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Knowsley Commissioned Short Breaks Service

For all information on our targeted short breaks, please email them at

Short Breaks Service

We offer a graduated response to families, always according to need.  We aim to support our mainstream services to ensure they are accessible to as many families in Knowsley as possible.  Where this is not possible because of the child’s needs or severity of condition, we offer the opportunity to take part in a targeted Short Break. 

Short breaks are intended to give primary carers of children and young people with disabilities a break from their caring responsibilities. Short breaks should equally provide children and young people with disabilities the opportunity to have fun, make friends and develop independence skills. Short breaks should be used routinely to help parents and carers to maintain and improve the quality of care they naturally wish to provide and should not be used as a crisis intervention.

Our services are designed to promote independence, improve social skills, increase life skills, provide opportunities to integrate with the local community, and to develop new and existing talents.

Eligibility – who could access the Targeted Short Breaks Service?

  • Children/Young People must reside in Knowsley
  • Children/Young People attending full time school up until their 19th Birthday.
  • Children/Young People must have a clear additional need/disability
  • Children who have tried to access universal services unsuccessfully
  • Parent/Carers require a break from their caring role

Please read this Short Breaks Duty Statement for more detailed information on eligibility and how to access our short breaks services.

Currently Knowsley Borough Council have commissioned Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) to run all of Short Breaks groups please read their page to find out more about them.

How do I access the Targeted Short Breaks Service?

Information for Local Offer Short Breaks Curent Offer - May 2021

To access the short breaks service a professional working with you can contact the Short Breaks Support Officer to complete a request or you can contact them directly – 07881 267543

Once you have made contact with the Short Breaks Support Officer the usual process is as follows;

Information Gathering – visiting the groups

  • The Short Breaks Support Officer will contact you by phone and arrange to meet with you and your child to complete the necessary paperwork needed to access the service.
  • The Short Breaks Support Officer, with your permission, will then gather information from any other organisations working with your child including your school.  We gather as much information as we can to ensure that your child has the right support, is safe and can enjoy the short breaks activities to the full.
  • The Short Breaks Support Officer will then arrange a meet & greet session where you will stay with your child within one of the sessions – this is an opportunity for everyone to meet eachother.
  • After you have attended the meet & greet a start date can then be agreed between you and the provider.

PLEASE NOTE: We currently have a waiting list for some of our weekly sessions and holiday groups. However, please contact the short breaks service to complete a referral as you will then be given full details of what is currently available and where appropriate, be placed on the waiting list for the groups you wish to access.

Short Breaks Swimming Service

Knowsley Borough Council also commission a Short Breaks Swimming Service for children/young people with additional needs.

Please contact the Short Breaks Support Officer for information and availability

Specialist Support

Support at the specialist level is provided by Children’s Social Care.  If your child or young person is assessed as meeting the criteria for specialist services, a supporting package of care may be created to meet your child and family’s individual needs. You may also be given the option to receive a direct payment in order to purchase the support for your child yourself, in line with your child’s assessed need and care plan.

Mainstream/Universal Support

To find out about the mainstream activities available to all children in Knowsley see our Places to go, things to do website.  You can also see available services with SEN&D Activities including Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings and the CEA Card.

You can also find the details of where and when the Short Breaks and SEND specific activities are taking place - SEND Activities.  Please note that access to any of our activities listed as a Short Break, need to be accessed by contacting  -

Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board has published a list of the ‘right questions’ for parents to ask providers before allowing their child to participate in any activity/club.- Leaving your child with someone.

Who can I contact for further information?

For all information on our targeted short breaks, please email This is also the first point of contact for anything you wish to discuss about a child or young person with a disability.

Who can I talk to if I am worried?

  • If your query is in relation to short breaks provision you have accessed, please contact the provider in the first instance.
  • If your query is in relation to the commissioning of our Short Breaks provision/service then you can contact the team on 07881 267543
  • For any Corporate Complaints please contact 0151 443 3231
  • If you have a safeguarding concern please contact the MASH Team on 0151 443 2600

If parents feel uncomfortable about contacting the local authority they can contact any of the parent support groups who can pass on their concerns through our Short Breaks Forum.

Parent Support Groups

 For anything related to the information contained on this website, please contact 0151 443 5633 Option 4.