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Register/Review with Short Breaks

Four young children wearing glasses looking at the camera

Short Breaks gives families the chance to take a break from their normal routines and enjoy doing fun things together.

They also give children and young people the chance to do fun and different activities. This can help build their confidence and independence.

Does my child qualify?

Short Breaks are for children and young people who:

  • are aged between 0 and 18, or 19 to 25 and have a personal budget
  • have a diagnosis of special educational needs and/or a physical disability
  • live within the administrative boundaries of Essex County Council (excluding Southend and Thurrock)
  • please note children and young people fostered in Essex, but still looked after by another Local Authority, would not be eligible for a Short Breaks passport id number.  They can still access any of the short breaks clubs, but their Local Authority would need to fund this through their care plan and pay the provider directly for sessions attended.

What's on offer?

How we define a disability

The Equality Act 2010 defines disabled as someone who has a physical disability or SEN impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.

This would include:

  • Sensory Impairments
  • Learning disabilities
  • Communication difficulties
  • Physical impairment
  • Chronic or life limiting condition
  • Complex health care needs

Where there is no formal diagnosis, we will consider registering your child if they have:

  • an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • written confirmation from a GP or other medical professional confirming if there is a SEND and or physical condition that has a long-term, substantial effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities or may have in the future meaning they are likely to require life-long support from statutory services

There is support available from Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) for those who are in need of support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health difficulties.

Short Breaks Statement

Local authorities are required to produce a Short Breaks Services Statement so that families know what services are available, the eligibility criteria for these services and how the range of services is designed to meet the needs of the families with disabled children in the area. The requirements of the Short Breaks Statement are incorporated in the Short Breaks brochure and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

We have previously published a Short Breaks brochure (PDF, 14.7MB) every year that contained extra information about Short Breaks services. We are aware that due to Covid-19 that we have not created an updated brochure since 2020. The 2020 brochure while out of date in some parts will remain as our current statement.

We will be reviewing how we communicate information and updates to you all and publishing a new Short Breaks Statement. You can read our news story to find out more about the details of our Short Breaks strategy for 2021 to 2026.