Short breaks

Information on short breaks, including types of short breaks, eligibility criteria and how to apply.

What is a short break?

Short breaks
A short break allows a disabled child or young person to have an enjoyable break away from their main carer, and enables their carer to take a break.

It gives children and young people the opportunity to develop new friendships, take part in new experiences, learn new skills, have fun, and become more independent.

A short break could be for a few hours, a day, overnight or a weekend and will be provided in a supportive and safe environment.

Types of short break

  • Universal services
    These are accessible for every child with a disability in Hillingdon and will sometimes have a cost to access the service. Examples include children's centres, leisure centres, young people's centres, and disability sports coaches. For a full list of organisations who offer universal support services in Hillingdon, visit our Hillingdon Care and Support Directory.
  • Targeted services
    These are accessed via our early help service, which will carry out a light touch assessment of your child and family's circumstances. In most cases, there will be a cost to access this type of service. Families may be signposted to the SEND local offer and other available services, including those provided by the voluntary sector.
  • Specialist services
    These services are designed for children, young people and their families who need a short break with additional and specialist care. Specialist services may be offered following a referral to the Hillingdon Access to Resource Panel (HARP), which meets weekly to decide on the support for a child.

Eligibility criteria

Children and young people who are residents in Hillingdon are eligible for a short break if they have a physical, learning, sensory or mental impairment, which has a substantial and critical impact on their ability to perform day-to-day activities. This may include a physical or learning disability, a hearing or visual impairment. This also includes children who have complex health needs, including those with palliative care needs, life limiting or life threatening conditions.

Where a child and family assessment concludes that a short break is required, it is likely that the child or young person may be assessed for (or already possess) an Education Health and Care Plan and the short break assessment will form part of that plan.

    How to access the short break service

    Our  Short Break Services Statement 2021-2023 (PDF) [255KB] provides more information about short breaks in Hillingdon. Please read this before applying for support.

    To apply for Short Break Service support, email strongerfamilieshub@hillingdon.gov.uk or call 01895 556006.

      Page last updated: 04 Feb 2022