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Short Breaks


What are Short Breaks?

Short Breaks are activities funded by the City of London Corporation for children and young people with physical or health impairments, special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Having access to Short Breaks can play an important part in supporting the personal and social development of children and young people by enabling them to explore different activities and interests whilst having a break away from their main carer. Short Breaks also support families by providing respite support to parents and other family members as they have a break from their caring responsibilities. 

Who can apply for Short Breaks?

Children and young people, or their parents / carers can apply directly for the core and enhanced Short Breaks offer from the City of London Corporation using the short breaks application form:

Alternatively, if you are already receiving support from professionals at the City of London Corporation and have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, an Early Help Assessment (EHA), or are supported by a social worker, the involved professionals can recommend Short Breaks as part of your support plan.

How can I apply for Short Breaks?

A completed Short Breaks application form can be:

  • emailed to the SEND Project Manager or the Early Help Coordinator
  • posted to the SEND Project Manager / Early Help Coordinator
  • given directly to your child’s allocated social worker if they have one. 

 A professional can:

  • recommend Short Breaks as part of your support plan and can
  • complete a Short Breaks application for you.

 If there is already an EHC plan in place, Short Breaks can be included within that without the need for a separate assessment.

Basic eligibility for Short Breaks

To qualify for Short Breaks provided by the City of London Corporation, you must be:

Short Breaks 5 - 17 years

  • Age 5 - 17 years with a disability
  • With an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • City of London resident
  • Recieve Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at Middle or High rate or Personal Independent Payments (PIP) at intermediate or advanced (If a child has an EHC Plan we do not require evidence or entitlement to DLA or PIP)

Short Breaks Under 5's provision

  • if your child is under 5 and has an EHC Plan, short breaks support will be provided 

What am I entitled to?

There are two levels of support available for children and young people who are entitled to receive Short Breaks. 

 Core offer

The core offer of up to 120 activity hours per year is available to those with moderate additional needs who are unable to independently access services within their community. Services might include a targeted or specialist Short Break, such as a specialist play-scheme, or help to access a mainstream service.

If families require more than the core offer of 120 hours or would like to access their offer via a personal budget, they may require further assessment and support to determine whether they are eligible for the enhanced short breaks offer.

 Enhanced offer

The enhanced offer is for children and young people with severe and complex needs who require significant support to enable them to access a Short Break in a mainstream setting or within a specialist service.

The Short Breaks available for this group of children and young people can include an overnight short break or a supported holiday with or without their family. All families who receive the enhanced offer will have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and may also have a social care or continuing care assessment. Families will receive appropriate professional support to access short breaks services.

Available provision

Due to its small resident population, the City of London Corporation does not currently commission its own specialist Short Breaks providers but we have agreements with both Hackney and Tower Hamlets that enable us to access a range of service provision in neighboring boroughs. 

These include specialist play-schemes, adventure playgrounds and providers of respite care. Some families choose to request all or part of their Short Breaks entitlement in the form of a personal budget – this is an amount of money allocated for the provision of support and enables the child or young person, together with their family and allocated worker, to plan, arrange and pay for their own short break activities. 

Further information

For more information, please contact the Short Breaks Team:

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