Short breaks are designed to meet the individual needs and interests of children and young people who require additional support to access leisure activities and to give their carers a ‘short break’ from caring.
Short breaks should always be designed in consultation with parents and carers, with the needs of the child at the heart of the planning process. Wherever possible parents should be able to take control of their short breaks through direct payments and personal budgets and therefore be supported to access services local to the family where children can form friendships, feel part of the community and build skills required for adulthood.
Different types of short break are accessed in different ways. The information below will tell you how short breaks are accessed and what type of provision is available.
- How do we access short breaks?What short breaks services are available in Devon?
If you would like to access short breaks you will need to have an assessment. More information about eligibility for assessment and who to contact can be found at Accessing support.
There are also a range of universal services and activities that you should be able to access, including leisure and play facilities. Information about these services is accessible through Pinpoint Devon or through access to DISCplus.
Short breaks services should be based around the families’ wishes and needs and link to existing services in the local community wherever possible. We want children to be able to access leisure, sport, brownies and cubs, youth clubs and all other services that are available for all children. However families may wish to think about the support children may need to do this and we can support families to access enabling support where appropriate.
Finding short breaks information
Pinpoint Devon can offer some information about services that you could access locally. This provides you with the ability to search your local area and find things that your child may like to be involved in.
DISC is the Devon Family Information Service. The Service holds a wide range of information about children’s services and registered childcare including childminders, crèches, holiday schemes, nurseries, out of school clubs and pre-schools.
DISCplus is a specialist information service for families with children with disabilities. They provide information on local and national organisations, short breaks providers, enabling services and any hints, tips and updates that are of use to the families and staff who require them.
DISCplus produce a termly newsletter, weekly snippets and daily updates on their Facebook page. To contact a DISCplus local information co-ordinator call the helpline on 0845 155 1013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s centres – For younger children, childrens centre’s and health visitors provide information and advice and many have groups that meet locally that can provide support, advice and information for your child.
Overnight short breaks
Overnight short breaks are a form of short-term substitute care for children and young people with significant disabilities or a serious health condition. They are provided by someone other than parents or the usual carers of the child. They will form part of a support package based on the particular needs of individual children and their families and could be provided by a foster carer, a residential unit or the provision of care in the family home
Devon has a range of providers who can offer overnight short breaks, with foster carers or residential services.
Overnight short breaks can be accessed from a family’s short breaks allocation.