any ways to fund Capital Funding to support our provision, so
venues can offer more?
   - Capital funding was available through the Aiming High Programme.
       Unfortunately Short Breaks can now only grant much smaller amounts for
       resources to help support children at an activity; and not large capital
       amounts. We will let you know if this changes in the future.

COMMENTS ABOUT FINANCE AND PAYMENTS

We would like quicker payments for activities and for you to improve payment
process; can there be agreed time scales for payments – late payments have a
big impact on small charities and groups.
   - The Short Breaks team have been working throughout 2011 to make sure we
       have an effective payments system that works with HCC requirements and
       meets the need of a wide variety of payees too. We are continuing to work on
       this to streamline it further and we do apologise for those of you that have
       been waiting an unacceptable amount of time to be paid your grant. For most
       grants, we process the payment to providers once we receive the signed
       grant agreement back from you; then the Hampshire County Council standard
       is to pay within 30 days of receiving this. (For larger grants paid at intervals
       through the year this is slightly different and we send guidelines to providers
       explaining the process).
       We know being paid is important to every provider whether large or small,
       and may have a particular impact on smaller groups.
       If you are having a problem please do contact us to discuss, as this will help
       us resolve the issue with you.


THE BIGGER PICTURE INCLUDING LOCAL CHILDREN’S PARTNERSHIPS
(LCPs)

How do we demonstrate our work meets the outcomes of LCP priorities when
disabled children aren’t mentioned?
Why should disabled children’s interests be represented by a sub-group on the
LCP’s and why should those sub-groups be Parent led?

   -   We have heard some of this feedback from both parents and providers.
       Hampshire Children’s Trust must consider the needs of all children and young
       people in their area, including children with disabilities. The Children and
       Young People’s Plan aims to cover issues that are important for all children,
       and is currently being consulted on until the end of March 2012. You can find
       out more and please do have your say at www.hants.gov.uk/cypp.
   -   Local Children’s Partnerships are larger groups that meet usually 2-3 times
       per year and are set up so that sub-groups work on a range of specific areas
       in more depth and report back to the LCP. Representative, articulate and
       well-informed sub-groups for children with disabilities will ensure that the
       needs of disabled children and young people and their families are heard at a
       local level. Hampshire Children’s Trust ahs decided that each LCP should
       have a group that focuses on disability. Parent Voice and Hampshire
       Parent/Carer Network will be working with HCC to make sure this develops
       throughout 2012 and beyond; but like any participation, being part of the sub-
       groups is voluntary. HCC staff who work with children with disabilities will of
       course advocate for the families they work with, but this won’t (and shouldn’t)
       replace parents and children and young people themselves having a direct
       voice and defining for themselves what is important. There is more work to do
       to ensure young people themselves are having their chance to influence the
       Plan and the work of LCPs too.

Is there an opportunity to find out what’s going on in other areas? Possibly
suggest to other organisations to facilitate similar programmes in their area.
How can Short Breaks Hampshire help activity providers based in border
areas? i.e. we are struggling to access funding for Surrey/Berkshire children.
    - All Councils can choose how they set up their Short Breaks programme. It is
       new to all of us and we can learn from each other. We have set up some
       regular times to share information and developments with the unitary
       authorities of Southampton and Portsmouth; and we have had increasing
       contact with our equivalent teams/officers in other neighbouring councils as
       issues have come up. While we can’t guarantee any particular outcomes, do
       raise with the team if this is an issue as we would try and help in these
       discussions where possible. The Hampshire Short Breaks team also attend
       regional forums to share practice and ideas along with parent representatives.


COMMUNICATION WITH PROVIDERS/ INFORMATION FOR PROVIDERS

Why did some Providers not get an invite?
  - We can only offer a big apology to providers who did not get a direct invitation
      to our first larger Providers Forum in November 2011. We are not sure why
      this happened as we aimed to include everyone. Since then, we have created
      a Contact list which we think is as thorough as possible, and please help us
      by letting us know if your contact details or people change so we can keep
      this up to date.
  - We have emailed many of you to hold the date for 30th April 2012, our next
      Providers Forum, and we aim to set the dates in advance for the year in
      future. More details on this next Providers Forum will be sent to you all, and
      put on our Short Breaks web pages.


