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Short Breaks for Disabled Children

Universal Services & the Core Offer

There are fantastic places to visit and things to do in Nottingham with an extensive range of fun and interactive events for all ages, from drop in sessions to daylong activities. We have developed a range of play, youth and leisure activities and we want these to be enjoyed by everyone.

Service providers are required by law to make all reasonable adjustments to include everyone.

Nottingham City Council makes a Core Offer – this is a guarantee that all disabled children and young people can receive a minimum of 2 hours a week activities at youth and play centres; museums and galleries; children centres; libraries; parks and playgrounds; leisure centres and sports programmes.

The majority of our services are available to all and the Core Offer entitles disabled children and young people to take part in activities with independence from the family. For some activities, there may be a charge.


To find out more contact the Short Breaks Team on telephone: 0115 8762745 or E-mail:


Any professional can help you to make contact with these services and you can refer your child.

If you struggle to access these services, ask the professional most involved with you about a Common Assessment Framework or Early Help Assessment as this can help you get more help for you child.


What are short breaks?

Short breaks are a specialist service that a disabled child and their family receive to support a break from care and promote positive activities. Section 25 of the Children and Young Person Act requires local authorities to provide short breaks for families of disabled children.

From 01 April 2011, Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City NHS have been required to provide services designed:

  • To promote positive activities for disabled children
  • To give such children and their families the opportunity to lead lives that are as ordinary as possible
  • To assist individuals who provide care for such children to continue to do so more effectively, by giving them breaks from caring.


Short breaks enable children and young people the chance to enjoy new experiences and to make new friends. In turn this means parents and families receive a break from caring and time to recharge their batteries.

Depending on your circumstances, a short break may be from a few hours a week to an overnight break. You and your child will be involved in the choosing the most appropriate services to meet your assessed need.

Accessing a short break

Short breaks are accessed via our Pathways to Short Breaks approach.  This ensures those with the greatest need receive the largest amount of support, and those accessing a lower amount of support can do so via a simple route without the need for a social work assessment.

You can read more about our Pathways to Short Breaks and how they work in our “Short Breaks Statement.”

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