Short Breaks

Manchester City Council provides a range of Short Break services for disabled children and young people with Special Educational Needs, rare disorders and chronic medical conditions age 0 - 17 years inclusive.You can also view our range of Short Break Approved Providers, which you can contact directly.

If you need further information about any of the below, contact the Specialist Resource Team on 0161 219 2125.

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What is a short break?

The Short-Breaks programme is for any disabled child or young person aged up to 18. It involves universal activities, the SEND Community Offer, and a smaller range of additional and specialist support (specifically for disabled children and young people). Because of the ongoing investment in our Universal Services, many families’ shortbreak needs can be met through using the wide-ranging services available locally, such as youth clubs, play schemes, leisure centres etc.

All families can access our SEND Community Offer. The Community Offer is co-produced and largely designed to include the whole family. Located within universal services, the SEND Community Offer enables families to access activities alongside other SEND families to encourage peer to peer support. As well as building support networks, the Community Offer can give families the confidence to access services they might not otherwise try on their own.

Where some additional support is required, families can access additional help, usually in the form of a small budget. For children who need a lot of support, highly specialised or bespoke services are available for children and young people and their carers. Some families choose to use a Direct Payment to buy their own services, as agreed in a support plan.

Where do I find out about the activities available?

To find out more about the activities available, you can search the Local Offer, subscribe to the Local Offer Newsletter, or attend a Local Offer Drop-In. There may be activities available that can be accessed by your family and child without requiring any additional support from the local authority.

Is there an eligibility criteria?

No. If you need additional support this will usually involve an Early Help assessment or social work assessment.

How do I apply?

You don’t need to apply for any of the SEND Community Offer services. These are available to all SEND families in Manchester. Once you have looked at the local offer, if you think your child may need additional support to access a short break and your child has never had one before, you can self-refer by calling the Contact Centre on 0161 234 5001. You will then be contacted by a member of the specialist resource team, who will usually arrange an Early Help Assessment. This is a strength-based assessment used to determine the support needed.

If your child is already in receipt of a non-specialist short break and you would like to change or review your offer, call Specialist Resource Team on 0161 219 2125 between 10.00am and 2.30pm Monday-Friday. However, if your child has a specialist package that has been agreed with a social worker and you would like to review your support package, or if you need extra help, you should discuss this with your social worker.

For further information or an informal chat about applying for a short break, contact the Specialist Resource Team on 0161 219 2125.

Short Breaks Review

As of May 2023 if you need your short break reviewing and you do not have a social worker, you can contact the Specialist Resource Team on 0161 219 2125 between 10.00am and 2.30pm Monday - Friday where someone from the team will be happy to process your short break review.

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