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Richmond House

Policies, Guidance and Legal Services


  • Wonderful Service

    This was a wonderful, well-organised, fun activity which invited the siblings and parents, to see first-hand the care, and relationship that has developed between the carers and our children. Also, a lovely opportunity to meet other parents of our wonderful children.

    Thank you so much, Jay and Hala!

    Sarah Epton
  • Professional service

    Very well prepared, always get eyes on all children. Children are very happy and very polite towards children and parents. Very well planned 

    Samantha Shepherd
  • We would recommend Richmond House thoroughly!

    Brilliant as always! 

    We would recommend Richmond House thoroughly!
    Amy Dawson


  • Short breaks provide opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to access mainstream and specialist activities such as after-school clubs, a few hours at a leisure or sports activity group, holiday groups or an overnight stay. A Short Break can take place in a parent or carers home, the home of an approved carer, or a residential or community setting.

    Short breaks may also include specialist sessions for children and young people with more complex needs and can include both day and overnight provision.

    Short breaks give children and young people the chance to develop new friendships, take part in new experiences, learn new skills and have fun whilst achieving positive outcomes. The purpose of shorts breaks is to give children and young people with disabilities the same opportunity as others to take part in various activities. Also for parents and carers to have a short break from caring.

    Statutory Guidance – Short Breaks for Disabled Children

  • Short Breaks Statement – easy-read version for young people

    Short Break Statement - Easy Read version for Young People
  • Email our dedicated team to answer any query for day operation or overnight respite. send your query to or

    If you want to book your child for any of the activities please contact the activity team at

    Following the referral, the registered manager and staff liaise and meet with parents,
    carers and professionals and visit schools to gather information and ensure that staff
    receive any training required prior to a child receiving a service.

    A guide to Short Break alongside all registration forms shared with parents/carers and based on the indication visit, parents/carers will receive a draft copy of Risk Assessments, Medication, Dietary, family book and Emergency information and Care plans will regularly updated to meet each individual condition and requirements. 

    Staff have excellent knowledge of the children’s health needs. They work closely with medical professionals and a team of community-based nurses. For example, prior to the child’s first overnight stay, staff receive training that is specific to their individual needs, such as feeding or epilepsy. This training includes a competency element, which is then renewed by the community-based nurses annually for each staff member.

    “A Bit About Me” easy read document for children and young people and their parents/carers to know more about their potential carers before meeting them to enhance their confidence and to match their skills, hobbies and interests with the right carers.



  • The purpose of this referral form is to support information sharing and decision-making about children and young people with disability and additional needs to ensure they receive the right help from the right agency at the right time.

    If there are concerns about a child or young person at level 4 of child protection make direct contact on  01262481518  or the Police (999 in an emergency) and complete this form once the immediate concerns have been addressed.

     Making contact

    Download it and email this referral to

    The Telephone number for contact regarding level 4 referrals or to discuss this referral is 01262481518

  • The cost is based on the continuum of need 

    The level of support is linked to the Continuum of need as below:

    Tier 1: Universal services – Open to all Service Users

    Universal services are available to all and can be accessed without the need for assessment. Families can seek advice from involved professionals or from the Family and Young People’s Information Service to help them decide which activity to access.

    Tier 2: Early Support up to 100 activity hours per year

    The tier offer is available to those with moderate additional needs who are unable to independently access services within their community. The core offer can be accessed through a successful short breaks application or with the support of professionals and some Service User who access the offer may have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or a Common Assessment (CAF).

    Tier 3 & 4: Statutory Social Worker: Targeted and specialised Services 

    The enhanced offer is for Service Users with severe and complex needs who require significant support to enable them to access a short break in a mainstream setting or within a specialist service. The short breaks available for this group of Service Users can include an overnight short break or a supported holiday with or without their family.

  • Richmond House is for Service Users with a disability who require a level of additional support that makes accessing mainstream / universal services unlikely.

    Once the referral form is received a member of our Team will contact the family and let them know that we have received the form, and arrange for a home visit to meet the child / young person and their family to identify:

    • What is important to them.
    • Individual support needs.
    • Hobbies, Interests, Likes and Dislikes
    • Health condition and Medication needs
    • Dietary requirement.
    • Communications
    • Personal Care requirements

    If we feel at this point that our Services will not meet the child/young person’s needs then we will signpost them to alternative services. Following the home visit, we will use the information given to assess the level of need of the child / young person and to help us to formulate a care plan to cover their individual needs.

