Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

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What are Short Breaks Services

Short Breaks Services have been defined  as services that give:

  • Children and young people with disabilities enjoyable experiences away from their primary carers, thereby contributing to their personal and social development and reducing social isolation
  • Parents and families a necessary and valuable break from caring responsibilities

Short Breaks Services can include day-time or overnight care in the homes of children with disabilities or elsewhere, educational or leisure activities outside their homes, or services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays.

Bedford Borough Council recognises that short breaks can benefit children and young people with disabilities, their parents or carers and other family members specifically siblings.


Who are Short Breaks Services for?

Families living in Bedford Borough who have a child or children with a disability aged between 0 – 18 are eligible for Bedford Borough Council's Short Breaks Services.

The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as either a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

This may include a physical or learning disability, a hearing or visual impairment.

It includes children and young people with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and children who may have challenging behaviour as a result of a learning disability.

It also includes children who have complex needs, who require palliative care, or who have a life limiting or a life-threatening condition.


Benefits for Children and Young People

Short Breaks Services can present opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to be able to experience new activities, establish and build friendships and pursue their aspirational goals.

Further Short Breaks Services can assist children and young people with disabilities to develop life skills, grow in independence and confidence and experience access to leisure and recreational activities as part of a local community.


Benefits for Parents and Carers

Studies have shown that for some parents of a child with disabilities the provision of short breaks simply means the difference between being able to cope, or not.

Short Break Services allow parents and carers opportunities to carry out everyday activities, attend to personal health and wellbeing, pursue employment or training, maintain relationships and develop support networks.

This often results in families being better able to cope, and to be able to continue to provide care for both their children with disabilities and other children they may have. 


Benefits for Siblings

Siblings of a child with disabilities may share concerns their parents have including feelings of isolation, a need for information, guilt, and concerns about the future.  Their issues may also include resentment, peer issues, embarrassment and pressure to achieve.

Spending undivided time with their parents or carers as part of a Short Breaks Service can allows siblings the opportunity to enjoy being themselves, assist in alleviating anxiety and enable them to be better able to cope with any difficulties they may face.

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Education and Learning

Raising the level of academic achievement is a top priority for the council. We will ensure the effective delivery of our services so we can improve the life chances for children and young people. Check out this section to find out about Learning centres, schools, special education needs and more.


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