What are short breaks?

Short breaks are activities, outside of the home, for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

They provide a break for both parents/carers and their child. Families who have disabled children can sometimes benefit from a break from their caring responsibilities.

Short breaks services assist carers to provide care or to do so more effectively.

Taking a short break from caring can be a benefit for you and your child.

For you it can be an opportunity to spend time with others, or recharge your batteries. For your child they can have a change of scenery, try new things and/or make new friends.

How do I access short breaks?

There are some short break services that parents and carers can access directly these are known as 'universal short breaks'.

'Specialist short breaks' are accessible in line with the eligibility criteria and via Dudley Children's Social Care Service.

You can contact our access team directly or be referred from your practitioner or telephone: 0300 555 0050 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

For practitioners and those working with children referrals should be made by completing a request for help and support form (please see below link).

Following a referral a social worker will contact you to discuss your request to access a short break..

In line with the eligibility criteria you will be provided with the right level of support appropriate to your needs. This can be through universal, targeted early help or statutory social care services..

It is recommended that parents or professionals give as much information as possible about the child/young person's disability; this enables us to ensure that the right services are provided at the right time to meet individual needs and to ensure the families have the appropriate support.

Universal short breaks

Specialist short breaks

Some of these services are contracts paid for by Dudley Council, some are by Black Country Integrated Care Board and some are jointly funded.

Small bids programme - providing short breaks for disabled children

The ‘Small Bids Programme’ provides activities ‘Shorts Breaks for Disabled Children’ Dudley MBC have assigned a of budget for 2024/2025 financial year.

The Programme activities for Short Breaks for Disabled Children are about Innovation and providing activities that can increase the reach and support social/recreational interaction for (Special Educational Needs- SEN)/disabled children and young people in a safe environment.

The Programme aims to serve children and young people from 0-18.

The programme has been running for a number of years, giving organisations the opportunity to provide activities which meet the needs of children and young people accessing their services and attracting new participants.

Awards made for under the Short Breaks for Disabled Children are advertised on the Local Offer, to ensure children, young people and families are aware of activities that are available in the Borough and provide choice to children and young people on what they wish to access to enhance and develop their social and recreational skills.

The maximum amount of funding that can be applied for in each application is £499, organisations are required to complete an application which is then considered by a panel made up of individuals that have a vested interest in this area of work.

Panel members meet monthly with notifications sent out 3 working days after a panel meeting.

Guidance information, submission dates and application process are identified on the links below.

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