Short breaks

A short break is any activity that gives a child or young person a positive, enjoyable experience independently from their parents or carers that can help them to socialise, form friendships and spend time with other supportive carers.

Short breaks can take place after school, at the weekend, during school holidays or overnight. Short breaks can take place in the child or young person’s own home, in the home of an approved carer, in a community setting or in a building based service.  A short break can involve a child or young person joining in a group activity such as a club or it can be an activity that a child or young person does on their own supported by a personal assistant.

Some examples of short break activities could be after school clubs, youth clubs, sports, drama groups, adventure playgrounds, playschemes, holiday clubs and overnight stays with a Short Break Foster Carer or in a residential home.

Accessing short breaks

Many short breaks available within Leicester City can be arranged by contacting the organisation directly without the need for any assessment. However, for some children and young people, further assistance may be required due to their individual circumstances. 

The Disabled Children’s Service will use the eligibility criteria and assessment process to ensure that resources available are distributed fairly and targeted where most needed.   For details of the latest criteria used - please email

Overnight short breaks

Overnight short breaks are provided where needs or circumstances are assessed to be at priority level 4 of the eligibility criteria.   This could include:

  • Fostering - A planned stay for disabled children or young people who have complex needs or behavioural difficulties so that parents or carers can have a break.  The Disabled Children’s Service works with other professional services to promote fostering placements.  See Fostering for more information. 
  • Residential - Support services can be provided subject to assessment and needs. 

For more information contact Duty and Advice Service on 0116 4541004.

Become a short break provider

Could you offer short breaks to a disabled child and their family?  Stays are typically one weekend a month and all expenses are paid.

Short breaks statement

The local authority is required to produce a short breaks statement so that families know what services are available, the eligibility criteria for these services, and how the range of short breaks is designed to meet the local needs of families with disabled children living in Leicester.