New Service | Pathways to Short Breaks

We are pleased to share the Pathways to Short Breaks team are now able to accept referrals for children and young people.

What is the Pathways to Short Breaks Project?

The project is DfE funded and is specifically designed to support children and young people aged from 8-18 with social communication and interaction needs, who are experiencing anxiety and are socially isolated.

The Pathways project will offer a range of support to children and young people, including access to targeted and innovative community based groups, offered by our partners, Neon Daisy, Exar and FACE.

Alongside this our team of Advance Project Workers will provide high quality, intensive and person-centred support to children and young people who would be otherwise unable to access the community groups. This support will involve working with the child/young person and family, in their homes and local communities, with the goal of increasing their social connection and eventual educational opportunities through psychoeducation, targeted intervention programmes and through the development of supportive, trusting working relationships.

Who can the project support?

The criteria for referral is that a child or young person:

  • Is attending school part time
  • Has a social communication need (a child or young person does not need a formal diagnosis of Autism to access this service)
  • Is experiencing high levels of anxiety that is impacting their daily life (a child or young person does not need a formal diagnosis of anxiety to access this service)
  • Is experiencing social isolation (e.g., emotionally based school avoidance/significantly reduced school attendance)
  • Lives in Bristol
  • Is aged 8-18

Who can make a referral?

We are keen for this service to be accessible to all and as such are happy to receive applications from a wide range of sources and this could include:

  • Parent/Carer and the chid or young person
  • Parent/Carer advocates
  • School based professionals (e.g., SENDCo’s, school SLT, specialist teachers etc.)
  • Charities and community groups
  • External education professionals (e.g., Bristol Autism Team, Educational Psychologists, The Hope Virtual School etc)
  • Social care professionals

We ask that if you are making a referral on the behalf of a parent/carer/child or young person that you:

  • Seek consent from parent/carers before doing so
  • Ensure you have spoken and sought assent (for all) and consent (particularly if over the age of 14) of the child/young person before doing so

How will support be allocated?

  • The Pathways Team will host a monthly panel to consider applications to ensure fair access to this support. This will be supported by our community partners alongside a range of wider groups to ensure that robust, equitable decisions are made.
  • We are a small team and though we will endeavour to support as many children/young people as possible, we will allocate support fairly based on the criteria outline above.

How do I apply?
More information will be located on the Local Offer but in the interim, the link to the application can be found here: