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Short breaks give children and young people who meet the eligibility criteria the chance to take part in activities, explore new opportunities, form friendships, become more independent and enjoy themselves.

Short breaks activities take place outside of school hours during daytime, evenings, weekends and school holidays.

Short breaks could, depending on the child’s allocated budget, be used for:

  • Group activities like a youth club or Saturday group for children and young people with disabilities
  • Holiday play schemes
  • Sports, arts or music activities
  • One-to-one support to access any other activities, such as youth clubs, cinema trips or meeting friends for lunch

Short breaks service statement

We want to ensure that families in Norfolk have clear, transparent and accessible information on short break services. Like every local authority, we are required to produce a Short Breaks Services Statement so that families know what services are available, the eligibility criteria for these services, and how the range of services is designed to meet the needs of families with disabled children in their area.

Can I get a short break?

To be eligible, the child or young person must have a physical or mental impairment that is substantial and permanent, where:

  • Substantial means considerable or significant factors that are life changing or limiting, and likely to involve risk and dependence
  • Permanent means existing indefinitely and unlikely to improve (allowing for the episodic / intermittent nature of some conditions)

The Short Breaks Team cannot accept applications for children under the age of five as the expectation is that they should be receiving their universal Early Years Funding (available from age two for children in receipt of DLA) and also support from the Early childhood and family service (ECFS)

If a child under five has exceptional needs they would need to be referred by a professional to CADS clearly explaining why it was felt they had exceptional needs. If appropriate they would then be referred to one of the specialist Children with Disabilities social work teams for a holistic social work assessment of the child and family’s needs. This would still not be an automatic right to access short breaks as many services do not provide for under-fives.

In Norfolk we use a Resource Allocation System (RAS) which is a strengths-based assessment tool that identifies the barriers to disabled children accessing everyday opportunities.  If a child or young person over the age of five scores 70 or above on a Resource Allocation Questionnaire it is likely that they will have some eligibility to an indicative individual budget. 

Resource Allocation System (RAS)

The Resource Allocation System (RAS) questionnaire calculates a disabled child's or young person's individual budget for play and leisure activities and support to unpaid carers of disabled children. These individual budgets are not to pay for health or educational services.

The RAS questionnaire enables the local authority to ensure disabled children and their carers receive fair and equal resources.

In the sections below, you can find out more about the RAS questionnaire and what the financial banding for disabled children look like.

For more information on Short Breaks or to Apply for short please click here