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Short breaks for parents of children with disabilities (SEND)

If you’re a parent or carer of a child or young person with a disability you may be eligible for short breaks. These short breaks in your caring can enable you to get a break or schedule in appointments for yourself such as the Drs, or a haircut or just relax for a few hours.


Targeted short breaks

Your child’s disability might mean they have additional needs that prevent them from accessing universal or mainstream short break activities such as clubs like cubs or brownies or sports clubs. If so, you may need extra help or specially trained staff to access the sorts of activities that would allow you to take a break from caring for your child.

If you are experiencing these sorts of difficulties, you might be able to get help through targeted short breaks.

Who can get targeted short breaks?

Your child must:

  • be under 18 years old

  • live in the borough

  • have a diagnosed disability

  • get the higher rate care component of disability living allowance (DLA)

  • not already get the specialist short breaks service.

If your child doesn’t get the higher rate care component of the DLA

If your child does not get the higher rate, but still needs help to access activities, you can be assessed to see if you can still get targeted short breaks. To apply, complete the application form here.

The application will be considered on an individual basis by the care package panel.

Entitlement if eligible

If you are eligible, you can get help to get 100 hours of short breaks every year by:

  • giving you direct payments that you can use to arrange support to meet your child’s additional needs while you take a short break inline with their agreed support plan and direct payment agreement.
  • arranging help at home so you can take a short break

  • referring you to Rockbourne holiday club, Rockbourne SEN evening or Rockbourne Saturday club.

How to apply

 You can apply here if you are a:

  • parent or carer

  • professional, such as a social worker or teacher

  • service provider.


Specialist short breaks

Your child’s disability might mean you need to spend a lot more time caring for them than you would if they didn’t have a disability. If so, you may need more breaks from caring than other parents or carers of children and young people that do not have a disability.

If you have to spend a lot more time caring for your child because of their disability, this service might be able to help you through specialist short breaks. These services are for children and young people with the highest levels of need and are accessed through children’s social care.

Specialist short breaks are for children and young people with a disability who are substantially and adversely affected in their ability to carry out normal day to day activities because of their disability and have been assessed by a social worker as needing support.

The assessment will determine what support the short breaks team would put in place.

The specialist short break commissioned services are provided through a Specialist Short Breaks Framework. The services provided through the framework enables and supports children and young people with a complex disability to live ordinary family lives, to have fun, try new activities, gain independence, and make friends.

These services support and enable families to receive short breaks from their caring responsibilities.

Contact the team 

Integrated SEND Services for Children & Young People – Short Breaks Service


Targeted Short Breaks
Rebekah Green: 07341 569895

Targeted Short Breaks
Lucy Cameron: 07918 612639
Rebecca Burford: 07468 709083
Tiffany Curtis 07468709247


Specialist Short Break
Claire Sullivan: 07468 709303
Viviene Allen: 07468 709273
Natalie Baker: 07468 709362


Short Breaks Reviewing Officer
Marianne Johnson: 07920 045899

Admin Apprentice
Charly Harrison: 07901 382958

Email: shortbreaks@lewisham.gov.uk

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