Respite Care

National organisations that provide respite care, there are many more smaller organisations that provide respite care on a local basis

Children With Disability Services

Support for you and your child from social servies

You can apply for a needs assessment from your local Children with Disabilities Service (part of the social care department) to see what help they may be able to offer both your child and you as a carer.

To find out how to apply in your local area, enter your details here:

After applying they'll normally get back to you within 48hrs, telephoning to discuss why you think you need an assessment and telling you the next steps. If it's determined that you meet the eligibility criteria to have a full assessment, a social worker will arrange to visit you within 10 working days to complete the assessment (it is a requirement that they see your child as part of the assessment). The social worker will meet with you to discuss your situation, what help you would like and what they might be able to provide you. They will discuss things like your child's care needs, the affect this has on your life and the support network you have. They will complete the assessment within 45 days. Their report will be shared with you and any needs Identified will be developed with you into a child and family support plan.

To many the idea of volunteering to be assessed by a social worker might seem strange, but they can be an excellent way of accessing support services and finding out about assistance that you didn't even know was available. (Support available can include support from an allocated social worker or a child & family worker (CFW), direct payments that enable parents and carers to employ a personal assistant (PA) to support their disabled child and allow some breaks from caring, home care support or support to access the community through a specialist care agency, overnight short breaks, specialist assessments and behavioural support through organisations such as Aspens, access to targeted short breaks provisions, including after school clubs, Saturday clubs and holiday play schemes). Also your report from this assessment can be helpful when applying for other support, such as in a DLA application.


Support charity for vulnerable children and their families / carers

Is a national charity that provides support and advice to vulnerable children, their families and carers. Their website has a search function to find support in your local area. They also offer short breaks (respite care) for children with disabilities.

Respite Association

Respite care and breaks for carers

The Respite Association provide short term assistance by funding appropriately qualified respite care for people with disabilities, long term physical or mental health conditions and those you are terminally ill in order that their regular unpaid carer can be allowed to take a much needed break. Breaks can take the form of anything from enabling attendance at an evening class to a weekend break or longer. They also provide free week long seaside holidays to enable carers to recharge their batteries. In 2021, they purchased their first bricks and mortar respite facility – a purpose built holiday bungalow in Cornwall. They also have a caravan in North Wales.


Various support across the UK including nurseries, activity clubs, days out, play schemes etc

Offer a number of disability services across the UK including short break play schemes for children aged 5-11, short break activity youth clubs for young people aged 12-18, rebound therapy, nurseries, preschools and various other activities. To find your local YMCA in England and Wales and see what they offer:

In Scotland:

And in Ireland / Northern Ireland: