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; or
  • time for parents to spend with other children in the family.

See our  short breaks statement (pdf / 267 KB) 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 children's centres, youth centres, libraries, leisure centres and social activities. The majority of children who require services will receive them through such resources. Information on local services is available from your local inclusion officer.

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, please contact your local inclusion officer.

Specialist support

This is for children with more complex needs or challenging behaviour. We assess children and their families to ensure that their short breaks needs are fully understood and to tailor a service according to their need in an appropriate setting.

The types of short break available include:

  • day care;
  • overnight stays;
  • weekend stays (often once a month);
  • occasional longer stays;
  • befriending; and
  • leisure and social activities.

The short breaks will be designed around the child and family's specific needs and will be age appropriate. Short breaks provision will be reviewed periodically (but not more than once a year) to ensure that they remain suitable and are providing the support required. Short breaks for older children may include skills for adulthood, including social skills or promoting independence, where appropriate.

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

Frequently asked questions

The short breaks grant scheme is now closed for 2018. There are insufficient funds to hold a second panel this year.

If you would like more information about the short breaks scheme, please contact your local area prevention manager:

District Area prevention manager Telephone
Craven Caroline Porter 01609 532412
Ripon and rural Harrogate Jon Coates 01609 532323
Harrogate town and Knaresborough Rachel Yeadon 01609 533446
Richmondshire Vanessa Handley 01609 533682
Hambleton Sharon Britton 01609 536206
Selby town Pat Scully 01609 532385
Tadcaster and rural Selby David Fincham 01609 534022
Whitby and the moors Diane Leith 01609 532479
Ryedale Simon Osman 01609 536009
Scarborough town Liz White 01609 533139
Scarborough south and Filey  Simone Wilkinson 01609 532927