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What are Short Breaks?

Short breaks enable disabled children, young people and adults to have time away from their carers, explore new opportunities, have fun and broaden their social networks whilst promoting independence. They can provide families with an opportunity to have a break from their caring responsibilities, and can last from a few hours to a few days, evenings, overnight and weekends.


Benefits of Short Breaks

Providing short breaks has helped many families live a better quality of life, for example having a supported holiday together, with parents having some time to rest or spend with other children in the family and disabled children, young people and adults taking part in many new activities which they have enjoyed. 

In some cases, the support offered by the short break service has helped prevent family stress and breakdown. Many families have also felt it has enabled them to become stronger and better able to manage.

Children and young people have told us that they are now able to go out much more than before. They can choose what activities they want to do and who they want to go to activities with. There is more to do in their local area and they feel much happier.


Who Are Short Breaks For?

Families with children between the age of 0 and 18 may be entitled to short breaks if they are affected in their everyday living by one or more of the following:

  • A physical impairment
  • A sensory impairment
  • Chronic physical ill health
  • A communication or language disorder
  • An Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • A learning disability

If you care for someone aged over 18 with additional needs and/or disabilties you may also be able to access short breaks. You will be able to apply for a Carer's Assessment where the local authority will review your needs as a carer. Please visit the People First website to find out more.  


Disabled Children's Newsletter - Summer Term

The Disabled Children's Newsletter provides an update to families on all new developments in the Short Breaks Service.

Please click here to download the Summer Term Newsletter (2019)



Short Breaks Statement

>> Short Breaks Statement

Please click on the link above to download our current Short Break Statement. In this document you can find out more about the range of Short Breaks available in RBKC, how to access them and how to get involved in helping us decide what Short Breaks to offer in the future.


Short Breaks Menu

>> Short Breaks Menu

Click on the link about to download the Short Breaks Menu. The table in this resource displays the full range of universal, core and specialist short break provision for children and young people with disabilities, and their families, funded by Kensington & Chelsea or Westminster City Council during 2019/2020. Use this resource to find activities that might benefit you and your child. 


Front Door for Health Notifications

>> Front Door Overview

When a health care professional identifies that a young child, under 5, may have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) they are required by law to tell the local authority. This is called a Health Early Notification.

In the Bi-Borough (Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster), a service called the Front Door has been set up specifically to manage these notifications from health colleagues. The service has been designed to help you get any information and support you may want in relation to your child’s needs. Please click the link above for more details.

Please follow this link for the associated Keyworker Referral Form


Short Breaks Practitioners and Occupational Therapists

There are occupational therapists (O.T.s) who provide assessment at home for children with a permanent disability which causes them significant difficulties carrying out daily activities. They will see the child at home to understand the practical difficulties they and their parents or carers are having. They will offer ways to minimise the difficulties, possibly using specialist equipment or home adaptation, or using different techniques and methods. Anyone can refer a child to this service, with that child and parent’s permission, including the parent or child themselves if they are able.

If you live in Kensington and Chelsea, contact Kate Young; and Nicola Campbell; , tel: 0207 598 4921 or Sophie Buckland; , tel: 07925 894 176 to ask for a referral form which can be completed by anyone, with the child and/or parent’s permission.

Please click here for more information on the Short Breaks Occupational Therapy Service


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