Short breaks and respite

What is a short break?

A short break is an activity or service which:

  • Provides parents and carers with a break from their caring responsibilities
  • Helps to support a child or young person's social and emotional development
  • Helps to support a child or young person learn new skills
  • Provides a child or young person with new experiences

A range of services is available in and around Herefordshire to provide short breaks and respite for families of disabled children while enabling children to have new experiences and to take part in fun activities.

Types of short breaks

The wide range of needs for disabled children and their families is categorised in the levels below:

  • Universal: Activities for all (universal): mainstream community services such as youth clubs, uniformed groups (for example, Scouts, Cubs and Brownies), leisure centres, nurseries, child-minders and activity-based groups.
  • Targeted: The Targeted Short Breaks (TSB) allowance scheme is to help families of children with special educational needs and disabilities who need extra support to take part in clubs and leisure activities and providing a break for parents. No social care assessment is needed.
  • Specialist: Respite (specialist short break services) can be provided to meet a specific need following a social care assessment of the child's and family's circumstances. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, needs can be met through a direct payment for the family to make their own arrangements, or through an arranged service of daytime activities or overnight short breaks.

For further information, please see the short breaks statement and eligibility criteria.

Find out how a short break can benefit children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in this DfE video:

Short Breaks team contact details

Telephone: 01432 260123

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