Find short breaks for your child

Search for respite short breaks where additional support is provided for groups of children with a disability.

Targeted short breaks are activities where additional support is provided for groups of children with a disability or additional needs to take part in. We subsidise some of these activities and they're run by organisations we have special arrangements with.

Who targeted short breaks are for

Targeted activities:

  • are for children or young people who are disabled
  • can be accessed without needing to have a formal assessment. These activities are for children and young people in Dorset who can't access mainstream or universal activities. This means you'll need to meet the provider's criteria for the activity as it's based on what level of support your child needs
  • don't offer overnight stays

Targeted short breaks must:

  • take place outside school hours which means:
    • after school
    • in the evenings
    • at the weekend
    • during school holidays
  • allow families with children who are disabled the opportunity to have time apart; the child has an enjoyable experience and the carer has a break from their caring role
  • be a time where the parent or carer doesn't have to take responsibility for the care of their child during the activity (although they may have to be nearby)

Targeted short breaks must also be for children who need a certain level of support:

  • low level support: 1 staff member for 3 or 4 children
  • medium level support: 1 staff member for 2 children
  • high level support: 1 or 2 staff members for 1 child

Get a targeted short break for your child

Contact providers of targeted short breaks to see if your child is eligible for the activities they offer. If your child is eligible you can book a place directly with them. We subsidise some activities. 

What you have to pay for a targeted short break

We subsidise these services, but the provider will still charge a fee of between:

  • £6 and £15 for a half day
  • £8.50 and £20 for a full day

When short breaks take place

Short breaks are for any time outside of school time:

  • after school
  • at weekends
  • during school holidays

Examples of targeted short breaks

After school targeted short breaks

Some examples of after-school targeted short breaks include:

  • a weekly club for 13 to 18 year olds run by Diverse Abilities with different activities such as cookery, outdoor activities, games and meals out
  • bowling trips for 15 to 18 year olds to support transition to adulthood run by People First Dorset
  • weekly youth-led club for 15 to 18 year olds which can include cooking and art skills, anti-bullying discussions, friendship and relationship building discussions, multi-media and sports activities
  • evening stargazing and animal tracking once a month
  • farm club which can include animal care and training, outdoor team games, treasure hunts and baking
  • theatre and film visits
  • after school art club
  • swimming sessions
  • trampolining and gymnastic sessions

Weekend targeted short breaks

Some weekend targeted short breaks include:

  • performing arts sessions for children and young people between 7 and 19 years
  • family play with specialist toys and equipment, sensory room, ball pool and soft play area

Holiday targeted short breaks

Some holiday targeted short breaks include:

  • holiday clubs on the farm
  • creative music workshops
  • holiday club art sessions
  • family fun days
  • arts activities 
  • sports activities including athletics, tri golf, curling, kayaking, sitting volleyball, table cricket, ski bobbing and ringoes.

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