Allocation of Places and Referrals
Demand for our services is great and continues to grow with every scheme, especially the number of children and young people who need higher levels of support (1:1, 1:2). We only have so many of these high ratio places to allocate with the funding and space we have. We also want to ensure we continue to offer a high quality experience for everyone involved. In reality, we have to rationalise these places. For those children and young people with lesser support needs the demand is not so great and we can allocate sessions more readily. If your child or young person is normally on 1:3 or 1:5 support please bear this in mind.
We have recently reviewed our policy for allocating places.
From summer 2012, we introduced a booking cut-off date at which point bookings will be closed and we will review all those we have received before allocating places. Our procedure will be as follows;
1) Once that date has passed we will phone and /or email any family that is known to us and has not returned a booking form although it was expected.
2) If we cannot contact the parent carer, we will not be able to include them in the allocations at this point. (If subsequently we receive a booking form we will try to book them in if we have any spaces left but this is unlikely.)
3) We shall then review all the bookings and plan each day of the scheme, giving parent carers their first choice wherever possible and aiming to give each child/young person on the higher care ratios two sessions per week.
4) Where demand exceeds the number of places we have on any particular day (and this is highly likely) we will look at alternatives if possible or wait list your child or young person as applicable.
5) We will then issue booking confirmations as soon as possible, giving a date to parents so they know when that will be, and will confirm 1:1 and 1:2 places first as we are aware that parents of those children with higher support needs may well have to make alternative arrangements.
We would ask parents of those children and young people with higher support needs to indicate their two preferred sessions each week, and an alternative. If you are unsure of the level of support we currently provide for your child or young person please contact the office for advice.
We hope that this makes things clearer from your perspective but if you have any concerns or queries please contact us. We are always happy to hear from parents and welcome feedback and suggestions to improve the service.
We are not happy about having to give families of children with higher support needs less choice and remain committed to seeking the level of funding that would avoid this. But achieving that is a huge challenge so we have to deal with things as they are at the moment as fairly as we can.
Can we also take this opportunity to remind you that it is important that you keep us informed of any change in your contact details or the care of your child or young person– there is an opportunity to update details on the booking forms.
We are very happy to take referrals for any children and young people from parent carers, schools and social services teams. If a referral is for a child or young person who is not resident in Brighton and Hove we will have to charge the referring authority the full cost of the place. Please make your initial contact with us either by telephoning the office or completing the enquiry form and we can then discuss with you what we can offer and how to procedure. Every child or young person will need to have a registration form, personal needs and necessary consent forms completed before we can offer them a place and in some cases, particularly where a child or young person has higher level support needs, we will ask for permission from the parent carer to observe the child or young person in their school, home or other setting, as well as talking to teachers and other professionals who know the child or young person well. We would ask to meet the child and parent carers so we can ensure we have all the information we need to meet their needs within our projects and the family feel confident that everything is in place to provide the best experience for their child or young person.
If we are unable to offer a place straight away we will let the family know that they are going to go on the wait list and try to give some indication of how long they may be waiting for a place, how often that is reviewed and that we will make sure we stay in touch with them regularly to update them.