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What is a short break?

  • Short breaks form one element of the support offered by Camden Council to children and young people with disabilities and their families.
  • They provide opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to spend time away from their primary carer, taking part in positive activities, while also providing much-needed breaks for the parent/carer.
  • Short breaks are personal to individual needs and can include day, evening, overnight, weekend or holiday activities and can take place in the home, a residential or community setting

Who is eligible for short breaks?

  • To determine if a child or young person is eligible for an assessment of short breaks, Camden uses the Functional Needs Assessment (FNA). This gives a scoring on the level of need and children and young people who score at least 2 moderate or 1 severe or profound needs as identified by a health professional will be eligeable for an assessment of their need for short breaks.

          You can see the FNA template here or there is more information in the
          short breaks statement.

  • Please note that ‘specialist services’ are allocated to children, young people and their families with disabilities whose needs cannot be met by universal services as they require a higher level of support. The needs of the majority of children, young people with disabilities and their families are met within universal services without requiring a social care assessment. Families are encouraged to ask for a social care assessment if there is a change in their circumstances or if more than one service is required.
  • If you have any questions about eligibility, you can contact the Duty Social Worker by calling 0207 974 3597.

How do I access short breaks?

  • To request access to a short breaks service, you will need to complete a self-assement form which can be found under downloads on the right side of the page.
  • The form is designed to be completed by parents whose children and young people require specialist short break services due to their additional needs, and requires you to provide information about your child/young person and their needs. (There is more information about filling in the self-assessment form in the section below).

A summary of the services and access routes are set out below.

Self-assessment form

  • You can download the Self-assessment form on the right side of the page under downloads.
  • There are guidance notes on the form, but if you need help or would like to discuss options, you can contact:

          The short breaks assessor by email to the short breaks co-ordinator at

          If you feel a social work assessment is required, you can also contact the Duty Social Worker by email to or by calling 0207 974 3597.

  • Once you have filled in the self-assessment form, please return it by one of the following ways.

          By email to: or

          By post to: Camden MOSAIC Children and Young People
          Disability Service, Kentish Town Health Centre, 2 Bartholomew
          Road, London, NW5 2BX


What happens next?

  • You will be contacted within 5 working days to let you know that we have received your form. We recommend that you save a copy of the completed form for your records.
  • We will use the information you have given as a guide to allocate the service of your first choice or make suggestions about other services that may assist your child.
  • By submitting the form requesting a short break service you are consenting to your information being shared to the short break providers listed in the factsheets above. London Borough of Camden is a registered ‘Data Controller’ as defined under the Data Protection Act 1998. The information you provide will be held and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
  • Where we have a waiting list, we will let you know so you can tell us if you prefer to opt for your second choice.
  • Once a service is identified, the individual service provider will be in touch with you to tell you more about their services and complete a provisional risk assessment with you. This should take place within 15 working days of receiving your form but if there are any delays or complications, then please make contact with our Short Breaks Coordinator / Assessor.

More information

  • You can contact the Short Breaks coordinator who will be able to tell you about the range of universal short breaks services that are available in Camden
  • There is also a quarterly newsletter with information about the range of services on offer. To be added to the distribution list, you can download the registration sheet.

Family Link

Camden’s Family Link offers children and young people with disabilities the opportunity to have short, planned, regular breaks with a specially trained Family Link carer in a family home setting.

The service is for children and young people in Camden from 0 up to 18 years old who have any of the following.

  • A significant learning and/physical disability
  • A sensory loss
  • A severe chronic medical condition


  • Meet the criteria for a service from the children and young people with disabilities’ team.

For further information, please contact the Family Link team.

Support for siblings

The short breaks assessment takes into account the impact of the disability and needs of family members including siblings.

But, there is lots of support available for families and for siblings of disabled children. You can search the Local Offer website for some of the universal services on offer, or below are some details of support groups and services that siblings may find useful.  

  • KIDS provide support and fun activities for siblings of disabled children.
  • Kidstime is a workshop for children and parents affected by parental mental illness
  • Teentalk is a workshop for young people aged 12 to 18 years old affected by parents/carers mental health.
  • For general advice about support for siblings of disabled children, the national charity, Sibs, can be a good source of information.

Disability Card

If you live in Camden, your child is under 18 years old and receiving services from Children and Young People with Disability Services then you may be eligible for a disability card.

Benefits of the Disability Card include:

  • It can be used to explain to people that your child has a disability.
  • Offers concessionary rates and use of facilities at attractions. For example, a carer can go free to London Zoo, London Eye, Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures and many more!

To find out if you are eligible, you can contact Jeffrey Kotei on  020 7974 4181 or email

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