New ‘Adoption’ Breaks Programme For Adults With Learning Disabilities

A new £75,000 ‘adoption’ programme to give breaks to adults with learning difficulties is to be set up in Norfolk. At least 10 people, from the east of the county, will take part during the first 12-months of the pilot adult placement scheme to provide support and accommodation in ordinary family-style settings. The county council run scheme will concentrate on increasing options for short term breaks for people with learning difficulties, assisting children in foster care to remain with their foster family in adulthood and provide a service for adults receiving council support who wish to live for a longer period of time in a family style setting.

Schemes throughout the country show that the majority of people who use them are people with learning difficulties but that the service is also used by older people, people with mental health problems and people with physical disabilities. Norfolk’s scheme is expected to follow this pattern.

Chris Mowle, cabinet member for adult Social Services said: “An adult placement scheme is an excellent idea – it will mean that we can give people greater choice over respite or longer term care and offers a real alternative to more institutional options.”

Details of the new scheme will be revealed to councillors at the next Adult Social Services Review Panel meeting.

Meanwhile the council’s cabinet yesterday agreed a new £1.2m partnership with health chiefs over the running of Cranmer House, in Fakenham.

Social Services will now oversee the running of the facility which also has 13 nursing beds on the ground floor.

Yesterday’s meeting also approved £1.7m to fund a respite care facility for older people on the former Huntingfields Home, in Costessey, near Norwich.

The 20-bed facility is part of a scheme for 40 sheltered housing units to be run by Saffron Housing.