Short Breaks are preventative family support services that provide a disabled child or young person with a break. They can be at any time, ranging from an hour to a day, evening, overnight on a weekend or a holiday, depending on the needs of the family involved. The short break may take place in a community activity setting, a child/young person’s home or other residential setting. It allows parents and carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities and gives children and young people the opportunity for a positive experience.
Short Breaks include:
1) Specialist Short Breaks are for children with a higher-level of need and require a social work assessment; this includes residential overnight breaks, foster short breaks in another family’s home and direct payments (money that is given to the families so that they can pay for their care and support needs).
2) Targeted Short Breaks are for all disabled children and do not require a social work assessment for families to access. This includes evening, weekend and holiday short breaks such as youth club, after school activities, trips and a befriending service.
Click here for Bristol’s current Short Breaks Statement which states our current approach and lists all the Short Breaks that are on offer.
During 2018 we engaged and consulted with children and young people with disabilities and their parents/carers about Targeted Short Breaks before we started recommissioning these services. We asked people about the Targeted Special School Based Holidays Short Breaks. This service was being run by Barnardos in Kinsgweston School, Briarwood School, New Fosseway School and Claremont School over the summer and Easter holidays. This service was going to be recommissioned with the rest of the other Targeted Short Breaks but the Special Schools let us know they couldn’t continue to support the service for many reasons, including long term building works on their sites during the holidays.
Because of this Bristol City Council and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group are currently funding organisations to pilot Targeted School Holiday Short Breaks in community settings over the summer 2019 and Easter 2020 holidays. The pilot has been delivered by the following organisations: Wecil, PlayBus (now closed), Sense and Action for Children.
The pilot and this engagement will be used to design a new ‘Targeted School Holiday Short Breaks Service/s for Children and Young People’ from summer 2020 onwards.