What are short breaks?

Short breaks give children and young people who meet the eligibility criteria the chance to take part in activities, explore new opportunities, form friendships, become more independent and enjoy themselves.

Short breaks activities take place outside of school hours during daytime, evenings, weekends and school holidays.

Short breaks could, depending on the child’s allocated budget, be used for:

  • Group activities like a youth club or Saturday group for children and young people with disabilities
  • Holiday play schemes
  • Sports, arts or music activities
  • One-to-one support to access any other activities, such as youth clubs, cinema trips or meeting friends for lunch

More information on using direct payments for personal assistants

More information on using a direct payments pre-paid card

See examples of how families have used their short breaks budget

Short breaks service statement

We want to ensure that families in Norfolk have clear, transparent and accessible information on short break services.  Like every local authority, we are required to produce a Short Breaks Services Statement so that families know what services are available, the eligibility criteria for these services, and how the range of services is designed to meet the needs of families with disabled children in their area.

The statement will be reviewed annually to ensure it is up to date with the relevant information and continually reflects the views of disabled children and their parents.

For further information contact cs.shortbreaks@norfolk.gov.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

The short break services we fund have all been through a tendering process, where providers have had to prove they are up to the task.  Parents played an important part in this process alongside professionals and you can feel confident that the right skills and experiences are in place.

Before any child starts a local authority (LA) short break provider, parents will be asked to complete an ‘All about me’ booklet.  The ‘All about me’ booklet details the essential information providers require before being able to deliver a short breaks service to your child.

Each commissioned LA short break provider will have clearly defined standards, review processes and a complaints procedures.  You can ask them for more information about these, or if you have any concerns, please contact the Short Breaks Team.

If you wish to purchase services through a direct payment from a non-LA commissioned provider, you will be responsible for checking the service meets the requirements for yourself and your disabled child.

Please don’t assume that this is the case.  Give as much information as possible in the ‘All about me’ booklet when you apply for services and the Short Breaks Team will work with you to help find the right options for your family.

Our Children’s Services team provides a number of specialist short break services itself and pays voluntary and independent organisations to provide many more.  However, this does not cover the cost of activities and trips and in these circumstances providers will ask parents carers for a financial contribution.

There are also a number of community and voluntary sector partners who provide services for disabled children, that are not commissioned through us.  If you require information on these services search the Norfolk Community Directory.

If you have any comments you would like to make about services, both positive and negative, contact the children’s services compliments and complaints team via our customer service centre. Our compliments and complaints team will follow up on any concerns you may have.

You can also write a review of any service provider listed in the Norfolk Community Directory. The ‘write a review’ option can be seen under the list of actions when you have an entry open.

No it doesn't.  Taking a break from caring for your child is not an admission of failure or a way of saying you don’t care.  Without an occasional break you might become exhausted or even unwell.  Keeping going is easier if you have had some time to do the things you can’t do whilst looking after your child.

What’s more, short break services offer children and young people with disabilities opportunities to try new and different things and to take part in activities other people their age enjoy, all in a safe environment.  Short breaks can and should be positive experiences for everyone involved.

We can only provide an effective service to you and your child by sharing information with other key people involved in your child’s welfare.

Normally this will only be done with your consent and you can ask us not to share certain information if you wish.  However there may be circumstances in which it will be necessary for us to share information without your consent.  This is most likely to happen if there are concerns around the safety of your child.

Any assessments and plans we make will be shared with you, and you will be asked to sign to say that you have seen them and agreed to them.

If you are eligible for short breaks, services will be allocated initially for up to 12 months.  During that time you’ll need to renew your package by completing a renewal application.  We will contact you to let you know when that needs to happen.

No, the Resource Allocation System (RAS) does not depend on what income the family has.

Call your allocated social worker in the first instance.  If you do not have a social worker and you receive specialist short breaks call the Short Breaks Team on 01603 692455.

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