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What is a short break?

Being a carer can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it's important you have the opportunity to take a break from your caring role.

Short breaks give children and young people the chance to develop new friendships, take part in new experiences, learn new skills and have fun whilst achieving positive outcomes. The purpose of shorts breaks is to give children and young people with disabilities the same opportunity as others to take part in various activities.

There are lots of ways you can take what we call a 'short break' from caring. This could be for a few hours, a day, overnight, a weekend. The person you care for will be looked after in a supportive, safe environment and perhaps enjoy new activities while you take some time for yourself.

There are different kinds of short breaks available, depending on the sort of needs the person you're caring for has.

Wherever possible, we try to enable disabled children and young people to access mainstream services, such as; targeted play (through Early Help), after school clubs, local play schemes, youth services (such as H&F Mencap, Action On Disability) and leisure facilities. We will work with families to promote inclusion wherever possible.

Provision of this type of support is aimed at supporting families and contributes to the health, wellbeing, growth, development, enjoyment and achievement of children and young people.

We seek to provide choice and make our services easy to access through a variety of assessment types. We work closely with other agencies to provide a co-ordinated service.

The Short Breaks Team

To learn who is involved in the short breaks service, please refer to the short breaks team structure below.

>> See the short breaks team structure

Who are the services for?

All services are only available to individuals who are:

  • residents of H&F, and
  • aged 0-18 years with a disability**

**The accepted definition of 'disability' in H&F is from the Equalities Act (2010), which is a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

This may include one or more of the following:

  • an Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • a learning disability
  • physical disabilities
  • profound and multiple disabilities.

Contact us

Please contact our Initial Contact and Advice Team (ICAT) where you will get straight through to a Social Worker on 020 8753 6610 (out of hours – 020 8748 8588).

You can also contact The Stephen Wiltshire Centre on 020 8753 4443 or via email to They will be able to advise you on what is on offer and discuss your eligibility. 

** This page is currently under review as part of the Disabled Children's Service Review.

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