Can a Short Breaks/Inspiring You Webpage be created where people can share
photo/evidence stuff and see evaluation of sessions? – so we can share ideas!
   - We have got pages on the Short Breaks web pages with some case studies.
      We will be working to update this in 2012 and include some more good
      practice examples, so if you would like to share please let us know; we would
      like a wide variety of different Short Breaks examples here. The recent
      Inclusion Conference in Alton was another good chance to share practice and
      ideas; and this will be a theme at our next Providers Forum in April 2012 too.

Can Short Breaks provide a map of the services on offer? When parents ask
us we can signpost them to the map. We can also avoid duplication.
   - Parent Voice Information Service are developing this facility with HCC and
      Schoolgate, the information brochure/website. We are hoping to launch this
      before the next Providers Forum in April.
Poster, leaflet availability for Gateway Card? It also needs also to be in other
languages. Parent forum to include vulnerable families (in need), Ethnic
Minority & Traveller Advisory Service (EMTAS) Groups, Hard to reach groups

   -   Please ask us for leaflets as you need to. We are developing a poster, a
       sticker for venues to use plus information to be included on posters/publicity
       etc. We will let you know as soon as these are ready.
   -   Regarding other vulnerable families, Parent Voice Participation workers will
       be paying particular attention to this in their roles in each local area, as will
       other professionals who are in contact with such families.
   -   Leaflets are translated in response to requests so if there is a need for an
       alternative language or format please let us know. So far we have provided
       (or are in the process of creating) information in Nepalese, Polish, Hindi,
       Braille and easy-read/symbols (suitable for children/young people with
       learning disabilities). It is worth remembering that many people who are part
       of such groups will benefit from your time in supporting them to understand
       and use the information, and this can be equally if not more important than
       translated information for many people.

How can we get access to databases of local groups to approach directly
alongside Parent Voice?
   - You can get information about local groups from Parent Voice,
      www.parentvoice.info or telephone 02380 721206


MONITORING & FEEDBACK ABOUT SHORT BREAKS ACTIVITIES

What are HCC doing about gathering all the data - where Providers are, if they
are doing what they applied for? Has the money been spent, taken up etc.?
(Some providers may be happy to help in some way).
   - For 2011-12, we are continuing to gather feedback and discuss uptake or any
       other issue with providers where we can see this is needed, or if providers
       request this. This is an important part of learning what works for families and
       children/young people so it is worth helping providers reflect and adapt, and
       encouraging them to get families involved in giving feedback.
   - For 2012-13 we will be adapting the way we ask for feedback and the way we
       monitor Short Breaks. We aim to streamline this as currently we ask for
       slightly different information depending on the type of grant you have
       received. We will also need to consider the central Government requirements
       about monitoring information, at present we know there will be requirements,
       but we don’t know details yet (as of January 2012). We will discuss this more
       at the Providers Forums and give more details. We will also ask some
       providers to look at our plans for monitoring and data collection and give
       feedback about the system planned.

WORKING WITH CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES

How can we find new ways to target more young people/families and provide
information about the services we provide, including ‘hard-to-reach’ people?
How can we encourage Families/Parents to bring their children to
mainstream/inclusive activities?
    - The team, along with the HCC Inclusion Officer for Recreation & Leisure (Kaz
      White) are happy to discuss this with any provider, as it can vary with each
      activity. As well as Parent Voice, some ideas that others have found work well
      include promotion to local special schools to put events in their newsletters, or
       holding an open event/fun day prior to the commencement of a regular
       activity. For mainstream activity providers it can be a good idea to link in with
       local specialist disability youth clubs/ playschemes, to benefit from each
       other’s experiences and knowledge but also to help promote activities. Also,
       Participation workers can help you consider how to include harder to reach
       families.
   -   We plan to introduce the new service called Bridging workers in 2012. These
       workers will support any mainstream provider to consider how to include
       children and young people with disabilities and additional needs. They will
       also help families to feel confident in accessing mainstream activities.

Family respite – group activities for all the family. Will we be able to count the
children who do not have a disability but require the respite as much as the
disabled child?
    - You can tell us on your application form if you are intending to include siblings
       too, or if it is a whole family event where parents are also involved; and we
       have had many positive activities/events being run in this way already. The
       siblings do not need to have a Gateway Card to take part, but in the
       monitoring information you give us it would be great if you can note the
       feedback of siblings as well.

