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Matching short break services for children with learning disabilities to family needs and preferences


, : Matching short break services for children with learning disabilities to family needs and preferences. Child: Care, Health and Development 26(5): 429-444

Short breaks or respite care is a much-valued service by families and the demand for it is likely to exceed supply. It is all the more imperative that the services provided are matched to the needs and preferences of families. A census was undertaken within one Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland of families who received short break services for their child with disabilities during a 12-month period. Information was also collected on pertinent child and family characteristics. This enabled profiles to be drawn up of the recipients of six types of short-term breaks: (1) hospital-based overnight care; (2) overnight stays in a residential home; (3) domiciliary service in the family home; (4) breaks provided in another family home; (5) residential holidays; and (6) breaks provided through leisure schemes organized after-school or during holidays. A second study entailed interviews with families who were resident in one area served by a Health and Social Service Trust regarding their usage and preferences for each type of service noted above. This too identified variations in parental preferences and usage. This information gathered should assist commissioners in developing cost-beneficial short break services although further research is needed to validate the possible predictors for each service.

US$29.90

PMID: 10998005


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