Types of short breaks

Types of short breaks

The three types of short breaks for children and young people with SEND

Children, young people and their families have different levels of need, and these needs may change over time. We organise short breaks into three services by the  levels of need:

  1. universal
  2. targeted 
  3. specialist

1. Universal services

Universal services are for all children, young people and their families with or without SEND.

They include:

  • play schemes
  • holiday activities
  • after school clubs
  • youth clubs
  • beavers and scouts
  • brownies and guides
  • libraries
  • playgrounds and parks

2. Targeted services

These are for disabled children and young people who need:

  • extra support 
  • groups or services that are specifically designed 

You can attend these without referral if you meet the criteria that the provider has. You may also be referred to a targeted service by a professional. They include:

  • Saturday clubs
  • sports, leisure and youth clubs
  • buddying and befriending
  • holiday activities

Bristol City Council's Family Support and Inclusion team help disabled children find fun activities in their local communities. If children need help to settle in, we can pay for a worker to go with them. We can also train staff on how to make sure disabled children are included in the activities.

3. Specialist services


These are for disabled children when their social care assessment shows that they:

  • have severe and complex needs
  • need extra support to access a special special range of activities based on the child or young person’s needs
  • are a priority for safeguarding reasons

The social work assessment will look at the child's needs, their family needs and what support they already have.

Find out how to get a short break