What are Short Breaks?

Short breaks provide invaluable support for disabled children, young people and their families.  It provides disabled children and young people with the opportunity to experience new relationships, environments and positive activities which provides them with valuable social skills and independence. Families are able to take time out to recharge their batteries or provide additional support so that the whole family can enjoy activities together.

These breaks can take the form of:

  • Daytime care in the home or elsewhere
  • Overnight care in the home or elsewhere
  • Leisure activities outside the home
  • Services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays

Short breaks come in many different forms and can last anything from a couple of hours to days.  The length and type of break will depend on your child, young person and family.


The following services are available to all disabled children in Bath & North East Somerset.  Parents/carers of disabled children can apply directly to these services, but access will be dependent upon the capacity of the service.

  • Holiday play schemes
  • Saturday clubs
  • Youth clubs
  • Leisure activities
  • Befriending

Who is eligible for Short Breaks?

Disabled children and young people 0-21 depending on type of Short Break.

Disabled children living in the B&NES area.

Children and young people are eligible for short breaks if they have a 'physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.' (Source: The Equality Act 2010). This may include:

  • Physical or mental impairment
  • Sensory impairment
  • Autustic Spectrum Disorder
  • Children who may have challenging behaviour as a result of their disability
  • Children who have complex healthcare needs and who may have palliative, life limiting or life threatening conditions.
  • Children / young people with an Educational Health and Care plan (EHCP) issued in recognition of their disability.

How can I request support / access Short Breaks?

Targeted Short Break activities, such as school holiday playschemes and term time only activities can be accessed directly by families. Families can contact the provider directly and find out how to book onto the schemes.

If your child has additional or more complex needs a social care assessment will be undertaken by the Disabled Children’s Team.  Having been assessed as being eligible for help, there are various options that may be available to you:

There are eligibility criteria for social care assessments which ensure that children with the most complex needs are able to access these specialist resources. See eligibility guidance on right hand side of page.

If you prefer, you can also be referred for an assessment by a GP, Social Worker, School Nurse or Health Visitor.



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