While children are given opportunities to become more independent, have fun, enjoy new experiences, and form friendships with their peers; their families are able to take time out.
There are a range of short breaks, including daytime, evening, weekend and overnight activities.
They can take place in the child's own home, a family based setting, a residential, educational or community setting, or in their local environment.
A short break can last from just a few hours to a few days or longer. The activities can include sporting activities, play schemes, pre-school groups, youth clubs, residential homes, nurseries, the arts or dance.
Short breaks can also include activities where someone other than a parent or carer accompanies a disabled young person for informal leisure activities - for example to go swimming; to go to the cinema; to watch a football match; to play on his/her computer at home or to have a sleep over with a friend.