Department of Education

What are short breaks? Am I eligible and how do I apply?

What are short breaks? Am I eligible and how do I apply?


Short break schemes give the families and carers of disabled people a break from caring, allowing them time to spend with other family members or perhaps doing something for themselves.

Families of disabled young people think short breaks are very important, not only to allow the parents or carers a well-earned break from caring, but also to give the disabled person an opportunity for enjoyable experiences away from their parents and carers.

There are specific short break schemes for children, young people and adults with autism.

During the short break, the person with autism spends time with an experienced care professional – sometimes alone and sometimes with friends or other young people.

The short break might last for a few hours, a weekend or even a whole week. The person with autism will be well cared for. During the break, they may go out on a trip, do activities or go away to a centre for people with autism.

The Government has recently allocated more money to pay for short breaks for disabled young people across the country.


For further information on short breaks see the Department for Children, Schools and families website.

For details of short breaks available to you contact your local authority and see the NAS website.


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