Respite care and breaks for carers

Carers and the family or friends they care for can benefit from respite care, either residential or for the day.

If you care for a friend or relative who is an older person, has a learning or physical disability, or a mental health problem, you may be able to access respite care services (sometimes known as short break services).

Formal Respite Care

If you have been assessed and currently receive a respite service, you can continue to access respite in the usual way - contacting your social care team, or your named brokerage officer. You can contact the provider if this has been agreed.

There are different respite options available and these can be provided either at or away from the family home. This will give you the option of making arrangements that you feel will work best for your family, particularly if maintaining newly established routines is important and it is better people are supported at home whilst you take a break outside the home.

Alternatively, you can manage your respite yourself as a Direct Payment. This means the council will provide you with a respite budget so you are in control of purchasing the respite that you want at the times when you want it.

As respite is allocated based on need following an assessment, any new respite packages would need to be agreed by the relevant care team, and not all carers will be eligible.

If you do not currently have any respite arrangements agreed, but you are worried you will not be able to continue caring, please contact us as soon as possible so we can talk to you about your options.

The council is continuing to offer carers assessments, please contact the First Response Team if you care for an adult, or MASH if you care for a child with additional support needs - see contact details below.

Haricare, our online directory of services, is a helpful starting point to find out what some of the options may be.

Respite care policy

If you would like to find out more about respite care, you can view our Respite Care Policy - April 2018 (PDF, 283KB).

Contact details

You should contact the care manager or care co-ordinator of the person for whom you provide care.

  • If you care for someone who is supported by our learning disabilities team, contact the learning Disabilities Duty Team on 020 8489 1348.
  • If you are not in contact with a care manager or care co-ordinator contact the First Response Team on 020 8489 1400. They can arrange for you to receive a carer's assessment which will consider your eligibility for respite care
  • If the person you care for is a child or young person with a disability contact our MASH (multi-agency safeguarding hub):

Back to top


Page last updated:

February 13, 2023