Short breaks for disabled children and young people and their carers

Short breaks statement

Our short breaks statement sets out how we will provide short breaks for disabled children and young people in Bromley. It is reviewed annually in collaboration with parents, carers, disabled children and young people.

Short breaks explained

Often referred to as “respite” short breaks are intended to provide opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to have enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers, contributing to their social inclusion and personal and social development.

They also provide the parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities with a necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibilities.

Short breaks can include day, evening, overnight, weekend or holiday activities and can take place in the child or young person’s own home, in the home of an approved carer, in the community or a residential setting. Short breaks range from supporting children with disabilities to access a break within a universal setting, to providing specialist services.

Who is eligible for short breaks?

The needs and family situation of each child is different and short breaks are therefore offered to meet specific needs in each case. Disabled children and young people who can answer yes to the following statements are usually eligible for a Short Breaks assessment

1) Your child has at least one severe, profound or complex disability which has a substantial and long term effect on the child or young person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities from the following categories:

  • Learning disability
  • Autism spectrum condition/social communication difficulties 
  • Health issues 
  • Hearing and visual difficulties

2) Your child/young person has tried to access universal (local/community) services?

3) Your child's or young person's disability has a big impact on your family’s daily life?

4) Your child or young person’s residential address is within the London Borough of Bromley and they are aged between 0-18?

The final decision will be based on the outcome of either an online assessment or a social work assessment

Support can also be provided to families where the need may be greater due to individual family circumstances and not necessarily due to the severity of the child or young person’s disability. This might include where there is more than one disabled child or young person in the family impacting on the parent’s ability to cope, or where additional support is required to safeguard a child.

This support could be via the childrens disability service (CDS), other social care teams or support via Bromley Children’s Project might be recommended.

Our short breaks disability criteria guide provides a simple reference tool to indicate whether you should consider completing the short breaks online assessment.

Applying for a short break

Parents and carers need to complete our short break assessment form and return it to the childrens disability service.

Families that do not meet the threshold for services from the childrens disability service may be provided with general information and contact details for universal and targeted services. 

Types of short break

Short breaks can be categorised as universal, targeted or specialist.

“Universal” describes leisure and social activities or clubs that are accessible by everyone. Some children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities may have difficulty accessing these services and so may be eligible to use our targeted or specialist services. Find out more about types of short breaks

Support into adulthood

As well as providing specialist short breaks support and other social care services for disabled children, young people and their families in Bromley our childrens disability service also supports children and young people as they turn 18 to identify what support they need when they become adults. Find out more about moving from child to adult social care.

Direct payments and personal budgets for children and young people with Education Health and Care (EHC) plans

What is a direct payment?

A direct payment is money that we can pay to you if your child is eligible to receive care and support from us.

Following an assessment, we will discuss with you what support you require to meet your child's needs and the amount of money required to meet those needs.

Find out more by downloading and reading our direct payments guide for parents and carers of children and young people who have disabilities. 

What is a personal budget?

Personal budget is an amount of money that can come from education, health and social care which families can spend on services and support which will be based on the assessed needs of your child/ young person. It is not the sum total of all the resources that are available to support your child.

Find out more about by reading the parent's guide to personal budgets for children and young people with EHC plans.

Agency support

The CDS access (commission) personal assistants through agencies to meet an identified need. The agencies employ personal assistants to support children and young people with disabilities, either in the family home or taking the child out in the community. We also use agency personal assistants to support parent and carers with routines and strategies within their home.

All children and young people who are considered eligible for and in need of the service receive an assessment of their family and individual needs by the CDS.

Need more help? Find out to talk to

Contact the Information, Advice and Support Service for free, impartial information, advice and support for parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Support is also offered to children and young people with SEND. They can also help provide information in a non web format.

Children's disability service


Tel: 020 8313 4511

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH