Short breaks and children with complex needs

On this page parent carer forums will find resources looking at ways to improve short breaks services for families of disabled children with complex needs.

The Short Breaks Partnership bulletin

In this issue of the bulletin:

  • Legal guidance: short breaks for children with complex needs, by Steve Broach.
  • Celebrating the success of the Short Breaks Partnership.
  • Share your experiences of short break provision.

Download this edition of the short breaks bulletin [PDF].

Case studies

  • 'Encompassing the need for health support in universal settings and continuing care ' - Contact a Family case study.

The framework for children and young people's Continuing Care, along with recent legislation, has created a new integrated approach to the provision of services for children with SEND. However, there have been many difficulties for families where their child's needs encompass health and social care.

Read the full case study.


  • 'Supporting young people with complex health needs in a residential short break service: Xanthe's story' - Action for Children case study.

Xanthe is a 15 year old young lady who has been using Action for Children's residential short break service in Hertfordshire called the Pines for 5 years. She has a small team of skilled, confident and competent staff who provide meticulous and consistent support with all aspect of Xanthes care and support.

Read the full case study.


  • 'How commissioners can use short breaks to support the needs of children with complex needs' - Council for Disabled Children case study.

Luton Borough Councils' Contract Shared Care Service is a short break provision for children and young people (0-18) with complex health needs provided under the Foster Care Regulations 2002. Contract Carers are employed by the council to provide care in their own homes which have been fully adapted for children with complex needs.

Read the full case study.


  • 'Personalised approach to supporting children with complex needs' - KIDS case study.

D was unable to access a mainstream nursery so he now attends a KIDS nursery in the West Midlands. This allows Child D the opportunity to play and interact in a calm, accessible, sensitive environment with responsive practitioners who understand how to best meet his needs.. 

Read the full case study.


Contact us

We are really keen to hear from you if you have any feedback or suggestions for either the joint bulletins or resources. You can get in touch by emailing