Short Breaks

Short Breaks can provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to have enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers, contributing to their social inclusion and personal and social development.

Being a carer can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it’s important you have the opportunity to take a break from your caring role.

There are lots of ways you can take what we call a ‘short break’ from caring. This could be for a few hours, overnight, a weekend or longer. The person you care for will be looked after in a supportive, safe environment and perhaps enjoy new activities while you take some time for yourself.

There are different kinds of short breaks available, depending on the needs of the young person and their family.

What are Short Breaks?

Short Breaks can provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to have enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers, contributing to their social inclusion and personal and social development. They also provide the parents and carers of disabled children and young people with a necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibilities.

Short Breaks can include day, evening, overnight, weekend or holiday activities. They can take place in the child or young person’s own home, in the home of an approved carer, a residential or community setting. Short breaks range from supporting disabled children to access a break within a universal setting, to providing specialist services at a local level.

Short Breaks Childminding Service

Our childminders care for children with a range of disabilities. This is a flexible, tailor-made service where children up to the age of 18 are carefully matched with registered childminders who are trained specifically to care for them. The Ofsted registered childminders look after children in their own homes. The childminders are assessed, trained, monitored and supported by the Bromley Mencap Short Breaks team. Our bespoke training course has been developed with help from experts and local agencies specialising in SEND. Training around individual needs is also available. Children with very high care needs can be supported via our Short Breaks Enhanced Service. Short Breaks Enhanced childminders undertake a comprehensive training programme and offer 1:1 support. Parents must use the service on a regular basis, but it may be for as little as two hours weekly or 1 day a month.

Short Breaks Sitting Service

We provide a small team of sitters who are available after 6pm. This service is designed to allow parents/carers to have a short break whilst their child is cared for in the family home. A sibling can also be cared for at the same time. Sitters are either fully trained childminders or responsible adults who have undergone appropriate training and DBS checks.

Short Breaks Community Support Service

We can support children and young people to get out and about in the community. Our Community Support Workers (CSWs) offer families a flexible, tailor-made service where children up to the age of 18 can have happy, stimulating and enjoyable ‘out of school’ leisure time within and outside of their family home. This could take place at the weekend and/ or during school holidays. All CSWs have a current DBS check and access training via Bromley Mencap.

Short Breaks Buddying Service

We provide a team of “buddies” aged 16 and above who support young disabled people to access leisure and recreation opportunities in the community. Buddies can help with first steps towards travel training, understanding money and access local leisure activities in the community. We employ, train and match buddies to young people engaging in the service. We provide regular training and ensure that DBS and insurance requirements are covered.

The Short Breaks Service has developed in partnership with parents and carers of disabled children, children and young people with disabilities. It began as a specialist childminding service for young children with mild to moderate disabilities, and has now expanded to include:

  • Childminding for children with mild to moderate disabilities
  • Childminding for children with severe to complex disabilities (including children that need one to one support)
  • Sitting service in the family home for children
  • Expanded sitting service for families with more than one child (but only one has a disability)
  • Buddying support by non-disabled young people to support young people (16+) with disabilities to access their local communities
  • Community support from workers to support children (8+) with disabilities to access their local communities and/or support to parents/carers in the family home to carry out day to day activities
  • Overnight stays in the childminder’s home
  • Overnight stays in the family home
  • Support to families with more than one disabled child
  • Short targeted breaks to enable a parent/carer to carry out a necessary task
  • Linking families and/or children and young people using services to combine the support provided

For more information about Bromley Mencap’s Short Breaks Service click here

 

Get in Touch

For more information, please contact us on 020 8466 0790 or email enquiries@bromleymencap.org

Need to know

Who can apply?

For disabled children, young people and families

Duration and Days

As arranged 

Location

Short Breaks can take place in the child or young person’s own home, in the home of an approved carer, a residential or community setting.

Cost

All these services can be accessed through social care if you and your child qualify for Short breaks, or by self-funding.

Next Steps

For more information, please contact us on 020 8466 0790 or email enquiries@bromleymencap.org