What are short breaks?

A Short Break allows parents and carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities and gives children and young people the opportunity to try something new. Whether it's a few overnight stays each month, care at the weekend, during the week or in the holidays, a short break for a disabled child or young person provides an opportunity to have access to social experiences and interactions alongside their disabled peers within the local community. The short break may take place in a community activity setting, a child/young person's home or other residential setting. 


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
  • Autistic 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
Where can short breaks be accessed?

There are a range of Short Breaks offered across B&NES and sometimes further afield, depending on the Short Break. To find out more about the range of short breaks in the area please follow the link under the Download section on the left of this page.


How can I request support/access short breaks?

Targeted Short Break activities, such as the School holiday schemes 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. Specialist short breaks such as residential overnight stays requires a social care assessment which can be requested through Disabled Children’s Team (DCT) on 01225 39 6967.


Contact information

Please see our Short break provision 2019 onwards document on the left hand side of this page for contact details for short break providers.

Information, Advice and Support 

If you require further advice please visit our information, advice and support section.