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Overnight Short Breaks

Overnight Short Breaks assist families who care for disabled children to continue to do so, or to do so more effectively, by giving them breaks from caring, They are part of the council’s Short Break offer for disabled children and their families.

Informal Overnight Short Breaks

Many families sort out overnight breaks for their disabled child through sleepovers at a relatives or friends house.

Some are also able to arrange sleepovers with families of other disabled children they know through school.

Other families use childminders or support workers from agencies to get a break at night.

Schools, adventure playgrounds and youth groups also arrange residential trips that can provide families with support overnight.  However, most of these are not usually done on a regular basis.

Overnight Short Breaks

Provided under section 17(6) of the 1989 Children's Act.

You may be able to get overnight short breaks if you have a disabled child who has either of the following:

  • complex health needs which may require care overnight
  • severe and profound disabilities

The need for overnight breaks will be assessed by a Social Worker.

The assessment will consider a number of different factors. Our experience shows that a combination of the following factors can indicate the need for overnight breaks.

Parental factors:

  • Ill health – physical, mental health
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Social isolation or  lack of support networks
  • Emergency hospital admissions
  • Life events – relationship breakdown, bereavement, new baby

Child factors:

  • The impact of the child’s disability on the ability of the parent or carers to care for the child
  • The child’s need to experience time away from home to help them prepare for adulthood or long term care
  • The support needs of the child during the night
  • Behaviour that challenges

Types of Overnight Short Breaks

Provided under section 17(6) of the 1989 Children's Act.

The type of overnight short break care you may get depends on individual circumstances. Social Workers work together with families to identify the best option for each child.

Most overnight breaks to take place in a home environment including:

  • Families arranging care themselves by employing carers in a private capacity, funded by direct payments.
  • The local authority providing a sitter or overnight carer in the child’s own home.
  • Family Based Short Breaks (where the local authority provides overnight care in the home of an approved foster carer registered with OfSTED). Find more information on Family Based Short Breaks.

Sometimes, the best way to meet needs is to provide overnight care in a residential setting.  Islington Council does not have its own residential home for children but buys places as they are required in a range of OfSTED registered residential settings. The choice of setting will depend on the child’s age, individual needs, the type of break needed, value for money and availability of places.

Request a Section 17 assessment for Overnight Short Breaks

If you feel your child requires an overnight short break, you'll need to make a referral for a social work assessment to the Disabled Children's Social Work Team or speak to your child’s social worker if you have one.