How to access short breaks Minimize

Whilst universal, mainstream provision can be accessed directly by parents themselves, the targeted allocated and intensive provision can only be accessed following the completion of a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) form, or an Initial or Core Assessment or similar, and an action plan by a professional who knows the family. Initial and Core Assessments are undertaken by the Children with Disability or Children in Need social services teams.

The assessment and action plan must have been undertaken collaboratively with the family and child or young person within the three months prior to the ESCAN Resource Panel.

The CAF/ Initial or Core Assessment and action plan is then used as a referral to the ESCAN Resource Panel.

The following professionals can make referrals :

  • Social workers (from the area social work teams and the Children With Disabilities team)
  • SAFE teams
  • Educational social workers
  • SENCOs and other educational professionals
  • Early Support Key workers
  • Health Visitors and other health professionals/li>
  • Professionals from voluntary agencies


Referrers must assess the needs of the whole family, not just the disabled child. The assessment must consider the social, emotional and health needs of all adults and siblings in the household. The referrer will need to clarify whether the child meets the short break criteria for eligibility. As parents you should be supported to familiarise themselves with all short break options either by discussion or by visiting the service. Information is available through the Family Information Service.

The ESCAN Resource Panel considers all new referrals for short breaks and support as well as requests for a change or addition to any existing provision.

Reviewing the short break provision Minimize

Reviews of short break provision will be dealt with in different ways according to the service provided and whether a CAF or Initial/Core Assessment is done.

Children who had an Initial/Core Assessment will be reviewed in line with statutory requirements. Parents and children should be involved in the reviewing process.Reviews will be completed at 6 monthly intervals and will include a review of anyshort break provision.

The ESCAN Resource Panel may make a recommendation that the short break provision be reviewed earlier than guidance would expect, if the package of care needs to be revisited sooner.

Following review the level of service/short break may change if the child’s needs have changed.