Short Breaks for Disabled Children and Young People

Who are Short Breaks for?

Short breaks are for:

  • parents
  • carers
  • and others

with parental responsibility for disabled children and young people aged between 0 and 18 years old.

What do Short Breaks provide?

Short Breaks provide an opportunity for disabled children and young people to take part in fun activities. Our short breaks take a variety of forms. In addition, they include the provision of day, evening, overnight and weekend activities.

Where do Short Breaks take place?

Short breaks can take place in:

  • the child’s own home
  • in a community setting
  • the home of an approved carer, or
  • in a residential setting

Most importantly, they can help contribute to children and young people’s social inclusion and personal development.

Short Breaks programme

Please book your child’s place via the online booking system at least four days before the activity. Your child will not be able to attend if you have not booked on, or if an ‘All About Me/Care Plan’ Form has not been completed and processed by staff. Please Note: Links to the booking system will be sent to families who have returned an All About Me form that has been processed. When booking an activity please use your Child’s Name in the Name box.

We can provide a snack or cook and eat at sessions. We kindly ask for a contribution of 50p for a snack or £1 for cook and eat. Please let us know if you would like your child to have food upon booking the activity.

Under 8’s

Please note that due to registration requirements children under the age of eight years of age are only able to stay at activities for up to two hours.

Saturday Sessions

Due to demand of sessions on a Saturday, children and young people can only book on to the morning session or the afternoon session.

Changing Places facilities

All venues marked with a ‘*’ do not have a Changing Places toilet.

Group Based Short Breaks Activity Planner – 1 April to 20 July 2024

View the Short Breaks programme 1 April 24 – 20 July 24 [PDF, 588Kb]

The  North Lincolnshire Short Breaks Information Statement [PDF, 670Kb] is for families living in the North Lincolnshire area who have a disabled child/young person aged 0 to 18 years. There is also an easy read version  [PDF,683Kb] of the statement.

In addition,  The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011  informs parents / carers of the range of short break services available.

Range of short break services available in North Lincolnshire

The information received from feedback and consultation has shaped the way in which we deliver short breaks in North Lincolnshire. These short break services meet the requirements of the ‘Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011′. These are:

Day-time care

  • Day-time care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere (S.4 (2) a): Individualised Short Breaks is care that could take place in the child’s own home on any day of the week. It could also mean that a worker could be employed by a registered care agency to accompany a young person to an activity of their choosing. Alternatively, a parent/carer could use a Direct Payment to purchase a service in lieu of that delivered by North Lincolnshire Council.

Overnight care

  • Overnight care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere (S.4 (2) b): Overnight Short breaks are available to disabled children and young people who are assessed as having additional needs which impact on the family. For instance, causing ongoing sleep deprivation for family members and/or high levels of family stress. If assessed as appropriate, overnight care could be offered within the child’s home, or elsewhere.
  • The Cygnets is registered as a short break home with 1 residential place for children and young people of either gender aged between 5 years and 18 years who have a learning disability and/or physical disability. This includes those children and young people who also have complex health needs and /or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • The Cygnets is a large bungalow situated on Normanby Road in Scunthorpe. The Cygnets bungalow compromises of a large L-shaped lounge and dining room, a playroom, sensory room, kitchen, 6 bedrooms, a main bathroom and shower room.
    Outside to the rear of the building, there is a large, enclosed garden with play equipment and an outdoor area with large overhead canopy and soft flooring. To side of the building is a sensory garden equipped with raised beds and sensory activities.
  • The location of the building is central to many local leisure facilities and amenities allowing staff to regularly take children and young people out to the shops, cinema, 20-21 Arts Centre, Bowling, Local Parks, Youth Clubs etc to name but a few.
  • We are currently in the process of transitioning the function of the Cygnets to our newly developed complex care campus called ‘’Treetops’’ on Alvingham Road, Lincoln Gardens, Scunthorpe. Treetops has been designed to support young people with complex disabilities, and their families. The single storey new care campus includes multiple sensory rooms, dining and lounge areas, staff bedrooms, 13 specialist accessible residential bedrooms for children with complex needs, accessible kitchens and bathrooms, medical rooms, and family rooms. It will also feature gardens and outdoor spaces for staff, residents, and their families. The care campus consists of a 6 bed short break home, a 3 bed residential home, a 3 bed preparation for adulthood home and a flexible family hub that could also support the life limiting and palliative care needs of children, should this be required.

Group Based Specialist Short Break Activities

  • Each locality within North Lincolnshire will provide a range of group based activities at appropriate venues for disabled children and young people to engage in on a regular basis.

Play scheme for Disabled Children

  • The play scheme for disabled children is held during the Easter and Summer school holidays. It is for children aged 5 to 18 who attend a specialist Educational setting and have been nominated to attend.
  • Services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays (S.4 (2) d): Parent/Carers can choose to use their short break sessions flexibly throughout the year. Most importantly, at a time which best suits the needs and requirements of their family the most. In addition, group based activities will be available locally within each of the localities in North Lincolnshire.

Parents can choose to have a direct payment in lieu of short breaks provided by the Local Authority.

