Short Breaks for Children, Young People and their Families

Short Breaks are available for children and young people who have additional support needs and or disabilities.

Short Breaks are available for children and young people who have additional support needs and or disabilities and are intended to have positive benefits for both children and young people and their families.

Short breaks provide opportunities for children and young people:

  • To spend time away from their parents carers;
  • The chance to develop new friendships;
  • To develop their independence;
  • To take part in new experiences and to have fun doing positive activities such as swimming, youth clubs, day trips with friends and much more.

Short breaks aim to provide their parent carers with:

  • A necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibility;
  • A chance to rest and unwind;
  • To spend time with other members of the family.

Short Breaks provision can range from a few hours a week to an allocated number of overnight breaks per year and anything in between.

Redcar and Cleveland's Short Breaks Offer is provided under 3 categories; Universal Services, Self-Referral Clubs and Social Worker Referral Services.

Universal services​

Some families are able to get a Short Break by using free or low cost local services.  These services are not funded or commissioned by the Local Authority.  Examples of these are; school clubs, youth clubs, Scouts, Brownies, Guides, sport clubs and charity funded club provision. 

Services have a duty to make reasonable adjustments and must not treat a disabled person less favourably.  Some universal services offer sessions specifically for children and young people with additional needs, however, not all universal services will be suitable for everyone.

Local universal services can be found on our SEND Local Offer Webpage

Self-referral clubs

Our self-referral clubs take place after school, on weekends and during school holidays and are specifically for children with additional support needs and/or disabilities. These clubs are commissioned and funded by the Local Authority. 

The clubs take place in and around Redcar and Cleveland, providing children and young people with an opportunity to meet new people and try a wide range of activities such as sports, arts and crafts, cooking, music and much more.

Families can refer themselves to this service without the need for a social care referral or a diagnosis but must be able to evidence to the club their child/young person has additional support needs. 

You can download and view the Short Breaks Clubs Offer below:

To support families with babies and younger children we have produced a leaflet which outlines SEND and inclusive activities for 0-5 year olds.  A copy of the leaflet can be downloaded below:

To support young adults we have produced a leaflet which outlines SEND and inclusive activities for 18-25 year olds.  A copy of the leaflet can be downloaded below:

Social worker referral services​

Sometimes a child or young person may have more significant or complex needs due to their disability and/or family circumstances and will need more specialist support. 

Support may include one or more specialist services such as a personal assistant, overnight care in or away from the home, care in the home or in the community.

The level of support needed will be identified by a Social Worker assessment and a request for services will be presented to the Children with Disabilities Multi Agency panel for consideration. 

These services will be commissioned specifically for the child’s/young person’s needs or alternatively a family may prefer to request a Direct Payment to arrange the services themselves.

We have a number of different providers who are commissioned to deliver Social Work Referral Short Breaks.  The brochure which can be downloaded below, outlines who these providers are and what support they offer.

If you are interested in these services, please contact your Social Worker.  If you do not have a Social Worker but feel you require more support than what is available from Universal Services or Self Referral Services please ring:

  • Children’s Multi Agency Hub 01642 130700 for children and young people up to the age of 18 years
  • Single Point of Access 01642 065070 - for those aged over 18 years old

Additional Support

In response to feedback from families, the Short Breaks Team also offer the following support to families:

  • Free Max Card – A Max Card is an activity discount card that enables SEND families to access activities and days out at a free or reduced rate.  For more information please visit our Max Card Webpage Max cards | Redcar and Cleveland (
  • Free SEND Stay and Play Sessions during the school holidays. 
  • SEND Family Mailing List – Parents/carers can request to opt into the SEND Family Mailing List.  Relevant information such as Short Break updates, training for parent carers, activities for children etc will be shared by email directly with families.  Parent/carers will need to provide evidence their child has SEND to join.

For more information on the additional support services listed above please email

Short breaks statement

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has a duty to produce and publicise a Short Breaks Service Statement.  The Statement must detail:

  • The range of services on offer;
  • Eligibility criteria for accessing services;
  • How to access services;
  • How the range of services has been designed to meet the needs of local carers.​

Our Statement is kept under constant review. You can download and view the Short Breaks Statement below:

It is important Redcar and Cleveland families are involved in the development of the Short Breaks Offer.  One of the ways we do this is to regularly consult with families on what is working well and areas for improvement. 

Details of previous consultations are outlined in our Short Breaks Statement and also within the consultation reports below:

Short Breaks Team Contact Details

The Short Breaks Team can be contacted by email or by calling 07966 232668

Other useful documents