We need to allow for one to one support, but we don’t always know who will
come until we advertise, how or what should we do to make sure these
children are included?
    - Most providers work on their best estimates about this, understandably it is
       not always easy to get this exactly right. Some providers have asked families
       to book ahead by phoning, to be able to gauge what support is needed. If you
       are considering this when applying ahead of time for a grant to support the
       activity, we are happy to discuss this further with you. If you find you need to
       use the money awarded slightly differently than stated in the application, to be
       able to respond better to families’ needs, again we are happy to discuss that
       with you. However, all of the funding must be used to meet the aims of the
       Short breaks programme and benefit Gateway Card holders.

OTHER QUESTIONS
Is there potential for all funding to go up to 25 years old for the funding bids in
the future?
    - The Children’s Services Integrated Grant (CSI Grant) goes up to age 25, and
       one of their priority groups is young people with disabilities, so this supports
       some projects. There is a discussion going on nationally about extending the
       age range for Short breaks programmes, which is really positive. In
       Hampshire we are going to discuss further once there is some clearer
       guidance offered nationally.

How are HCC working with local councils - why do Leisure Centres not take up
on applying for funding and put on events?
   - We have been working with leisure centres, and also outdoors centres to
      improve the availability of activities for children and young people with
      disabilities. Any child/young person who wishes to can apply for Support for
      Individuals funding to join leisure activities that are going on at their local
      centre.
   - The Bridging Workers project planned for April 2012 will be essential to
      extending this further and helping leisure centres and others link with families
      to make sure there are activities that can include children with disabilities.
      Many leisure centres are also holding targeted events under Short Breaks
       and we will encourage these further. You will be able to see what the leisure
       centres and other mainstream providers are planning for 2012-13 so far for
       your area, by looking at Parent Voice website or telephoning them on 02380
       721206. Many leisure centres have swimming programmes which support
       children to join group lessons or have individual lessons (guidance about
       Supported Swimming is available on request).

When do you envisage HCC will provide these services directly rather than
relying on Volunteer Groups to do it for you?
    - There are several organisations that are part of HCC already providing Short
       Breaks activities. These include outdoors centres, museums, libraries, the
       Archives/Records Office, Country Parks, schools, and arts centres. It is
       unlikely that HCC would ever take over providing all Short Breaks services as
       this is not in line with families’ wishes to have a variety of activities and
       providers. Also, HCC would not be able to offer some of the activities that
       children access under Short Breaks and really enjoy, for example Scouts &
       Guides, and of course would not be able to do such a good job as many
       charities and voluntary groups do.

Will the Short Breaks Scheme include residential activities in the future? E.g.,
Calshot/Privett Centre/Activity Weekends?
   - While we are not planning to offer traditional overnight residential respite care
       via the main Short Breaks programme, we think it is positive to be able to
       provide short breaks that include a stay away from home where this is an
       integral part of the activity, for example a Scout camp and these would be
       considered by the panel. For the recent Grant round for 2012-13 activities, it
       became a lot harder to agree grants for activities including overnights, due to
       the high number of applications and the need to allocate the funding fairly
       across all users. The panel had to ensure all areas had a wider variety of
       activities happening during the days, evenings & weekends before we could
       consider overnights for some children.

Other Comments:

Regular Provider meetings would be great! The forms are great for meeting
other Providers so that it is possible to work together - organisations sharing
good practice, activities , training etc.
Future Forums – more chance to network, maybe a list knowing which
organisations (people are here) – good idea, we will organise this for our next
Providers Forum, please book in by the date requested to make sure we can offer
this.

One big meeting about this time each year – wouldn’t have time to attend for
regular meetings. – we are planning 2-3 a year at the moment, as Short Breaks is
developing fast and we want to keep you all up-to-date and get your feedback about
what you need. If you cannot make it to the Providers Forum we will make sure
information is on our web pages too, or you can contact the team with queries.

Support session with new forms – we are trialling the new web-based application
system with a small number of people, and we will demonstrate the system at a large
Providers Forum. We will continue to help as quickly as we are able to with your
individual queries.


                    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR QUESTIONS

								
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