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Short breaks

What is a short break?

Short breaks are opportunities for disabled children and young people to have time away from their families or primary carers, to relax and have fun. They also provide parents and carers of disabled children with a necessary and valuable break from their caring responsibilities.

Short breaks can range from a few hours to an overnight break, and can take place inside the home or away from it, such as holiday, weekend or after-school activities.

Who are short breaks for?

Short breaks are available to anyone who cares for a child with a disability or special needs and lives in Southwark. The type of short break available will depend on the individual child - for example some activities are specifically for a particular age group or for a need such as autism.

How do I book a short break?

The list of available short breaks in Southwark includes details of who to contact - the process varies depending on the type of short break. For example, some are open to everyone so you just need to turn up; for other more specialist care, you will need a referral from the council's children with disabilities and complex needs team.

List of Southwark short breaks

Find a short break in your area

Download short breaks in Southwark

More information

If you have a question or would like to know more, speak to your social worker, school or other professionals involved in caring for your child, or call Southwark's family information service for information and advice on 0800 013 0639.

The national regulations define who is entitled to short breaks, what local authorities should provide and what the statement should include. 

Southwark Council’s short breaks services statement 2013 sets out what services are available, the eligibility criteria for these services, and how services are designed to meet the needs of local families with disabled children.


If you are unhappy about the type or level of service on offer, you can complain. We want to resolve any disputes quickly and effectively. In the first instance, please contact the team manager for an informal discussion. If there are continuing concerns, the council has a formal complaints process, which can be initiated by contacting us on 020 7525 0042, via complaints or through the online complaints form.

Contact us

Children with Disabilities and Complex Needs Team
Children's services
Southwark Council
Sunshine House
27 Peckham Road
SE5 8UH  

Tel: 020 3049 8250 

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Contact us

Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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