Arrange a short break for a child

A short break allows your child to take part in fun activities away from their normal routine and can give parents a break from caring responsibilities.

The break may last a few hours or a few days and can happen at home, in an approved foster carer’s home, or a residential setting.

Children and young people who have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term effect on their ability to carry out day to day activities, can benefit from a short break.

Benefits of short breaks

Short breaks are a positive experience for children and families. They give children an opportunity to make friends, join activities and take a break from their family. They can also support parents in their caring role so that the whole family can enjoy activities together.

Types of short break

Universal short breaks are for all children, including disabled children and young people, up to the age of 19. These include: youth service, youth theatre, school and community holiday clubs, leisure centres and family activity days.

Targeted short breaks are for families with disabled children and can be accessed directly by parents without an assessment from Social Care. These include after school and weekend activities in term time, holiday play schemes and family fun sessions.

Specialist short breaks are for families with disabled children who have the most complex needs. Referrals for specialist breaks go to the Children’s Complex Needs Resource Panel and families will need to be deemed eligible following an assessment and support from a disability social worker. These include family-based short breaks, overnight stays in residential provision and health and care packages in the home.

Short Breaks Grants 2017/2018


As part of Knowsley’s Short Breaks programme for 2017/18, we are now inviting applications for small grants to enable the development of peer support and bespoke activities for children with disabilities and their families.  The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 5th May 2017. To apply, please read the Guidance Notes and Eligibility Criteria attached, and then complete the Application Form.  Completed forms should be sent to: or via post to Paul Simon, Commissioning Manager (Children’s), Whole Life Commissioning Team, 4th Floor Municipal Building, Archway Road, Huyton, L36 9YU.

Call 0151 443 5601 if you’d like to know more about arranging a short break for your child.
The short breaks statement gives full details of the schemes.