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Specialist short break services

Specialist short break services

Specialist short break services for children and young people with a social worker

Specialist short breaks include fostering and residential services for disabled children and young people ages 5 to 18. 

Fostering short breaks

Short break foster carers offer 1 or 2 night breaks over 1 to 2 weekends a month. They are dependent on when foster carers are available and the child or young person’s needs. 

Our foster carers and their homes are assessed through the fostering process and they receive additional training to care for disabled children and young people. They work with an occupational therapist to match the child or young person with the right home. 

Children and young people with complex health needs can be matched with a foster carer who has an accessible home and are trained in medical procedures. 

Residential short breaks

Residential short breaks offer regular overnight stays to disabled children and young people ages 8 to 18.  

We have 2 residential children’s homes with 5 beds each. They are accessible and equipped with indoor and outdoor sensory play equipment. The homes are:

  • The Bush in Hengrove 
  • Belbrook in Lawrence Weston 

The homes support children and young people to:

  • develop their independence
  • try new activities
  • make friends

Belbrook also has nurses to support children and young people with complex health needs. 

How to get a specialist short break 

Specialist short break services can be accessed through the child or young person’s social worker, when they do a child in need assessment. The assessment is reviewed by a panel of professionals from education, health and social care. The panel will either:

  • agree on the type of specialist short break service required
  • ask the social worker for further information, to review at the next panel

When the specialist short break service has been agreed, the short breaks team will look at the availability in both fostering and residential services.