Short Breaks (formerly Aiming High)

The Short Break Service in Bracknell Forest commissions and promotes activities for children and young people with disabilities and their families.

What is a Short Break?

Section 25 of the Children and Young People’s Act requires Local Authorities to provide a range of short breaks for families with disabled children (age 0 to18 years). Short breaks form part of a range of services, which support disabled children and their families.

Short Breaks are provided to give:

  • children and young people with a disability enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers, thereby contributing to their personal and social development and reducing social isolation
  • parents, carers and families a necessary and valuable break from caring responsibilities

These breaks can include day, evening, overnight and weekend activities. They can take place in the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer, a residential or community setting.

They can last just a few hours to a few days, and occasionally longer, depending on the type of provision and the needs of the child and their families.

Short Break activities

Activities available in and around Bracknell Forest can be found in the latest Short Breaks activities update.

Bracknell Forest has been working hard to develop the SEN local offer. The development of the SEN local offer is ongoing and information will be added on a day by day basis. For more information visit the SEN Local Offer website.

You can also search our family information directory for Short Break activities as well as other services for children with disabilities and their families.

If you would like to receive regular email updates from us please email or telephone 01344 352733.

Who is eligible and do I have to pay?

Children and young people with disabilities up to the age of 18 years old. Further information on eligibility can be found in the short break services statement. This document will be reviewed and updated following changes as a result of the SEND reform, changes to Children and Families Bill and our requirement to have a Local Offer. Current short break and activity provision will support a sufficiency assessment which will also be included in the review. Parents and service users will be involved and consulted with via the Short Break Information Service and Dialogue Parent Forum.

Activities and support available are divided into three main areas:

Universal settings

Require no formal assessment process or eligibility criteria - fees are charged by the provider.

Targeted settings

Require no formal assessment processes or eligibility criteria. These schemes are commissioned by us for children and young people who are unable to access mainstream or universal settings due to their high level of need and support required. We subsidise these services but a fee is charged by the provider.

Specialist services

Are provided by the local authority and require assessment by Children’s Social Care. They may include Larchwood short break unit, short break foster carers, personal budgets (via direct payments), home care and agency support, community childminders.

Bracknell Parent Carer Forum

The Parent Forum is a Partnership Forum between parents/ carers of children with additional needs and key professionals who work with them. It provides a networking opportunity and forum for consultation and participation in planning and developing services within Bracknell Forest. Key speakers are invited to discuss current services and new developments.

For forthcoming meeting dates please contact the Parent Forum by emailing

Short Breaks statement

The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations (2011) placed a duty on local authorities to provide short breaks for disabled children, young people and their families.

The regulations also say that the local authority must produce a PDF file downloadShort Breaks statement (PDF, 251kb) to inform parents and carers about short breaks. This statement must include:

  • the range of short break services available
  • the criteria by which eligibility for services will be assessed
  • how the range of services is designed to meet the needs of families with disabled children in their area

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