Kids’ service to be outsourced

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Private companies could be invited to take over a council-run support service which looks after some of the district’s most vulnerable disabled children.

Budget cuts mean Wakefield Council is planning to outsource its Home Based Breaks service, which helps dozens of youngsters around the district.

Skilled care staff visit families and take disabled children on short breaks to provide respite for parents as part of the service.

The council said it was facing a £500,000 cut to the Home Based Breaks service budget.

Coun Olivia Rowley, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We cannot continue providing the service in the same way.

“There are more families than ever needing our support and we have been forced to reduce our budget due to the cuts imposed by the government.”

More than 130 children around the district are currently helped by the service, which has 16 permanent members of staff.

Coun Rowley said: “At the moment we have children and young people waiting to access the service.

“If we change the way we provide Home Based Breaks by using external providers it will mean that those who need it will have to have better access to these services.”

Coun Rowley said there would be no interruption to the service for families and staff would be appropriately trained.

Parents would be consulted on any changes.