Short breaks are preventative, family support services so a disabled child or young person can have a break from their parent/carer and vice versa.

They can be any time frame ranging from an hour to a day, evening, overnight or weekend, depending on the needs of the family involved. 

It can take place in a community activity setting, a child/young person's home or other residential setting and allows for the parent/carer to have a break from their caring responsibilities.

Traditionally, short breaks have been made available in the form of residential provision and overnight stays with link families. Now the range of options has increased as service providers have introduced inclusive play and leisure options, community based short breaks, befriending and overnight holidays.

Find out more about short breaks.

Short breaks services statement

Our short breaks services statement sets out how Bristol will:

  • provide a range of short breaks services
  • publish a statement of their short breaks services on our website
  • keep our pdf short breaks statement (897 KB)  under review
  • state in our short breaks service statement the range of short breaks services available, the criteria by which eligibility for services will be assessed and how the range of services is designed to meet the needs of families with disabled children in their area
  • consult parents as part of the review of the statement
  • consider the legal implications of the eligibility criteria we apply to short breaks services and not apply any eligibility criteria mechanistically without consideration of a particular family's needs

and ensures that:

  • short breaks are reliable and regular to best meet families' needs
  • local authorities should try to reach groups of parents who may be more difficult to engage
  • parents are engaged in the design of local short breaks services
  • short breaks can build on and be offered by universal service providers
  • short breaks promote greater levels of confidence and competence for young people moving towards adult life
  • local authorities should ensure that those who use short breaks services have the chance to shape the development of those services and continue to develop their workforce in relation to short breaks services

Targeted short breaks commissioning plan

We developed the pdf targeted short breaks commissioning plan (275 KB)  in consultation with service users and practitioners. It sets out the commissioning intentions for shorts breaks that we jointly fund with the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.