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Respite, short breaks and activities

A range of services is available to provide short breaks and respite for families of disabled children and to enable children to have new experiences and to take part in fun activities.

Recognizing the wide range of needs of disabled children and their families, there are three levels of service.

Level 1 - Activities for all (Universal): mainstream community services such as youth clubs, uniformed groups (for example cubs, brownies), leisure centres, nurseries, child-minders and activity-based groups.

Level 2 - Allowance scheme (Targeted short breaks): the allowance is to help children with special educational needs and disabilities who need some extra support to take part in clubs and leisure activities.  No social care assessment is needed.

Level 3 - Specialist short breaks for disabled children (respite): specialist short break services can be provided to meet a specific need following a social care assessment of the child's and parent/carer's circumstances. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, needs can be met through a direct payment for the family to make their own arrangements, or through a range of approved daytime activities or overnight short breaks.

For further information, please see the short breaks statement and eligibility criteria.

To read more about how short breaks were re-commissioned and feedback received, please see: