Short Breaks Network

Melbourne House
36 Chamberlain Street

Tel: 01749 689 259


Short Breaks Network (SBN) does not provide services but is an umbrella organisation for family based short breaks schemes.

SBN is a charity dedicated to promoting, researching and developing family based short breaks services for disabled children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own organisation, Shared Care Scotland, with whom they increasingly collaborate. SBN has a membership of around 200 short break services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These are run by voluntary sector organisations such as Barnardo's, The Children's Society and NCH, as well as by local authorities. These schemes link disabled children with local support families or individuals who are willing to offer occasional care in their or the child's home. They also have a pilot membership scheme directly involving parents of disabled children and short break carers in the work of SBN.

SBN was registered as a charity in 1990, to identify and encourage good practice in this field. Since then, they have built up a solid reputation in:

  • Promoting good practice in short breaks.
  • Campaigning to promote quality and appropriate services.
  • Providing advice and information.
  • Conducting research to inform policy and practice.
  • Organising specialist conferences and training for professionals, parents and short break carers.
  • Producing publications and good practice guides.
  • Raising awareness of short breaks amongst the general public.

SBN also plays an important role in helping new schemes get off the ground, mainly by providing them with advice, information and access to a ready-made contacts network. This geographically spread network ensures that their research and development work impacts on a national scale.

Last updated on 02/09/2014

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