COVID 19 Updates

Short breaks

About short breaks

Short breaks offer activities for disabled children and young people to make sure they have the same opportunities as other children to have fun, spend time away from home with their friends, and develop skills and independence. Short breaks also give you a chance to take a break from your caring duties. Different types of short breaks include:

  • overnight breaks
  • after-school clubs
  • weekend activities
  • school-holiday activities
  • family fun days

Improving short breaks in Newham

We are currently reviewing the offer of short breaks in Newham. In order to do this we are working with local families to help us better understand how we could use existing funding more creatively to improve the types of breaks that are available.

As part of our improvement journey we are also updating our short break statement and aim to have a revised, co-produced version available by January 2019. This will provide more detailed information about what breaks are available in Newham, how families can access them and how we intend to continue working with families to continuously improve the breaks that are available. In the meantime we have produced a document that explains more about short breaks and how they can be accessed. The document can be found here.

What you told us

During the Summer in 2019 we asked families, with the help of the Newham Parent Forum and other partners, what more we could do to support community facilities to be more inclusive so that all children and young people in Newham can access them.

The purpose of the survey was to help us better understand the need for community based short breaks in Newham. The results have informed a wider commissioning exercise that will improve the range of all short breaks that are available for families in Newham.

In total 30 families shared their views with us and a summary of the results can be found by clicking here. Whilst this is a small snapshot of families in Newham, the feedback has helped us understand how we can more effectively engage with families and local services in the short term.

We would like to thank all parents and carers who took the time to share their views with us.

What we are doing

Short Term Plans

Based on the feedback we received over the Summer, there are clear priorities for families in Newham in terms of accessing a wider range of community based resources. Feedback we have received directly from parents in various forums as well as through the survey, also tells us that parents themselves can, and want to, support the improvement of short breaks in the community.

Because of that we are in contact the Newham Parent Forum to discuss how we can work together with families and local resources, such as Leisure Centres and other activity providers, to support them in confidently and safely offering their services to all families in Newham. During the second half of the Autumn term (2019) we will be jointly developing plans that we hope will enable families to access the services they have told us they need, in ways that work for them. If you would like to get involved in this project, please contact the Parent Forum directly at

Long Term Plans

Over the course of the next few months we will be consulting with you in more detail about your views on how the wider offer of short breaks in Newham can be improved in the long term. More information about how you can get involved will be published here soon and we hope to work with as many families as possible to ensure we get the broadest range of views. We will also publish our commissioning plan, which will clearly set out the process for engaging with providers, when additional services will become available and how they can be accessed.

Community services for all

The types of service available to all young children include:

  • after-school clubs
  • summer clubs
  • family activity days
  • some group-based activities
  • Active Newham services for disabled children and young people.

We do not need to assess your child for these services but there may be a cost for them. Please follow this link for information about upcoming events

Services for young children with critical or substantial needs

If your child has critical or substantial needs,  the extra help she or he might get could include:

  • overnight short-break services
  • individual care packages
  • specialist short-break services.

If you like to discuss you short breaks option or need some support, you can contact your Social Worker, the Disabled Child and Young People’s  Team, or the MASH. All of whom are based at London Borough Newham. Contact details can be found on

Safeguarding children

Anyone who is employed by an organisation which is running a short break or activity must have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, so you can be rest assured that your child is in safe hands.

The provider must also report any safeguarding concerns to us and are required to follow all current legislation in relation to the safeguarding of children. More information about safeguarding can be found here

Personal budgets for short breaks

If your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan, you may decide to ask for a personal budget. You can use your personal budget to buy short break support and services. For more information on personal budgets, please click here