Short Breaks Statement

Adult and Young Carers

Information about short break services available in East Dunbartonshire.


The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 was implemented on 1st April 2018. The legislation is designed to support carers’ health and wellbeing and help make caring more sustainable. The Act includes duties for Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) to provide support to carers, based on the carer’s identified needs, of which meet the local eligibility criteria.

A Short Breaks Statement is required, along with a local Carers Strategy, by the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. East Dunbartonshire HSCP Carers Strategy 2023-26 has just been approved and will relaunch with this updated Short Breaks Statement in June 2023. We continue to promote the importance and regular review of our Short Breaks Statement, to ensure carers understand their right to a break and the breaks available in their area. Evolving national policy on carer support and the development of the National Care Service are rapidly developing agendas at the time of developing this Short Breaks Statement. This emerging national policy will shape carer support services in the future.

Who is a Carer?

A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care by looking after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and who cannot cope without their support.
A young carer is a person under the age of 18, or over 18 and still in education. Young carers are young people and children first, and whilst they may value and enjoy aspects of the caring role they fulfil within their families, they may experience fewer opportunities to access social, recreational or educational opportunities.
A carer does not need to be living with the person they care for to be considered a carer. Anybody can become a carer at any time in their life and sometimes for more than one person at a time.
Many people who provide care may not see themselves as a ‘carer’, but rather that they are providing a natural supporting role for their loved one, that may increase over time.

Purpose of the Short Breaks Statement

The Short Breaks Statement provides adult and young carers and the people they care for with information about:
• What short breaks are;
• Who can access short breaks;
• What are the expected outcomes for carers accessing short breaks;
• What different types of short breaks are available;
• Whom to contact for further information locally and nationally.

What is a Short Break?

A short break is any form of service, activity, support, assistance and/or resource that enables carers to take a break from their caring role and responsibilities. A short break could consist of a one-off service or activity, or it may take the form of regular and sustained breaks from caring. Carers have the right to periods of rest, access to leisure or the time to pursue wider hobbies and activities. Some carers may choose to go on holiday with the person they are looking after or to go away alone, however, a short break or holiday may not always involve
going away.
A short break can be arranged in a variety of ways which are personalised to the carer and will support their identified needs. It could be or involve:
• a short period of a couple of hours;
• a longer period of a couple of weeks;
• replacement support being delivered during the day, the evening or overnight;
• the cared for person having a break away from the home environment;
• the carer having a break away from the home environment;
• the carer and cared for person experiencing a short break together with assistance if

Formal services should be seen as only one component of a co-produced, community asset-based approach to short breaks.Maximising community, universal and informal supports and assistive technology is essential to building and sustaining independent living.

For clarity, there are a number of ways that short break support from a caring role can be provided:

  • Community activities: support that is available through clubs and activities in the community;
  • Universal resources: support that is available to all citizens. This would include services such as health and education as well as some more specific services that individuals can refer themselves to;
  • Informal support: support provided by family, friends and neighbours. This can range from very intensive to occasional, depending on needs and circumstances;
  • Voluntary sector support: broad range of support delivered by national and local voluntary organisations and charitable bodies, including lunch clubs, advice, advocacy and befriending;
  • Assistive technology: Assistive technology is any product or service designed to enable independence for disabled and older people. It includes telehealth care services which are health and social care services that can operate at a distance using a range of digital and mobile technologies. East Dunbartonshire HSCP will aim to maximise the appropriate use of assistive technologies;
  • Support can be provided directly or indirectly to provide an opportunity for a short break, for example indirect carer support is when a service is provided to meet the needs of a cared for person, but which also brings breaks for carers, such as day services.

What are the outcomes for Carers who access short breaks?

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership wants to help carers improve their health and wellbeing so that they can continue to care for as long as they wish to do so, and to help them to have a life alongside caring.
‘Outcomes’ are the changes or differences that can be made when a carer has a short break from their caring responsibilities. The outcomes will be individualised and personal to the carer’s situation but may include:
• Focusing on Self Care;
• Coping with Stress;
• Delivering consistent quality care;
• Improved social

life or taking up a hobby;
• Moving nearer the labour market e.g. training;
• Involved in community and leisure activities.

