Short Breaks and Respite
What are short breaks?
Haringey offers short breaks (previously known as respite care) to children and young people who have a disability and their families. This is to enable parents to sometimes have a break from the responsibility of the day-to-day care, and also to enable children and young people to have the opportunity to enjoy activities with their peers.
The short breaks available at the moment take different forms:
- children and young people may attend day activities or after school clubs
- children may go out during the day with a carer or a befriender
- children may stay overnight in a carer's home
- children may stay overnight in a residential setting
- help may be provided in the family home to help with some of the household tasks such as getting the children ready for school or bed
- nursing care may be provided in the child’s home if appropriate
Money may also be provided in the form of Direct Payments so that families can arrange and pay for their own short breaks.
In Haringey, short breaks are agreed at the Integrated Additional Services Panel (PDF, 200KB). The Panel is made up of people representing the health; social care; education; and housing services.
Parents find it can help to have a break from the responsibility of the day-to-day care, and also to give children and young people the opportunity to enjoy activities with other children.
What other leisure activities are there for children with additional needs in Haringey?
This is also known as the 'Universal Offer'
- Children’s centres run lots of activities for children under five and their families.
- Haringey Council Libraries run many activities for under 5s as well as for older children. These range from reading and board games to messy mornings and toy sessions.
- Youth Space has information on activities and events for young people aged 11 to 25 in Haringey, including groups such as the Haringey Youth Council and opportunities in music and radio. The youth service can also provide advice on college or university applications, and job hunting.
- There are several leisure centres in Haringey, run by Fusion Leisure, with swimming pools, gyms and group classes.
- You can find other sports clubs and groups on the Proactive North London website, many of which are set up for children and young people with disabilities or SEN.
- The council pulls together a list of all of the holiday activities taking place in Haringey for children and young people, including those suitable for children with disabilities or SEN, like the Highgate Inclusive Tennis Club (PDF, 200KB)
Eligibility for Short Breaks
Children and their families can be eligible for funded short breaks - including direct payments - through the Disabled Children's Social Work Team. The Disabled Children's Social Work Team work with children who have complex disabilities, where the impact of the child's needs on their access to day to day activities for themselves and their family would be severely to profoundly restricted without specialist support. To see more about the Children and Families Service Offer for Children with SEND, and consider what service may help support you with your child, please refer to The Children and Families Service Offer for Children with SEND (PDF, 403KB).
If you would like to comment on the new document 'The Children and Families Service Offer for Children with SEND' you can leave a comment on our Local Offer Survey section and we will get back to you.
There was a recent legal case brought under the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act 1998 against the London Borough of Haringey by a child with autism and his mother. The case brought to light the need to review our approach to the assessment of and provision of support for disabled children and young people within the borough.
As a result of this case we have amended our policies for the assessment of and provision of services to children. We want to ensure that Haringey provides services and support fairly to all disabled children and young people, no matter what type of disability they have or how their needs present. Haringey has withdrawn its policies - 'Threshold Criteria for Disabled Children Services' and 'Integrated Service Special Needs and Disabilities: Eligibility Criteria Personal Budgets' - as a result of this case and has brought a new policy: 'The Children and Family’s Service Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Haringey'. We will review of this new policy in Early 2019 through a publicised public consultation.
This process of policy review has enabled a broader awareness and response across the council of the different challenges faced by families of disabled children and young people. The new policy is subject to annual review to ensure that we as a service keep abreast with the changing needs of disabled children and young people and their families in the borough.
We have also audited the outcomes for children and young people for whom it was originally determined that they did not have the level of need to meet the threshold for a service within the Disabled Children's Team. We audited from January 2016 to January 2018 using the previous eligibility document.
Of the children’s referrals audited with the new Guide to Services document, fewer than five children and young people were assessed as now having the level of need that met the threshold for the Disabled Children's Team. The children and families have all been contacted and a child and families assessment carried out.
Please read our Parent Newsletter in the Local Offer News section to find out about relevant consultations in the borough in the near future.
The respite and support package for families - including direct payments - is assessed by using a Resource Allocation Assessment (Word, 84KB). This is a questionnaire that tells the panel how much support family might need to help them look after their children and allow their children to access activities and hobbies. The RAS tool can be carried out by families themselves, or schools, nurseries or other support staff who know your family well. Please see the guidance and examples of the RAS below for information.
What do short breaks include?
Short breaks/respite can take place after-school, at the weekend and during school holidays.
The short breaks currently available include:
- children and young people attending day activities or after-school clubs
- children going out during the day with a carer or a befriender
- children staying overnight in a carer's home
- children staying overnight in a residential setting
- help provided in the family home to help with some of the household tasks such as getting the children ready for school or bed
- nursing care provided in the child’s home if appropriate
Our approach to short breaks is currently being reviewed and if you would like to contribute to the process please contact 020 8489 3205.
If the person you care for is 18-25 years old, visit our Respite Breaks page.
What is the Short Breaks Offer?
Short Breaks may take the form of a service provided by Disabled Children's Social Work Team. These services are:
- Family Link Service
Family Link is a day fostering service for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Our Family Link carers are specially trained foster carers who provide day respite and some overnight care for children who would not otherwise be able to spend time away from their parents. The Family Link carers may care for the child in their own home, or take them out on trips and activities
It may also take the form of a service purchased from another provider on your behalf by the Disabled Children's Social Work team. This service might be home care, going out and about with support, or a service from one of our preferred providers. Our preferred providers include:
- Team Spirit at Riverside School (external link)
- The Markfield Project Ltd (external link)
- Step by Step (external link)
- The Haringey Shed Theatre Company (external link)
- My AFK - formerly Action for Kids (external link)
- Remark (external link)
Please note this centre is currently closed as the overnight service provision is under review
For more information about short breaks please contact the team administrator in the Disabled Children's Team:
Disabled Children’s Team
Alexandra House - 2nd Floor
10 Station Road
London N22 7TR
- Tel: 020 8489 3947
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In this section
- Early support
- Disabled Children Team
- Adaptations service
- Short breaks and respite
- Community groups and services
- Managing your child's behaviour
- Leisure activities
- National organisations
- Bereavement, hospitals, and other organisations
- Specialist holidays, funding and charities