Short breaks

For children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs

Why your child may not be eligible for specialist services

A decision may be made that your child does not meet the criteria for specialist services. Specialist services might include, social work support; overnight short breaks; the family link scheme, or support within and outside the home.

The information below sets out the background to Hampshire County Council’s eligibility criteria for specialist services for disabled children and includes details of other support that may be available for you and your child.

Why your child may not be eligible for specialist services

There are many disabled children in Hampshire who need help. However, the County Council has limited financial resources and the eligibility criteria is used as part of an assessment process to decide who can access specialist services. This makes sure that families most in need receive the necessary support.

The eligibility criteria for specialist services for disabled children was rewritten in 2009, in consultation with parents and professionals. It is now clearer and easier to follow.

The full criteria is available online or you can request a copy of the information by contacting 01962 846399 or email The criteria is also explained within Hampshire County Council’s short breaks statement  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 2MB.

Other support available

To make sure you have the help you need, we have been working with colleagues and other agencies to provide a wide range of services and activities for families with disabled children.

Information for parents/carers of disabled children is available from Parent Voice, and there are varied opportunities for participation in the design of services via Hampshire Parent/ Carer Network.

In addition, funding is available for providers to run short breaks activities for all children with disabilities/ additional needs. More information is available about short breaks.

Do you feel the decision about your child is wrong?

You should have been given a copy of the eligibility criteria if a decision is made that your child is not eligible. If you feel it has not been applied fairly, or that important factors were not taken into account during the initial assessment, you should ask the social worker who assessed your child for a review of the decision.

This will mean that another team manager will review the decision to see whether the criteria have been consistently applied. You will receive a letter confirming the reviewing manager’s decision within 21 days of your request.

After this, should you still feel the decision is wrong, you may request a face to face meeting with a service manager from Children’s Services to discuss the decision.

If you still remain dissatisfied, you can complain in writing to: Children's Services Department Complaints Team, Elizabeth II Court East, Winchester SO23 8UG, email, telephone 01962 847484

Contact Parent Voice
Telephone 023 8072 1206

Children’s Services Department 0845 603 5620