Disabled children and young people have the right to be supported at home and in their local communities, to have opportunities to make and meet friends, feel confident, and to thrive with a good family life.
Short breaks help do this by giving them the chance to take part in activities and enjoy positive learning opportunities while giving parents and carers a break from their caring role.
What are short breaks?
Short breaks give disabled children and young people an opportunity to meet new people and enjoy different experiences, while giving their families a break from their caring responsibilities.
They can last a few hours, a whole day, evening, overnight or for a whole weekend or during the school holidays. They can take place at home, in the community or in a residential setting.
They can involve supporting families to take a short break together away from the routine of daily life or can be a break for the child away from the family.
Short breaks could be:
- Group activities like a youth club or Saturday group for children and young people with disabilities
- Holiday play schemes
- Sports, arts or music activities
- One to one support to access any other activities, such as youth clubs, cinema trips or meeting friends for lunch
What short breaks are available?
This depends on the individual interests of the child or young person and what additional support they need.
They are designed and planned in consultation with parents and carers and children are supported to access services local to the family, help them form friendships, feel part of the community and build skills required for adulthood.
We want children to be able to access leisure, sport, brownies and cubs, youth clubs and all other services that are available for all children, so they should link to existing services in the local community wherever possible. However, families may wish to think about the support children may need to do this and we can support families to access enabling support where appropriate.
- Pinpoint Devon offers information about local activities and services that your child may like to be involved in
- SignPost Plus is a specialist information service for families with children with disabilities. It provides information on local and national organisations, short breaks providers, enabling services and lots of useful hints, tips and updates. To contact a local information co-ordinator call the helpline on 0845 155 1013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Short Breaks Service is not intended to be used as childcare for parents to enable them to attend work or access work related training.
Who are short breaks for?
They’re for children and young people between 0-18 years old living in Devon who are disabled and/or have complex health needs where this has a significant and enduring impact on their lives.
This includes children and young people with diagnosed learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, chronic or life limiting physical illness and/ or sensory impairments and physical impairments.
Not all children will be eligible for short break services and may instead be referred for an ‘Early Help’ assessment and support.
How do I get a short break?
If you would like to access short breaks you will need to have an assessment.
Wherever possible parents should be able to take control of their short breaks through direct payments and personal budgets.
Overnight short breaks
Overnight short breaks offer short-term substitute care for children and young people with significant disabilities or a serious health condition. They are provided by someone other than parents or the usual carers of the child. They form part of a support package based on the particular needs of individual children and their families and could be provided by a foster carer, a residential unit or the provision of care in the family home.
Short breaks statement
Our short breaks statement explains more about how we support parents and carers to get a break from their caring role.
Get involved in the short breaks co-design
We want to make sure the service really works for children, young people and families in Devon so we’re asking for your help.
We want to listen to children, young people, families and providers of services to:
- understand the support you get now and how well it is working
- work together with disabled children and young people, families and providers to think creatively about how to support families to have a good family life
Your views, comments and thoughts are really important in helping shape the future of the service together.
Engagement events – workshops in January 2020
We’re inviting you to come to one of our workshop events taking place across Devon throughout January 2020 where you can help us think creatively about how to better support families of disabled children and young people.
They’re a great opportunity for you to work with us to co-design services for the future. Details of the events are here.
Please get involved by completing our online survey and find out more about engagement events taking place across Devon.