Bootstrap Case Family Services Directory

The Barnsley Council logo

Short Breaks

To return to Local Offer Homepage click here

Coming Soon!

We are working on a parent's guide to applying for a short break if you would like to get involved and co-produce this document email us at SENDworkingtogether@barsnley.gov.uk 

What is a short break?

If your child or young person has a diagnosed disability, then you can apply for a short break.  

Short breaks give you a chance to:

  • Recharge Your Batteries: Take a breath, relax, and get some rest
  • Take a Break from your Caring Duties: Because SEND parent carers need a break too!
  • Enjoy Sibling Time: Spend time quality 1-2-1 time with your other children 
  • Tackle Your To-Do List: Get those pending tasks sorted – shopping, housework, booking the MOT or even getting your hair done. All those things that you never get time to do. 

Are there any rules for short breaks?

  • Short Breaks can't replace usual childcare for working parents, but working parents can apply. We want to keep short breaks available so that you can focus on what matters most – quality family time, new experiences for your child with SEND and giving you a chance to recharge. 
  • If ADHD is your child's only diagnosis, unfortunately, you can't apply for a short break. If you need help to find clubs, groups and activities for your child with ADHD you can explore the Virtual Family Hub Things to Do section, or ring our Family Hub team on 0800 0345 340 and we will help you find something suitable. 

Ready to take the next step? 

It's always helpful if you have an idea of what's available before starting the application, we've put together an overview of each provider to help you choose the right fit for your family. 

Read on, choose where you would like to take your short break and apply today. 

Apply for a Short Break

Apply in one of the following ways: 

Do It Yourself:

Once you've got an idea of where you would like your child to go you can download an application form  and then email the completed application to: shortbreaksECS@barnsley.gov.uk. 

Talk to a professional you are already working with:

You might be working with a health visitor, paediatrician or family support worker. You can ask them to complete a short break application on your behalf, choose someone who knows your family well and can talk about how the short break would benefit your whole family. 

Assisted application:

Come and see a SEND professional at the Monthly Local Offer Drop-in sessions. They will ask you about your family, talk to you about your child's interests and how a short break would benefit you both. They will complete, and submit the form there and then. Children are welcome if you can't find childcare. We want to remove as many barriers as possible. 

Sessions take place on the first Wednesday of every month at The Ozone (Barnsley Football Club) 10am-12.30pm.  

Upcoming sessions are:

7th February 2024

5th June 2024

6th March 2024

3rd July 2024
3rd April 2024
7th August 2024

1st May 2024

4th September 2024

What happens after I have applied?

Once you have submitted your completed application to shortbreaksecs@barnsley.gov.uk it will be looked at and decided at the next monthly panel meeting.

It will either be:

  • Agreed – a suitable activity will be offered
  • Deferred – to request more information from you
  • Declined – because the child/family do not meet the criteria for a short break
You will get a letter within 21 days telling you the result, and what you need to do next to arrange the short break.

I don't think a short break would be suitable, is there anything else I can apply for?

If you don't think that Short Breaks would be a good fit for your family, you may be able to apply for an overnight stay, direct payment or personal budget. 

These tend to be for families who have children and young people with complex needs, and you will need to have a social care assessment to access them. 

Overnight stays Some families qualify for an overnight stay. Depending on your child's needs you may be offered a place at our lovely home-from-home respite property on Newsome Avenue, Wombwell or with a respite foster carer after a settling-in period. 

Direct Payments to fund a personal assistant (PA) Some families may be eligible for support from a Personal Assistant to help with day-to-day care or to help your child/young person get out and about whilst you get some time to yourself. 

Personal budget is an amount of money paid directly to you that lets you choose and buy the services you need yourself, instead of the short-breaks offered in Barnsley. 

To find out more about overnight stays, direct payments and personal budgets contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 01226 772423 have a chat about your family's needs and ask for an assessment.


Short-break FAQs

If I have been granted a Short Break for the School Holidays do I have to reapply for every holiday?
No, when your Short Break has been granted, it is for all the holidays. They are reviewed yearly and if you do not hear anything your Short Break continues.

Will Staff be trained?
Yes. All staff offering Short Breaks will be given training to meet the needs of an individual child. Please ensure the application for Short Breaks includes all the training required to meet the needs of the child eg, tube feeding, epi-pen training etc.

Is Transport provided?
No. Families are expected to take their child to their Short Break.

Is there a cost for a Short Break?
No, they won’t cost your family anything.

Read Barnsley's Short Breaks Statement

You can find out more about Barnsley's Short Break Offer in the Short Break Statement

It includes: 

  • What parent carers, children and young people say about their short-breaks
  • Who sits on the panel and how short-breaks are allocated 
  • How short-break providers are approved 
  • More in-depth information about the current providers
  • What work the Local Authority is doing to make the short break offer even better


Jargon Buster : What does that mean?


ConsideredThought about 
Deferred Put back, postponed