    All information given is strictly confidential and will remain confidential unless we consider there is a safeguarding concern and we will then need to inform other agencies as per our safeguarding policy.

    Parents/Carers will receive a handbook with details regarding the service and Service Users will receive their own copy of a handbook about the service they will be accessing.

    Families will also receive a contact book with information on the activities their child has participated in at the end of each Fun Club activity. Parents/carers will also receive updates, and newsletters throughout the year which will provide you with updates about the service.

  • Service Users are introduced to Fun/Holiday Clubs, in the first instance at the home visit where families and the child/young person can ask questions regarding the service. Service Users are invited to tester sessions to ensure that the service is “right” for the individual and the family and to ensure that Fun Clubs can meet the needs of the child/young person.

  • Universal, Targeted and Specialist Services

    Universal, targeted and specialist are terms applied to services available for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) 

    Universal Services – These are services which all families can expect to access without needing any extra SEND resources. Universal services are expected to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate children/young people with SEND.

    Targeted Services – These are services for children with additional needs over and above what is available to them through universal services. Often these services will be short-term and embedded into universal services. 

    Specialist Services – Specialist services are those which families may require following individual assessment and referral by specialists. Typically, they will be long-term and for children with complex needs.

  • Universal or Targeted Short Breaks can be accessed directly by the parent/carer.

    Access to Specialist services is only available after an assessment has been done. To request and assessment, contact the Children’s Single Point of Access.

    • Calling the team on 01262412207
    • Emailing the team on

    The Short Breaks for disabled children lists all short breaks and how to access them.

  • No, many short breaks are funded by external sources such as lottery funding, DfE (HAF Programmes), etc… 

    Doncaster Early Help Getting the right help and support for your family at the right time

    Families Information Services (FIS) and Children provide information, advice and guidance for parents, carers, practitioners, children and young people on a wide range of services and activities/events available in Doncaster and beyond.

    If you need help from the FIS please call directly on 

  • Doncaster Local Offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. It shows families what they can expect from a range of local agencies including education, health and social care.

  • Access information about what’s on, events and activities in Doncaster. Below there is a link for the updated sessions specifically for children and young people with SEND or there are activities for all children and young people.

  • Short breaks available from external organisations are usually subsidised, some of them by Richmond House, but there is usually a cost implication and this can vary. Use discount cards such as CEA, MAX TIE cards 

    The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).

    The Card enables disabled cinema guests to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

    The Card is also one way for cinemas to make sure they look after their disabled guests. If you require an adjustment to visit a cinema because of your disability, cinema staff should make them for you whether you have a CEA Card or not.

    Max Card

    The Max Card is the UK’s leading discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs. Families can use their Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission. 

    In Doncaster, Max Cards are issued by Doncaster Parent’s Voice, visit their website for information on how to apply for a Max Card.

    TIE Card

    Together Information Exchange (TIE) is a voluntary register of children and young people 0-19 with disabilities in Doncaster. By getting a TIE membership card you automatically receive discounts at various places in and around Doncaster. These include the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, The Dome, Vue Cinema and much more.

  • Only a Specialist service – Access to these services is only available after an assessment from the children with disabilities social care team. Support needed would be identified as greater than that required from Targeted Services. Every child is entitled to an assessment, although not everyone will receive a service. Every family is entitled to ask for one, however, the Social care team will probably need to ensure you have accessed all the targeted services available to you before agreeing to carry out an assessment).

    Universal: where services are available for anyone, such as access to the local leisure centre or a club, football team etc.

    Targeted: those that are aimed specifically at children affected by disability, such as a specialist play scheme or after-school club. These may be part-funded by the local authority to keep the contribution made by families to a more affordable level.

  • A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver provisions set out in an What is Education Health & Care PLans (EHCP)

    Education Health & Care Plans (EHCP)

    Schools in England must provide support to children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) as part of their standard offer to children. This is called  What are Direct Payments?

