Short breaks or respite care for children or young people with disabilities

Short breaks or respite care for children or young people with disabilities includes a range of short term services. The purpose is to provide a break which is a positive experience for the child or young person with care needs. Giving them opportunities to develop autonomy and independence.

Short breaks also give family carers a rest from their caring duties. It is important that these breaks have a positive result for both those with care needs and their carers.

Short breaks or respite care can be offered in a variety of ways and different settings, such as:

  • care at home
  • day care
  • facilitated access to clubs or activity groups
  • support with social activities or outings
  • respite units
  • family placement schemes
  • Self-directed support


How to apply

You can make a referral to the duty worker at your local Children and Families team.

A child or young person's assessment needs to be done before you can access short break respite or support services. This assessment allows us to understand the needs of the child or young person. It has been developed in line with Getting It Right for Every Child. The needs and views of the child or young person are considered, as well as those of the family.

If your child requires support to meet their identified needs and achieve their desired outcomes the child's plan will be developed. Outcomes refer to the impact the support has on a child or young person's quality of life. The child's plan may trigger the need for a support plan through Self-directed support.

A social worker or local area co-ordinator will work with you to consider options for support. They'll review any support plan that may be put in place.

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