Most local authorities are attempting to offer a range of services in response to the need for respite or a short break. Authorities have recognised the need to offer services therefore that attempt to meet the needs of carers and the people with disabilities, by ensuring that short breaks are responsive to people using services, with respite services offering them a positive experience. However, it is clear that the needs of the stakeholders may be very different, with carers and people with disabilities maybe having very different expectations of what a respite service may be able to offer.
The authors of this study found that there can be considerable variability in provision of respite services between and even within localities.
They found a history of disjointed service provision and recommend a rethink of respite policy nationally, with the need for respite policy to encompass a shared understanding of respite care among all stakeholders.
They suggest that such a shared understanding might generate a move toward integrated service development, “recasting respite as part of a continuum of family support services in which funding policies give families more control” which would recast respite care in an integrated framework moving beyond a basic function of providing breaks in caring to one of
supporting family coping and resilience.
Rethinking Respite Policy for People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Chan J et al., in Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 9: 120–126