A short break is a planned break from the routine of caring for a child or young person. It is usually planned in advance and is not the result of an emergency or crisis. A short break is intended to give the carer a break from caring and the child/young person the opportunity to experience new or different opportunities.
Short breaks can take place in the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer, or in a residential or community setting and can include day, evening, overnight or weekend activities.
Short Break allocations form an essential part of the support provided by Nottinghamshire County Council to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and their families.
Short breaks are intended for disabled children and their families who cannot use general services which are available to everyone. Short breaks are for children and young people who are aged between 5 and 18 years old.
Short Breaks are assessed for, and reviewed, by the Short Breaks, Assessment and Reviewing Team (SBAR). They form form an essential part of the support provided by Nottinghamshire County Council to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and their families.
Short breaks give families the chance to:
- have a break from their caring responsibilities
- rest and unwind
- spend time with other family members
Short breaks give children and young people who are disabled the chance to:
- spend time away from their parents and carers to build independence skills
- relax and have fun with their friends
- develop their independence
Short breaks can include:
- a break for your child away from the family
- group activities like a youth club for children and young people
- holiday play schemes
- sports, arts or music activities
- one to one support so your child can take part in activities such as cinema trips.
Short Break hours cannot be used for child care to allow a parent to go to work or during the hours when a child/young person should be at school.
Different levels of Support
This is the support available to everyone through universal settings, such as children's centres, youth centres, libraries, parks, leisure centres and social activities. Most children and young people with SEND who need a short break will receive them through these services, without assessment by the Local Authority.
Targeted short breaks activities are designed specifically to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.
There are lots of activities and services in the community that are able to meet specific needs, e.g. autism-friendly cinema screenings, disability sports groups, a youth group for children with learning difficulties.
These services can be accessed through an assessment and have eligibility criteria. For further information please click on the relevant heading on the right side of this page.
Specialist short breaks are for children and young people with needs that cannot be met by other short breaks, e.g. children who need specialist medical equipment, personal care, or support from specialist trained workers. Specialist short breaks are designed to enable children with complex needs to enjoy fun activities in a safe environment and/ or give families a break from caring.
Specialist support is accessed through a Social Care assessment. Referrals can be made via the MASH (0300 500 80 90).
Short breaks will be reviewed at least once a year and allocations can go up or down, depending on current circumstances.