Kirklees Council is to seek the views of local people on the design of services for disabled children and young people.

Following approval by the council’s Cabinet, affected groups will be invited to have their say on the provision of short breaks, respite and support services.

It is a Kirklees Council priority to provide the best possible outcomes for all children, young people and families, especially those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The council offers a range of services which provide short breaks, activities and overnight respite for children and young people and their families and carers.

Most of this provision is currently based at fixed buildings but, during the Covid-19 pandemic, different ways of working were introduced which meant support was provided in the communities where those children and families lived.

This made the support more tailored to individual needs. As a result, many families have changed the way they wish to receive respite, short break and activity provision.

Clr Elizabeth Reynolds, Cabinet member for learning and aspiration, said: “It’s vital we offer support in a flexible way so that we can work with families to have the best impact and improve outcomes for children and families with additional needs.

“Inviting families and children to share their views will mean we can redesign this important provision in a way that suits them. Our priority is to give our children the best start in life.”

Clr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for children, said: “The best outcome is to give children and families the right support in the right place at the right time.

“We want existing services to work together more closely for the long term, helping the vulnerable in a way that’s also the most effective use of resources.

“This would be a really positive opportunity for staff to share their skills and to ensure consistent relationships with children and families.”

Views from key groups, including children and young people, parents and carers, staff working in internal services and across partnerships, ward councillors, wider community stakeholders and other interested parties, will be sought this autumn.