Short Breaks

Changes to Short Breaks came into effect on the 1 October 2019. Read about these changes in the “Changes to Shorts Breaks Service from 1 October 2019” section below.


Short Breaks give children and young people with a disability time away from the family. This gives them the opportunity for independence, having fun with their peers, making new friends and gaining new experiences. Short Breaks also give parents and families a break from caring responsibilities. Some Short Breaks provide families with opportunities to take part in activities/trips together.

Short Breaks Services – Update as of 30 July 2020

We are very pleased to advise that we will be delivering a limited short breaks service through our contract with Action for Children. The service will deliver a range of daytime short breaks that are compliant with all government guidance for Personal Protective Equipment and social distancing where possible. All families who access the residential short breaks services at the Grove, Merryfields and the Vines have now been offered 5-hour daycare sessions. These sessions will continue through the school holiday. We are continuing to review the guidance and review and plan to (when we can)  restart very limited overnight care at these services when we are able to do so.

To date, during the COVID period, this service has only been offered to children and families deemed by Children’s Social Care to be at the very greatest need. When offering these currently limited daytime sessions individual risk assessments will have been completed by Action for Children and the child’s social worker together with the family.

With the summer holidays now underway the Bucks Activity Project (BAP) offering community short breaks to disabled children and young people aged 0 to 19 years have contacted all families that usually access the project to offer some school holiday short break sessions. You will have been contacted by Action for Children if you are an existing registered to be offered these sessions. Very small group activities will be taking place in their buildings across Bucks and some outdoor venues with a variety of activities such as circus skills, DIY science and water play.

Depending on how many families take up this opportunity it is hoped to offer each child up to 4 sessions through the holiday period. We appreciate you are used to more sessions but owing to the guidance that has to be followed about group sizes, social distancing and enhanced cleaning this severely limits the number of sessions children can be offered.  You will have been asked/ will be asked to help complete a risk assessment (or your social worker have if you have one) to ensure risk is minimised as much as possible.

They are also providing a range of virtual sessions that are themed. If you are already registered and have used the BAP service before you will already have been sent information about this.

Unfortunately, these sessions cannot be offered to families who are new to the service.

In the meantime, it is important that you keep yourself and others safe by following government guidance on staying at home and social distancing. The Council has set up a community support hub with lots of advice and information www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

We know that this a very worrying time for many families and we are doing all we can to offer continued support to parents, carers, and children.

Worried and need help?

If you are worried and need help you can contact us as follows:

  • If your child/ren have a social worker please call 01296 383 762
  • If your family has a family support worker from the Early Help Service please call 01296 383  293
  • If your child/ren do not have a social worker or a family support worker please call First Response Team: Telephone: 01296 383 962 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

If you need an urgent response outside of these hours, contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0800 999 7677.

For more information please email contact Rona Hopwood:

Email: Rona.Hopwood@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Telephone: 01296 383 506