The changes or differences made by accessing short breaks can enable carers to:

  • Enjoy a life outwith or alongside their caring role, including education, employment or leisure pursuits;
  • Feel that they are being recognised for the important role that they perform and are better supported;Improve their confidence and enhance their ability to cope with their caring responsibilities;
  • Increase their ability to maintain their relationship with the person they care for; reducing the likelihood of breakdown and crisis;
  • Improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Eligibility to Access Funded Short Breaks

Eligibility criteria sets out what levels of support a Carer might be able to access according to their level of need. This will include considering whether a carer is likely to be able to meet their desired outcomes through community, universal and informal support and services, and assessing the impact of their caring role on their wellbeing.

Adults and young carers can be supported to explore the impact of their caring role and can receive assistance to identify their needs within the Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Person’s Statement. Support to identify needs can be provided by the HSCP or the local Carers’ Organisation (contact details provided below).

Eligibility criteria recognise ‘urgency’ and ‘risk’ as critical factors in the determination of eligibility for formal social care support services. Where a carer is eligible, the urgency of that individual’s needs should be kept in focus in determining how to respond to their support needs.

The use of eligibility criteria provides a fair and consistent method for deploying limited resources in a way that ensures that resources are targeted to those in greatest need, while also recognising the types of low-level intervention, community, universal and informal support, that can be accessed to halt the deterioration of people in less urgent need of support. ‘This must be applied strictly in line with risk and need and cannot be simply based against wishes, preferences or quality of life elements’ (East Dunbartonshire HSCP Carers Eligibility Policy, 2023).

Please see the full Carers Eligibility Policy

Supporting Carers in East Dunbartonshire

It is estimated that there are around 17,000 unpaid carers residing within East Dunbartonshire. Only a small proportion of these carers, around 8% are known to Social Work Services. This is likely in some respects to be a consequence of eligibility criteria that generally limits formal social work support and services to individuals at critical or substantial risk.

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership have been supporting carers to access short breaks for many years. The Health and Social Care Partnership have invested significantly to support carers who are caring for people with identified critical and substantial needs by providing a range of short breaks on a residential, home based and self-directed support basis.

Since the last Short Breaks Statement was published in 2019 there has been an increase in the identification of adult and young carers. Around 225 carers have been supported to complete an Adult Carer Support Plan, each year,with around 90 Young Carer Statements completed since 2019 and 18 complete since April 2022.

In addition, there has been increasing levels of short break provision, at home, centre based, community based and residential, for a higher number of carers. In 2021/22 an equivalent of 13,384 weeks of direct or indirect carer support was provided for 2067 cared for people (aged 18+), with an additional equivalent of 188 weeks of short breaks provided to carers of 29 children with disabilities.

Since April 2018, 140 young carers regularly attend group and holiday period activities run by
Carers Link.

140 young carers regularly attend group and holiday period activities run by Carer Link

Types of Short Breaks

There are different types of short breaks accessed by carers in East Dunbartonshire. Some of these breaks are provided directly to carers within the local area, while other services may be provided to the cared for person, in the form of replacement care, or support that indirectly provides short break support to carers.
Examples include:

Breaks in care home or specialist/dedicated respite
Generic or condition specific short breaks within a residential and/or nursing facility either within or outwith the East Dunbartonshire area. Some care homes provide dedicated places specifically for short breaks.

Day Support (buildings based, within the community)
Day Care is typically based in a community building within or outwith the East Dunbartonshire area and characterised by particular days with fixed times. Services can also offer more flexible arrangements, designed around the needs of both the cared-for person and the carer. This can be achieved by providing support within the community to take part in activities/clubs. This type of support is not generally provided for respite purposes however it can indirectly benefit the carer as well as meeting the cared for person’s needs.

Holiday breaks
These include opportunities for people to have a short break together or independently. These breaks can be supported in different ways; through an agency specialising in breaks for people with particular needs, in adapted accommodation, or in ordinary hotels and guest houses with support of a paid carer.

Universal (community) services & supported access to clubs or activity groups
These opportunities might focus on a particular activity (e.g. sports clubs, leisure activities) and may be based in a community building. The availability of adapted equipment or trained workers can help people with support needs to enjoy these activities.

Breaks provided within the cared for person’s home
Support is provided to the cared for person while the carer is away from the home environment.

Breaks in the home of another individual or family
These involve overnight breaks provided by paid or volunteer carers in their own home. These are sometimes referred to as shared care, family based or adult placement schemes. Families or individuals offering this support are carefully recruited and registered.

Time to Live (TTL) Grants
‘Time to Live’ is part of the Short Breaks Funding Programme operated by Shared Care Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. The purpose of the fund is to increase the range, availability and choice of short breaks for Carers and those they care for across Scotland. Carers who meet the criteria of the TTL fund can apply for grants with support from the local Carers Support Organisation Carers Link, to fund a flexible short break of their choosing.

Emergency Breaks
There may be occasions due to carer illness, family bereavement or the cared for person’s health deteriorating, that there will be a need for the provision of emergency replacement care to respond to the crisis. Support and care provided as a response during an emergency may not be as flexible or be the carer’s or cared for person’s chosen provision due to the nature of its urgency. It is therefore important that carers consider preparing an emergency plan in advance. Support to prepare an emergency plan can be provided by the local Carers Support Organisation, Carers Link.

Children’s Services
Children’s Services respite is varied, and may include residential breaks at a respite facility either within or outwith the East Dunbartonshire area, activity holidays for children with additional needs or support to access local youth clubs.

Time Out Activities
Time out activities are designed to give young carers a break, with the chance to be young, to have fun, meet other young carers, learn new skills, gain confidence and all within a supportive environment. Breaks can range for a couple of hours at a regular group to fun activities during school breaks and holidays away. Activities can themselves range from Arts & Crafts to Mountain Biking and anything fun in between.

Carer Support Groups
Local carer groups provide an opportunity for carers to meet up, share information and have a short break from caring. East Dunbartonshire provides a range of regular support groups and one-off activities for carers.

‘Respitality’ (Respite + Hospitality) provides a unique way for Carers Support Organisation and the Scottish Hospitality sector to work together to provide short breaks for Carers. The hospitality sector gifts short breaks to Carers through the Carers Support Organisation. Gifts may include overnight stays, dinner reservations, spa days, beauty treatments – whatever gift the business chooses to donate. A Carer plus a companion can have a break away from their usual caring responsibilities. Carers Link is the registered Respitality partner for East Dunbartonshire.

Self Directed Support Breaks
There has been a number of important policies over recent years, which have sought to empower and develop choice for carers. Through self directed support for example, carers whose needs meet the ‘Carers Eligibility Criteria Policy’, the provision of the self-directed support options can provide them, and the people that they care for, with the ability to explore a range of different short break options tailored to their personal needs and outcomes.
For example:

  • the carer might use the individual budget to contract with an agency at the holiday location in the UK or abroad to deliver support to the cared for person;
  • the carer may employ a Personal Assistant to accompany the cared for person on leisure breaks, with or without the carer being present;
  • the carer could procure equipment that helps to support the cared for person and facilitate a break for the carer;
  • the carer could purchase a membership for a hobby or leisure club.

The carer can choose four self directed support options. The carer’s choice will be dependent
upon how much control and responsibility the carer wishes to take:

Option 1 (Direct Payment) - the Carer is provided with a cash payment and uses the money to purchase support

Option 2 (Individual Service Fund) the Carer chooses the support they require and requests that the Health and Social Care Partnership makes arrangements to provide and pay for the support;

Option 3 (Arranged Support) – the Carer asks the Health and Social Care Partnership to choose the support they require and to make arrangements to provide and pay for the support on their behalf;

Option 4 (Mixture of Options) – the Carer can choose a combination of Options 1, 2 and/or
3 for each type of support identified in their Support Plan.

Further information about self directed support can be accessed below:

Self directed support in East Dunbartonshire
SDS Scotland

Flexible Respite

Increasingly, with the development of self-directed support, more people are finding creative ways to take a break using funding to purchase items such as leisure equipment, computers, online classes, garden furniture or anything else that provides a break from the caring role. Carers can also apply for a grant for flexible respite solutions through the local Carers Support Organisation.

