A short break gives disabled children or young people opportunities to have fun doing things they enjoy, make friends and spend quality time with other young people in new environments and develop skills.
It also provides parents and carers with a regularly planned break from their caring responsibilities. A short break may be for a few hours during the day, evening or overnight.
The activities or combinations of activities that make up short breaks for parents and their children are specific to meet the needs of everyone in that family.
A short break may include the additional support needed to access mainstream activities through to more specialist support provided on a one-to-one basis.
A short break may be provided by someone you know becoming an enabler, community groups and activities or a local specialist provider.
We know that short breaks benefit both the children and their families. Children with disabilities or additional needs benefit from new interests, relationships and activities, while parents and siblings can catch up with ‘everyday activities’ (sleep, cleaning, shopping), attend to their own physical and psychological wellbeing, and maintain and develop social networks and other important family relationships.
How to access short breaks
Our Support and Advice Service works in partnership with families to undertake a short breaks assessment. This can include a parent or carer assessment if requested. The assessment will identify the support needs and consider the level of service required.
Some activities that provide children, young people and families with a break can be accessed directly where services are free at the point of access.
Where it is assessed that additional support is needed to enable your child to enjoy a short break, we consider the assessment recommendations to make a decision about the level of support that can be provided to meet their need.
Where short break support is agreed upon, we will let you know the level of support agreed upon and talk with you about how this can be provided.
We can support you with this by commissioning and managing the service on your behalf, or consider whether direct payments are provided to enable you to pay for and manage these activities yourself.
If you would like a conversation regarding your child’s possible eligibility for support through short breaks, please take a look at our information on how to request an assessment.
You can use Pinpoint Devon to find providers in your area who provide support and short breaks.
Signpost Plus co-ordinators can help you get information about the local and national services and support available to you and your child.
Parent Carers Needs Assessment
If you are a parent carer of a child with special educational needs and disabilities, you may also be entitled to a separate Parent Carers Needs assessment.
Short breaks statement
The government requires every local authority to produce a short breaks statement so that disabled children, young people and their families know what services are available and how they can access them.
Are you a provider in Devon?
If you would like to find out more, please read our information about the current picture in Devon, what families have told us, what you can do to increase community accessibility and how we can help you to deliver that.
If you would like to find out more about what our partner agencies can provide, please use the links found in the ‘Partner websites’ section further down this page.