Types of Short Breaks


This is the support available to everyone through universal settings, such as children's centres, youth centres, libraries, parks, leisure centres and social activities. Most children and young people with SEND who need a short break will receive them through these services.


Targeted short breaks activities are designed specifically to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.  

There are lots of activities and services in the community that are able to meet specific needs, e.g. autism-friendly cinema screenings, disability sports groups, a youth group for children with learning difficulties.

For more information about Universal and Targeted Short Breaks, please look at our activities and things to do pages or look on the Wakefield Families Together Youth Hubs Website.

If you want to find childcare, please see Families Information, Early Years Service.

Please see section below for our Summer Playscheme offer Playschemes 


Specialist short breaks are for children and young people with needs that cannot be met by other short breaks, e.g. children who need specialist medical equipment, personal care, or support from specialist trained workers.  Specialist short breaks are designed to enable children with complex needs to enjoy fun activities in a safe environment and/ or give families a break from caring.

 Universal short breaks can be accessed without an assessment. Providers of Targeted may have their own criteria.

To request an assessment for specialist short breaks, please contact

  • Your local Family Hub
  • Children’s Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503.

An assessment of need is required to access specialist short breaks. This is completed by the Complex Care Needs Team (CCNT) if you meet their eligibility criteria or the Short Breaks Assessment Team. For more information see an Assessment of Need.  

Once the holistic assessment has been completed and level of need has been identified. It is the combination of these levels of support needs that is used to decide if someone is eligible for a Specialist Short Break.  This is shown in the eligibility grid.

Your holistic assessment will be used to complete a care and support plan giving clear outcomes that you have agreed with the worker. This will then go to the Short Breaks Panel for a decision.

When your support has been approved suitable support as specified on your care and support plan will be put in place.

Find more information on our providers.

Last updated: 12/5/2022