Which type of short break your child needs and how to get one.

Not all children and families need the same type of short break. 
Our  pdf short breaks statement for 2023 (897 KB)  describes how we decide which type of short break is most suitable for your family.

Universal services

Universal short break services are for all children and young people, with and without additional needs. You can go directly to them and you don't need an assessment.

Targeted services

Targeted short break services are for disabled children and young people in Bristol who: 

  • are aged between 5 and 18 years old 
  • live in the Bristol City Council area or are a child in care placed by Bristol City Council
  • have a disability, impairment or additional needs so that they need support to take part in social and play activities 

They are services for:

  • disabled children 
  • young people who have multiple needs because of emotional or physical difficulties, 
  • young people who may be affected by problems in their family 

You can refer yourself for a targeted short break service. Contact a targeted short breaks service to find out about eligibility criteria. 

Bristol Autism Project (run by FACE)

Out and About

Find organisations in Bristol that provide targeted short break services.

Specialist services

Specialist short break services are for families with disabled children and young people who need more support than you can get through universal and targeted services.

Specialist services include:

  • personal assistants to support your child in community activities
  • family based overnight and day care
  • residential overnight short breaks
  • holiday clubs 
  • SEN Support at your child's education setting
  • services from the Bristol Autism team
  • personal budget and direct payments
  • health services

To get a specialist short break your family should have a social care assessment of need which is completed by the Disabled Children's Service or a social worker. 

The assessment will decide what services your family needs and at what level. The Child's Resource Panel for Specialist Services will discuss your child's assessment. The Disabled Children's Services will then tell you the type of short break or support that has been agreed.

You can ask for an assessment for your child. Call First Response on 0117 903 6444 to ask for an assessment.