Short Breaks

Here you will find Northumberland’s Short Break Statement and information about the Short Break Service including how to access it.

Some children and young people will need support for their social care needs to be met through short breaks services.

Short break services give children and young people time away from their family to enjoy fun activities and new experiences, as well as make new friendships.  Short breaks also give children and young people an opportunity to learn new skills and increase their independence.      

Short breaks can also give parents/full-time carers of disabled children and young people a break from their caring role. This time can also enable siblings to get to spend quality time with their parents or carers either at home or by doing an activity they enjoy. 
Information about short break care services.

Who provides short breaks?

As short breaks can be provided in different ways.  Some short breaks are offered by a registered provider, services in the council or through voluntary organizations.

Some families may prefer to organise their own support and can get in touch with us to organise direct payments, where money is paid directly to them by the council, so they can organise and pay for support themselves.
Short breaks can be provided in different ways and could involve:
  • Play and activity schemes - for example; WECAN
  • Additional support so a child or young person can join in with a club or recreational activity in their community.
  • Someone caring for a child within their own home or the child’s home.
  • Extra support for the disabled child alongside family leisure and social activities.
  • Overnight short break care – for example; Monksfield (Action for Children) and Barndale.

How do I access short breaks?

If you feel your child may benefit from accessing short breaks then a referral can be made to the First Contact Team on 01670 536400.  A Children and Family assessment would need to be carried out by a Social Worker to look closer at the needs of your child and the rest of your family.  A children and family assessment is usually needed when your child social care needs which cannot be met through universal or targeted services.

What if my child does not need to access specialist short-break provision? 

Not all families need specialist short-break provision and may find universal or targeted services, e.g. after-school clubs, holiday schemes and youth clubs, are able to meet their needs. For more information on activities and things to do click here

You and your family may also benefit from having access to a MAX card.  Anyone can request a MAX card if they have a child with a registered disability. A MAX card will get you and your family a discount or free access to a range of local and national attractions. If you would like to enquire about receiving a MAX card please contact Kirstine Gagie (Social Work Support Assistant) on 01670 536400 or send an email to
We are currently revising the Northumberland Short Break Statement and will make a copy of it available here as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about accessing Short Break services please get in touch with the First Contact team on 01670 536400.

Short Breaks Survey

We recently asked disabled children and their families for their views on ‘Short Breaks’ as part of Northumberland County Council’s review into the support offer.  

The results, reports and recommendations that have come from the Short Breaks Survey can be found here.