Short breaks for disabled children and young people

Short breaks are available to families to provide a break from caring for a disabled child and for the child to have a break from their carers.

Short breaks are matched to meet the child's needs, interests and preferences and aim to provide:

  • extra social opportunities for the child
  • a break for the parents and child
  • time for parents to spend with other children in the family

See our short breaks statement to find out who can access a short break, what is available at different levels of need and how this can be accessed.

There are three different types of short breaks available:

Universal support

This is the support available to everyone through universal settings, such as, libraries, leisure centres, children and family hubs and social activities. The majority of children who require services will receive them through such resources. Information on local services is available on our children and family hub page.

Additional support

Some disabled children and young people with less complex needs will require additional support to access some universal services. Additional support is often short-term assistance to help access mainstream services such as youth groups, scouts, guides and sports clubs. This might include advice or training for providers or short-term additional support to enhance confidence and skills, if necessary. 

For more information on additional support from your local early help consultant, please contact us.

Specialist support

For more information, see the disabled children and young people section.

How do I apply for short break funding?

Short break grants are awarded to families with children under the age of 18. If you feel that your family would be eligible and you wish to apply for a short break please  complete the self-referral application form (docx / 147 KB).

Further details about how to apply and submit your form are included within the self-referral form. 

Application process

Due to the successful distribution of funds , the process is now closed to applications for 2023. This page will be updated with any future dates and information as we receive it.