Isle of Wight Council

Short Breaks Facilities

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: How can short breaks help me and my family?

Answer: For the young person:

• To take part in exciting activities that interests them.
• Develop feelings of independence and gain more confidence.
• Spend time with their friends – and make new ones.
• Achieve personal goals and learn new skills.

For the parent or carer:

• Reduce feelings of stress and allow ‘you’ time.
• Spend time with your other children or together as a family.
• Meet and get to know other families who share similar experiences.
• Feel confident your child is having fun – with skilled carers who understand their needs.

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Question: Who is this for? (eligibility criteria)

Answer: Our short breaks programme is open to all children and young people who:

• have a disability and additional needs and may require support to participate fully in leisure or recreation activities;
• are between 0 and their 19th birthday;
• live on the Isle of Wight and/or attend a school on the Isle of Wight.

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Question: Do you provide transport for short breaks?

Answer: Unfortunately at present we do not fund transport to and from Short Breaks activites. If transport were provided this would reduce the funding available for activities. As we are aware that transport can be a problem on the Isle of Wight we will be working with local providers in the coming year to encourage more activities across the Island. This will reduce the need for transport and ensure it is not a barrier to Short Breaks accessibility.

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Question: Who is a short break for?

Answer: A Short Break is for a child or young adult (0-19) who has a disability and/or additional need/s. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 identifies a disability as: "A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day to day activities". Short Breaks are only intended for children and young people who have a disability (sometimes referred to as 'additional needs' as some parents/carers prefer this term); there is other support available from Children's Services and other organisations for children and young people with additional needs resulting from abuse or trauma rather than a disability.

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Question: What if I have a problem with a short break activity?

Answer: If you experience problems accessing an activity, or whilst your child is attending, please discuss this with the activity provider in the first instance (asking for a copy of their complaints policy if necessary). If you remain unhappy or require additional support to address the problem, please contact the Short Breaks team on (01983) 823168 or

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Question: What is a short break?

Answer: Short Breaks are fun activities for children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs. Short Breaks are offered during daytimes, evening, weekends and school holidays. They allow parents and carers to take a 'short break' from caring, and give them time to undertake training, leisure activities, day to day tasks or education.

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Question: How do we decide what activities are funded by the short breaks programme?

Answer: There are two panels that decide funding for Short Breaks: For funding over £1000: The Large Grant panel includes Short Breaks staff, Community Resources managers (Disabled Children's team), and parents/carers from Parent's Voice. The panel makes recommendations that are presented at a meeting between the Community Resources team leader and the Operational Service manager. For funding under £1000: The Small Grant panel is for funding to support individual children, equipment, resources and activities. It includes Short Breaks staff, the Community Resources managers (Disabled Children's team) and parents/carers from Parent's Voice.

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Question: Where do I go to find out more information about the activities available?

Answer: The activity guide is available online and a printed copy is posted out to all registered families. Please contact 823168 if you require a copy.

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Question: Will I need to pay for the activity ?

Answer: You will still need to pay the standard cost for your child to attend the activity. The Short Breaks programme will help the activity provider to apply for funding to cover the additional costs that may be required to allow your child to participate fully.

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