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Short Breaks Service

Short breaks

Sometimes families who have disabled children and/or health conditions benefit from a break from their caring responsibilities. Local authorities now have duties to provide short break services and make clear how families can access these.

Taking a break from caring for your child is not an admission of failure or a way of saying you don't care. A break is an opportunity to recharge batteries, spend time with others or pursue a particular interest. Short breaks may also allow your child to have a change of scene, try different experiences, have fun and make friends.

Short breaks can include:

  • Care at home - includes sitting or care attendant schemes, which provide someone to sit with or 'mind' your child.

  • Day care away from home - includes nurseries, playgroups, out of school and weekend clubs and, during school holidays, access to playschemes.

  • Overnight short breaks - includes an overnight sitting or nursing service if your child needs it.

  • Residential breaks - includes residential homes, special units in hospitals and hospices.

  • 1-1 befriending support

Getting a short break

Speak to your local authority about getting short breaks services. The main route involves undergoing an assessment of your child and family's needs by social services (but see below for information about universal short breaks).

To see what short breaks may be available, you can try contacting your local Family Information Service.

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A befriending service is designed in to meet the needs of disabled children/young people and their families. Through planned 1:1 sessions the service facilitates leisure and play activities to help the child/young person expand their interests and explore, new social opportunities and build up positive experiences and skills. 
Families are allocated a trained designated short breaks worker who organises regular sessions in partnership with the family. The sessions can be home and community based depending on the needs of the child/young person and their family. Workers can also come along to family outings to provide support.


Gravity Red Inspires offer individual packages of support tailor-made to the needs of individual families to include;
One-to-one community based activities for children and adolescents with a variety of needs including children in need, children with behavioral difficulties, learning disability and autism. Keeping children and young people within their communities accessing local amenities and leisure facilities.
Support within the family home to assist parents/carers in implementing structure and routine, behavior modification programmes individual to the child and family’s needs.

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This programme is not curriculum based or academically based and is not an alternative education package but is a productive use of children/young people’s ‘school time.’ Re-integration into school is seen as the aim for every child on the programme and assistance in this process is an integral part of the service provided.
The programme embraces the philosophy of school, with systems and boundaries separate to those of the children/young people’s living situation, whilst working in close co-operation with carers.
Each child/young person will have an individually tailored programme timetable. Topics of interest are found for children/young people and learning opportunities are created around these.
Written monthly feedback will be provided for each child/young person.
We encourage open communication between carers and programme workers and are happy to respond to requests to attend meetings etc. in the best interest of the child/young person.
All programmes will be reviewed regularly at intervals decided at the outset.

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From behavior management to classroom support

Gravity Red Inspires offers a wide range of consulting services with the necessary tools and expertise to help your school. We partner with our clients from start to finish, focusing on their needs while producing new ideas, developing effective strategies and designing high quality and scalable solutions. Contact us to learn more.

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