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What is the short break duty?

Breaks for carers of disabled children regulations 2011.

It says councils must consider the needs of carers and your capacity to care for, or continue to care for your disabled child. Councils must provide a range of services designed to meet this need. A short break statement must be published yearly, outlining how we will do this.

Duty to make provision

Councils must consider the needs of carers who would be unable to continue caring for their disabled child unless they have breaks from caring, or be able to give more effective care, if breaks were given.

These breaks could allow you to:

  • attend education classes
  • attend leisure activities
  • meet the needs of other children in the family
  • carry out day to day tasks in the household.

Types of services which must be provided:

Councils must provide, so far as possible, a range of services to meet the needs of carers. These services can help you care or care more effectively and can include:

  • day care in your child’s home and somewhere else
  • overnight care in your child’s home and somewhere else
  • education or leisure activities for children outside of their own home
  • services in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays.


  • short breaks to be extra to universal or mainstream provision – where criteria are met
  • short breaks should be preventative – not crisis intervention
  • short breaks should support carers and provide benefits to children and young people.
  • short breaks should improve outcomes for disabled children, young people and their families
  • short breaks should consider siblings as part of the single assessment
  • short breaks are personal to individual need
  • councils to look at the potential impact of impairments on your family life. Not just the conditions your child or young person has.