Surrey Short Breaks for Disabled Children

What are Short Breaks?

Short Breaks offer a range of creative, flexible, fun play and leisure activities in local communities for children and young people who have additional needs and disabilities (AN&D). The purpose of Short Breaks is to:

  • Develop the skills, confidence, independence and readiness for adulthood of children and young people (CYP) with AN&D and enable them to have fun and make friends
  • Improve their emotional and physical health, as well as their ability to communicate their feelings and preferences and their social skills, both through their relationships with other children and through developing supportive and trusting relationships with adults – thereby also supporting positive behaviour.
  • Support positive outcomes for parents, by providing parents and carers with breaks from their caring responsibilities, so they are empowered to look after their own emotional and physical health and wellbeing and provide better and more sustainable care to other family members.
  • Support positive outcomes for whole families, including greater family cohesion and improved relationships.

Families can find out about and access Short Breaks by contacting providers directly, and information is also available on the Surrey Local Offer website.

Surrey Short Breaks Statement

Each local authority must publish a statement about Short Breaks services in their area, so that families with disabled children need clear information to access services. The statement must be kept under review, and it should be revised when new services become available, or when there are changes to existing services.

The Surrey Short Breaks statement for 2021 reflects changes to Short Breaks services and the phased reopening of these services post-lockdown.

Recommissioning of Short Breaks services from April 2023

Contracts for the current Short Breaks services will end in March 2023 and following a Strategic Review of Short Breaks in 2021, Surrey County Council is in the process of commissioning new services to commence from 1 April 2023. We will be working with service providers and with partners including Family Voice Surrey to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible and full details of the services available from 1 April will be available in due course.

Surrey County Council has now issued a formal invitation to tender for these services, which will be commissioned through a Light Touch Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).

To register an interest in this opportunity and to access full details, please visit the Proactis Procurement e-Sourcing portal and login (or register).

You can then click on Opportunities and search for this ITT using the following details:

Project Name: SCC-DW Short Breaks Services DPS
Project Reference: SCC – 015 PROJ1000258S

The papers available as part of this opportunity include supporting information relating to the Strategic Review of Short Breaks as well as other information shared with the market since the commencement of the Strategic Review in June 2021.

Surrey Children's Disability Register (SCDR)

The SCDR is a voluntary register for children and young people with a disability or impairment, aged 0-18 years and living in Surrey. The register helps us plan and monitor services and also operates as a contact list to provide regular information and consultation about short break opportunities, funded by Surrey County Council, through the Surrey Short Breaks for Disabled Children Team.

Max Card

This is a free discount card administered by local authorities which gives foster families and families of children with additional needs access to various activities around the country at a discounted rate. The scheme is designed to help families save money on great days out, including zoos, bowling alleys, theme parks and many more. Families of children with additional needs can obtain a Max Card by registering on the Surrey Children's Disability Register (SCDR online registration form). Once registered, families will receive the Max Card in the post.

More details on the Max Card scheme, including full details of where the Max Card can be used can be found on the Max Card website.

Parent Carer break grant

These payments can be made to support parent carers who have a disabled child under 18 living in Surrey who are not currently receiving services from Surrey County Council children's services or have a social worker.

Parents cannot apply directly themselves, but anyone working with a family can apply on your behalf - such as the local carers support workers, Action for Carers Surrey team, or any professional working with you and your child e.g. teachers and Home School Link workers, nurses and health visitors, Children's Centre managers, Early Years Support co-ordinators etc.

A completed Early Help Assessment or Carers Support assessment is required in order to access this grant.

Parent Carer break grants can be used as flexibly as possible to allow parent/carers to identify what best may support them. Examples of previous grants have been used by families to fund or contribute to family holidays, short breaks for parents, training courses for parents, including driving lessons, contributions towards play activities, days out, and in some cases, equipment to help you as a parent carer.

The payment is up to the value of £300 per annum.

For more information, contact the Surrey short breaks team:

Surrey Domiciliary Care Service

The Surrey Domiciliary Care Service is a responsive service based within the Children's Service and takes referrals from the social workers of the Children with Disabilities teams East and West. The service covers the whole county and aims to provide support either within the home to enable parents/carers to have a break from their caring duties or within the community to enable a child to access leisure activities.

The last Inspection report is can be viewed at the bottom of the page.

Your feedback on Surrey short breaks

If you want to get in touch with feedback or suggestions, contact the Surrey short breaks team:

Family Voice Surrey - A parents' forum

Family Voice Surrey is a forum for parents of children with disabilities and SEN to come together to get their voice heard and influence the development of services for their children. The committee meet regularly to discuss issues of concern and to feed this into ongoing discussions with those who provide services in Surrey to children with disabilities such as Surrey County Council, NHS Surrey and voluntary organisations. For more information:

The committee is always interested in hearing from parents that would like to get involved. Please call to find out future committee meeting dates.

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