    Part One – What are Direct Payments?

    Children’s services in Reading are delivered by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), which is an independent, not-for-profit company wholly owned by Reading Borough Council. Families who have been assessed as needing services by children’s social care may choose to receive a sum of money to arrange these services themselves, rather than using services arranged by BFfC.  This sum of money is called a Direct Payment.  A Direct Payment can be awarded to arrange services agreed in a Child in Need (CIN) plan, Child Protection (CP) plan or Child Looked After (CLA) plan.  (These are referred to as a ‘relevant plan’ within this guide.)

    Direct Payments are to be used only for meeting care needs and are not counted as extra income. The payments will not be taken into account by the benefits agency. The payments cannot be assessed as income on which you have to pay tax.

    Families receiving a Direct Payment can use this money to employ a personal assistant (PA) to provide care or support for their child or young person.  This guide is intended to help you choose whether this is the right option for your family and explain what you need to do if you decide to employ PAs with a Direct Payment from Brighter Futures for Children.  It has been produced by Brighter Futures for Children and Reading Families Forum with the help of parents who use Direct Payments to employ PAs. 

  • If your child or young person under the age of 18 already has a CIN, CP or CLA plan, you can request that the services your family has been assessed as needing are provided via a Direct Payment.  BFfC must offer you a Direct Payment if it is possible to arrange services in this way.

    If your child or young person under the age of 18 is disabled and does not yet have a plan, you can ask for an assessment of need for the child with a disability – the child does not need to have a diagnosis.

    Under the Children Act 1989, disabled children count as children in need and are therefore entitled to an assessment under Section 17 of this law. The assessment will be undertaken in partnership with the child or young person’s family.  When BFfC have completed the assessment, they will decide if services are required to meet the needs identified in the assessment, and any services to support the family will be set out in the child or young person’s Child in Need (CIN) plan. Once the plan has been agreed, the parent or carer can ask for these to be provided via a Direct Payment.

    All requests for direct payments are considered at the CYPD resource and short breaks panel.

  • A personal assistant (PA) is someone who helps an individual family or disabled person. PAs support disabled people to live their lives according to their wishes and interests.

    A PA can provide an extra pair of hands to help at home or when out, if you need support to manage several children or if your child needs more than one adult’s support.

    They can support and look after your child either at home or in the community while you give time to other children, work or simply take a break to recharge your batteries.

    They can support children at mainstream clubs (such as Scouts or Brownies) or help older children to learn independence skills such as using the bus, shopping for clothes or cooking meals. The support could also include meeting the personal care needs of a child to help them develop independence from their parents. 

  • Children’s Social Care also run the Emergency Duty Team (EDT), which you can contact on 01472 326292 (option 2).

    This service is an EMERGENCY ONLY service open from 5pm to 8:30am, Monday to Thursday and 4.30pm Friday to 8.30am Monday

    If you’re worried that a child or young person is at risk or is being abused contact the children’s social care team at their local council.

    You’ll be asked for your details, but you can choose not to share them.

    Call 999 if the child is at immediate risk.

    If it’s not an emergency, you can report the crime online or call 101.

    Calls to 999 or 101 are free.

    What to report

    Child abuse includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. You can read more about the signs of child abuse.

    You don’t need to be sure that a child or young person has been abused – it’s OK to report a suspicion.

    What happens when you report it

    The person who answers your call will decide what to do. For example, they might:

    • gather more information
    • ask a social worker to look into it
    • contact the police, if they think the child is at immediate risk or a crime has been committed

    The children’s social care team will tell you what happens next, but they will not be able to give you any confidential information.

    Get advice

    Contact the NSPCC if you want to discuss your concerns and get advice.

    NSPCC (for adults)
    Telephone: 0808 800 5000
    Find out about call charges

    ChildLine (for children and young people)
    Telephone: 0800 1111 (free)

    The ChildLine number will not show up on your phone bill if you call from a landline or from most mobile networks.


    If you believe a person in a position of trust is abusing a child or young person in any way, you can contact our Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

    Report child abuse in education

    NSPCC (for children, young people and adults)
    Telephone: 0800 136 663 (free)

  • How can we improve our performance and services further to meet each individual needs and requirements? 

    Please email us at

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