Short breaks for children with disabilities

Skills for Life programme

Skills for Life is a 6-week, referral-based programme designed to help young people with SEND build friendships and develop their independent living skills. 

Programmes will run from May 2024 and March 2025. 

Read about the programme

Short breaks form part of a range of services which support children with a disability and their families. They are included in Section 25 of the Children and Young People’s Act.

Short breaks give:

  • children and young people with a disability enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers – this contributes to their personal and social development and reduces 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 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

Due to the coronavirus pandemic there are constant changes to availability of activities so we are not able to provide an activity list.

For information about short break activities, contact the Short Breaks Co-ordinator by:

We also send regular email updates – if you would like to be added to our list, email

Who is eligible

Children and young people (along with their families) can access short breaks if they:

  • have a learning difficulty or learning disability
  • are under the age of 18
  • live in Bracknell Forest

Types of settings

Activities and support available are divided into 3 main areas.


Universal settings are available to everyone and fees are charged by the provider.


Targeted schemes are for children and young people who are unable to access mainstream or universal settings due to their high level of need. We commission and subsidise these services but a fee is charged by the provider.


We provide specialist services which are available through assessment by Children’s Social Care. These include:

  • Larchwood short break unit
  • short break foster carers
  • personal budgets (through direct payments)
  • home care and agency support
  • community childminders

Short breaks services statement

Our short breaks services statement includes feedback from the 2018 to 2019 consultation which gathered views of children and young people with disabilities and their parents and carers. It also includes the action plan designed to improve our service in response to the consultation.

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More information

We have more information on our local offer website:

Contact information

Short breaks team