A break from caring
Being a carer can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it's important you have the opportunity to take a break from your caring role.
There are lots of ways you can take what we call a 'short break' from caring. This could be for a few hours, overnight, a weekend or longer. The person you care for will be looked after in a supportive, safe environment and perhaps enjoy new activities while you take some time for yourself.
There are different kinds of short breaks available, depending on the sort of needs the person you're caring for has.
Short breaks for disabled children (aged under 18)
To find out about the range of services available to give you a break from caring for your disabled child:
- contact Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK)
- speak to your child's social worker.
- search for local short breaks and respite care.
Our short breaks statement explains how we supporting parents and carers to get a break from caring.
Short break activities
We purchase a number short break activities for disabled children and young people across the county. All organisations that receive funding from Kent County Council are required to register on our local offer site. Here you can find information about other services and organisations who offer activities for disabled children, young people and adults.
Overnight and residential breaks
We have 5 centres in Kent which offer overnight stays for children and young people aged 5 to 17 with learning disabilities, social communication disorders, complex health needs and challenging behaviour. Referrals for this service will be discussed with you as part of your assessment or annual review and could form part of your child's education, health and care plan.
The centres are:
- Bluebells Short Break Unit, (next to the Village Hall), Detling, Kent
- Fairlawn Short Break Unit, Ashford, Kent
- The Sunrise Children's Centre, Sunrise, Southborough, Kent
- Treetops Short Break Unit, Dartford, Kent
- Windchimes Children's Resource Centre, Herne Bay, Kent.
The centres are run in partnership with the Kent Community NHS Health Trust
Crossroads Care can provide you with a break from caring if you are providing care or support to a family member or friend who is ill, elderly or has a physical or learning disability.
Volcare provide a respite service between 1 day and 2 weeks for carers who provide full time care to relatives in their own home.
This service is available in Canterbury, Thanet and Dover districts.
Adults with learning disabilities
We have a range of residential short break services across Kent.
To find out if you are eligible speak to your care manager if you have one or request an assessment.
- Southfields, Ashford
- Meadowside, Deal
- Canterbury Adult Support Unit, Canterbury
- Hedgerows, Staplehurst
- The Birches, Tonbridge
- Rushall, Tunbridge Wells
You can also arrange short breaks via:
Our short breaks service for adults with learning disabilities is under review. We want to plan a wide range of options for the future to meet the needs of all people, including those with the most complex needs. More information will be available soon.