Short breaks give disabled children and young people the chance to spend time with friends, experience exciting and fun activities, and develop new skills and independence. They also give parents and carers a break from their caring role and time to recharge their batteries. This used to be called “respite”.
Short breaks come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a break for a child away from their family or can involve supporting families to take a short break together, away from routine of daily life. Short breaks could last a few hours, a day, evening, overnight or longer. They could take place in or away from the family home.
There are a wide range of short breaks available in Gateshead. Over the past few years we have invested additional funding to make sure that all disabled children, including those with the most complex needs, can access community-based short breaks alongside non-disabled children. We use service providers who are experienced in working with disabled children and make sure that each child gets the level of staff support they need to have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Examples of short break services available in Gateshead include:
- School holiday activity schemes such as Active Kidz
- Out-of-school clubs
- Youth clubs at evenings and weekends
- One-to-one support from short break workers
- Family-based breaks provided by Home from Home carers and specialist childminders
- Overnight stays at our residential short break unit Grove House
The type of short break you receive will depend on your child’s assessed needs and referral processes and eligibility criteria apply.
The Social Care section in Gateshead's Family Information Directory also holds up to date detailed information about the short breaks on offer in Gateshead, including eligibility criteria.
All initial enquires and referrals should be made to the Referral and Assessment Team on 0191 433 2653.