Every local authority in England and Wales now has a legal duty to provide short breaks for carers of disabled children. Eligible families can get regular short breaks from the pressures of daily care. A short break can be an hour or two through to a week away from home, and includes day, evening, overnight, weekend and holiday activities. These breaks provide a positive experience for the child or young person and can be valuable in raising their self-esteem and aspirations. They also give parents/ carers valuable time to spend with their other children, catch up on household chores or take some time out for themselves.
Manchester's Service statement
As part of the new short break duty, each local authority is required to publish a short break services statement so that families know what services are available, the eligibility criteria for these services and how the range of short breaks are designed to meet the local needs of families with disabled children.
What do we offer
In Manchester we are continuing to offer a range of short breaks including sports, art, drama, playschemes, befriending and sitting in your own home. All our providers have access to training and we have breaks that are suitable for all ages and a range of disabilities. The Family Information Service can advise you on short breaks that meet the needs of your family - please call them on 0161 234 5001 or visit the Family Service Directory to find out more.
Manchester Metropolitan University's Centre for Cultural Studies and Children and Childhood completed an evaluation of Manchester's short breaks for disabled children. Their AHDC Evaluation report is available for anyone interested in our services.
Aiming High for Disabled Children
Aiming High for Disabled Children was a 3-year initiative between 2008 to 2011 to transform services for disabled children. More information about the initiative and what has been achieved can be found in this independent report by Together for Disabled Children.