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Hertfordshire Send Local Offer

Short breaks offer disabled children and young people the chance to spend time out with others socialising and doing fun activities, giving their families a break and providing them with the confidence their child is well supported by a trained worker.

They range from play and leisure activities provided through community groups and leisure providers to overnight stays.

Who qualifies?

You can get up to 40 hours of activities if you:

  • live in Hertfordshire
  • are aged between 4-19 with SEND - most activities are available from age 5
  • receive a middle or higher rate disability living allowance (DLA) or any personal independence payment (PIP), or
  • have a letter from your GP, your school’s special educational needs co-coordinator or another professional, confirming that your need means you require access to targeted services for disabled children and young people (this doesn't have to be a formal diagnosis if you're in the process of being diagnosed)

Sometimes, disabled children and their families need access to further social care support as well as the 40 hours activities. To find out if your child is eligible for further specialist support, you can request an assessment from the 0-25 Together Service.

Who offers short breaks?

All Short Breaks activity providers can be found along with information about the activities they run on our directory.

How to apply

If you're already receiving support from us, speak to your 0-25 Together worker.

If you're not registered with the 0-25 Together service, you can apply online.

If you need assistance applying online or have any queries, please contact either:

Read our guide to using the online system.

What happens next?

We'll pass your information to your chosen activity provider, who will contact you. They may ask for more details to ensure all your safety, wellbeing and support needs are met.

After applying, you'll also need to give your chosen activity provider proof of:

  • disability, as stated in the DLA, PIP or a letter from your GP or school SENCo
  • the age of the child or young person
  • living in Hertfordshire.

Related services

Shared care

This is family-based care that provides short breaks to Disabled Children and Young People from 4-18 years of age. Carers are from a wide variety of backgrounds and can be individuals or couples, male or female, with or without children and may have pets, some carers work others may be retired.

All carers will have completed training before they are approved, will have a DBS and will continue to have regular supervision and training updates from members of the shared care team. When a service is offered, each carer is closely matched to fit the needs of the child.

The breaks can be provided:

  • in the child’s home as a sitting service to enable parents to go out / have some free time
  • as day care in the carers home
  • out in the community to access activities.

The support (40 hours a year) can be used flexibly depending upon the availability of the carer and negotiated between the family and carer to include weekdays, weekends or during the school holidays.

This service provides peace of mind for parents, knowing their child is being properly looked after whilst away from them. It also provides the child / young person with some independence and gives them the opportunity to have fun, develop new relationships and access the community.

Read more about shared care

Residential short breaks

Some young people with disabilities and complex health needs, may be eligible for a residential short break especially if they require support throughout the night.

Children and young people can stay overnight during the week and/or at weekends depending on their assessed needs, spending time away from their main carers. A residential short break may be provided in a community residential setting or the home of an approved carer.

How do I get a residential short break?

A residential short break is a specialist service, available only once a social work assessment of need has been completed. This assessment would be arranged via a referral through the 0-25 Together Service.

Where they are: