Disabled children and young people - short breaks

On this page, you can find out about sending your child on a short break or activity with other children, and finding and paying for your own break.

For a full overview of services for families with children and young people aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities, go to our Local Offer pages.
A girl with Down's Syndrome playing on a climbing frame

About short breaks

Short breaks offer activities for disabled children and young people to make sure they have the same opportunities as other children to have fun, spend time away from home with their friends, and develop skills and independence.

Short breaks also give you a chance to take a break from your caring duties.

​Group-based short breaks

Group-based short breaks are activities for groups of children and families which we pay other organisations to provide.
They include:
  • after-school clubs
  • weekend activities
  • school-holiday activities
  • family fun days.

Qualifying for a group-based short break

Your child can go on a group-based short break if he or she is under 19 years and one month, lives in Newham and has:
  • autistic spectrum disorder and severe learning disabilities
  • difficult behaviour and other problems such as severe learning disabilities
  • a life-limiting condition and/or he or she needs palliative care
  • severe cognitive, physical or sensory impairments
  • problems with moving and handling which means they need equipment and adaptations.

We are looking into opportunities for young people up to the age of 25 years.

Apply for a group-based short break

Your child will not be assessed to get a group short break. If your child is known to us already, you should contact his or her social worker or family disability worker directly for more information.
You can also apply directly to the organisations who arrange the short breaks. These organisations will need to ask you questions about your child’s needs to make sure that they can meet them – some providers are better at meeting certain needs than other providers.
Organisations which currently provide short breaks include:

Travel costs

We don’t pay for travel costs for short breaks or activities that you are doing in Newham.
However, if your break or activity is outside Newham, the provider may organise transport, such as a coach.
We encourage providers of short breaks to teach disabled children how to access and use public transport as part of their activities. This will help to improve and increase their mobility and independence.

Safeguarding for children on group-based short breaks

Anyone who is employed by the organisation which is running a short break or activity must have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, so you can be rest assured that your child is in safe hands.
The provider must also report any safeguarding concerns to us.

Overnight, day and outreach short breaks

The Good Support Group @ Dongola Road provide a high quality, person centred residential short breaks service based in Plaistow. We offer overnight and day short breaks as well as outreach support for children and young people aged 5 to 19 who have:
  • autistic spectrum disorders
  • profound and multiple physical disabilities
  • learning disabilities
  • complex health needs.

You can find out about the care we provide at Dongola Road in our statement of purpose (PDF)​ or look at our website​

Our Disabled Children and Young Peoples' Service at Newham can refer your child so please speak to a social worker, or you can use direct payments to purchase a break directly through The Good Support Group @ Dongola Road.

Contact details

The Good Support Group @ Dongola Road
99-101 Dongola Road
E13 0AN

Phone: 020 8471 8219

Personal budget short breaks

If your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan, you may decide to ask for a personal budget. You can use your personal budget to buy short break support and services.
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Contact us

  • Disabled Children and Young People’s Service
    London Borough of Newham
    Newham Dockside
    1000 Dockside Road
    E16 2QU

  • Transition team
    London Borough of Newham
    Newham Dockside
    1000 Dockside Road
    E16 2QU

    020 3373 3521

    Email us