You can read some example ‘Short Breaks Stories’ on the Shared Care Scotland website.


Carers are not charged for the replacement care arranged to give them a break from caring, if identified as eligible for formal services in the Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer’s Statement. However, there are circumstances where the carer and /or the cared for person will need to contribute towards the cost of a break, for example where funding is provided to support them to take a holiday type break together, costs for activities, meals etc may not be included. Any costs will be explained and agreed before the break goes ahead.

Find more information regarding the Council’s Non-Residential Customer Contribution Policy.

Find more information regarding the waiver of charges for carers.

How to Access Formal Short Breaks in East Dunbartonshire 

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership has a duty and responsibility to support carers identified eligible needs. In order to receive information and support, or help to access a short break you should;

Adult Carer

  • Contact your local Health and Social Care Partnership Office or your local Carers Support Organisation
  • Social Work Practitioner or Carers Support Officer discusses with you how your caring responsibilities affect you and the level of support you are eligible for.
  • Adult Carer Support Plan details how your needs can be met including short breaks, and options to provide and fund your support

Young Carer

  • Speak to your Head Teacher or contact your local Carers Support Organisation
  • Social Work Practitioner or Carers Support Officer discusses with you how your caring responsibilities affect you and the level of support you are eligible for.
  • Young Carer Statement details how your needs can be met including short breaks and options to provide and fund your support.

Please note that access to informal short breaks and universal resources such as community clubs, support groups, respitality and grants, are not subject to this process and can be accessed with a self-referral.

Further information about Carers Short Breaks, Eligibility and Self Directed Support

Carers can access further information about any of the subjects discussed in the Short Breaks Statement by contacting their allocated Social Worker. If you are unsure if the person you care for has an allocated social worker then you can contact the following local organisations:

Adult Intake Team
East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership
Kirkintilloch Health and Care Centre
10 Saramago Street
G66 3BF
Tel: 0141 777 3000

Children and Families Advice and Response Team
East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership
Southbank House
Southbank Business Park
G66 1XQ
Tel: 0141 355 2200

Carers Link (EDC Carer Organisation)
Milngavie Enterprise Centre
Ellangowan Court
G62 8PH
Tel: 0800 9752131 or 0141 955 2131
Carers Link website 

All the documents discussed within this Short Breaks Statement can be accessed on East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s website.

Wider Carer Support Organisation  What they offer More information 
Shared Care Scotland There is lots of information available on the Shared Care Scotland website, including details of the Short Break funds that they run, such as ‘Take a Break’ grant, available to carers of children and young people and their families in Scotland. Website or telephone: 01383 622 462
Take a Break Take a Break is Scotland’s Short Breaks scheme to support the carers of disabled children, young people and their families. Take a Break grants can be used for a break away, towards leisure activities or outings, sports equipment and more. Email
or telephone: 01904 571093
Carers Scotland Working as part of Carers UK, Carers Scotland provides expert advice, information and support to carers, as well as connecting them to other carers, so that no one has to care alone. They also campaign for carers and to find new ways to reach and support carers. Website
or telephone 0808 808 7777
Care Information Scotland Care Information Scotland provides information and advice
for Carers in Scotland.
or telephone: 0800 011 3200
Care Information Scotland - Young
Care Information Scotland has web pages and online support services for young people aged 18 and under, who help to look after someone in their family who has an illness, disability, drug/alcohol addiction or mental health condition. Website
or telephone 0800 011 3200
Quarriers - young carers As part of their wider work, Quarriers support carers of all ages by providing services specifically designed to help them in their caring role. Website
or telephone 01505 612224
Shelter - young carers As part of their wider work, Shelter also provides information and support for young carers. Website
or telephone 0808 800 4444
Young Minds Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and also provides information and advice for young carers and their families. Website

East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership will review this Short Breaks Statement in conjunction with the Carers Strategy, to ensure that it contains relevant information and up to date links to organisations. The Health and Social Care Partnership contact details can be accessed on the website.

This Short Breaks Statement, Carers Strategy and other associated documents will be available on the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership website.