Disabled children and young people with more complex needs (or those children living in situations that are more complex) may require a higher level of short breaks. Therefore, more specialist support to meet their needs.

A children’s specialist disability social worker achieves this through an assessment.

Parent and carers can opt to receive a direct payment (options include a pre-payment card) in lieu of services that they would otherwise have received through the Local Authority following an assessment of need.  In the case of Short Breaks, direct payments can only be considered in cases where the provision is assessed as over the Local Offer. Please read our Direct-Payment Leaflet  [PDF, 247Kb]

To meet the criteria for overnight short breaks, disabled children and young people are assessed as having additional needs:

  • which impact on the family
  • causing sleep deprivation for family members, and/or
  • high levels of family stress

To meet the criteria for the play scheme children and young people must be:

  • Registered with North Lincolnshire Council for Short Breaks
  • Aged between 5 and 18 years at the start of the scheme. (If a child turns 18 during the scheme, then they can attend for the whole scheme)
  • If there is a Risk of Family breakdown/significant stress and this is identified within a Children’s Service Assessment/Early Help Assessment.
  • If there is a barrier to a child/young person accessing individualised Short Breaks in the community that is beyond their control, if their needs are complex then the Playscheme could be a consideration.
  • If the level of complex health and/or behaviours that challenge, require the most specialist professional interventions, then based on an assessment of need through Early Help or Children’s Service Assessment, the Playscheme maybe considered.
  • Allocations are to be on a scheme-by-scheme basis.

Examples of how we have changed practice following feedback from families:

You said: It would be good to offer parents/carers support in completing the All about me forms

We did: The updated All about me now includes a statement inviting parents to call and ask for support if needed. If parents are struggling to complete a form we have invited them to the stay and play sessions where staff can support in person.

You said: It is important to evidence that the feedback families provide in questionnaires is being actioned

We did: A ‘you said we did’ document was compiled from the results of the questionnaires and sent out to all families registered with short breaks

You said: Some of the children may be very anxious about returning to groups and may need reminding of the staff

We did: Up to date photos of staff and names included in each information leaflet.

You said: You would like to see more for older children

We did: Established transition groups for young people aged 12-17, with a key focus on Independence skills such as cooking, shopping, handling money, road safety, having responsibility, consequences, hygiene, cleaning after themselves, socialisation skills, sports/ exercise and keeping healthy and many more.

You said: There are no taster sessions provided

We did: We now allow taster sessions; parents can stay with their children to help them settle in.

You said: You enjoyed the consultation event and wish there was more opportunities to network with other parents and staff.

We did: We have incorporated a monthly ‘Stay and Play’ session into the new programme on the first Wednesday of every month.

You said: The programme lacks ‘Active Activities’.

We did: We have included Football, Scorers, Dandi’s sessions and provided activities within existing sessions where children can ‘get active’ such as trips to the park and treasure hunts.

You said: An emergency contact for the sessions would be handy so parent’s can make contact with the team.

We did: We have purchased a ‘Session phone’ so parents have a point of contact. This has been added to the information leaflet so all parent’s/carers are aware.

Who is eligible for Short Breaks?

To be eligible for short breaks services the child or young person must have a disability and live in North Lincolnshire.

Access to ‘short breaks’ is through the Short Breaks and External Provisions Teams. Therefore, we ask parents and carers to register their child for short breaks with this team as a first point of contact.

A member of the Short Breaks team will then contact you to discuss your needs. And they will make sure you have information about the short break services available to you.

In order to be consistent in how we make the services available to you, the Short Breaks for Disabled Children Information Statement details how we have developed a “North Lincolnshire Short Breaks Framework.” This enables us to take a tiered approach to assessment and allocation of short break services.

At the first level we have introduced a “local minimum offer”. This is an allocation of short break hours without the need for any assessment. At this initial level, there are 78 sessions of group-based activities. And these can be used throughout the year.

Support available to all children and young people with SEN or disabilities

At the first level we have introduced a “local minimum offer”. This is an allocation of short break hours without the need for any assessment. At this initial level there are 78 sessions that can be used throughout the year.

Support available for children and young people with SEN or disabilities who require additional support over and above that provided routinely as part of universal services

For children and young people who need support over and above the local minimum offer, an Early Help assessment could be completed by any professional working with a child and family or a Short Breaks Officer. Most importantly, this is used to highlight need and support at the earliest possible point.

Support available for children and young people with SEN or disabilities who require specialised, longer term support and those with high needs accessing provision through EHC Plans

You can request a Children’s Services assessment for children and young people with the most complex health care needs. You will need to contact the Integrated Multi Agency Partnership on 01724 296500.

With parents and carers

We consult with parents / carers on a regular basis through:

  • child and young person’s review of the service
  • working closely with the Parents in Participation (PIP Forum), and
  • consulting through outreach events in the three networks in North Lincolnshire

With children and young people

We consult with children and young people using a variety of different communication methods, including:

  • during any statutory reviews
  • within their school setting during Short Break activities, and / or
  • during any respite provision

Contact Us

Children’s Disability
Church Square House
30-40 High Street
North Lincolnshire
DN15 6NL


Tel: 01724 407988

Useful Links

Last modified: April 2, 2024