Refer a Child for a CHICKS Break
Who can refer a child?
Anyone who works with a child in a professional capacity can refer them for a five-day CHICKS respite break. Agencies that frequently refer to us include social services, schools, youth groups, churches, young carers' groups and community centres.
The professional must know the child in order to make the referral.
Before a child is booked on a break, a CHICKS coordinator will conduct a telephone assessment with the professional. This will cover the reasons why the child has been referred, as well as any behavioural or medical needs the child may have. It is important that this person is able to answer these questions with as much detail as possible to allow us to make a decision as to whether it is the right support for each child.
The professional will be asked to agree to be the main contact between CHICKS and the family, provide sufficient 24-hour contact information while the child is on the break, and organise suitable transport and supervision to and from our pick-up points.
Criteria for referral
Children can be referred to CHICKS for a huge variety of reasons. They may be living in poverty, having caring responsibilities or be subject to neglect, bereavement, abuse, or any other situation that causes the child to have a tough time at home.
Children must be aged between 8 and 15 years old in order to attend a CHICKS break. Children are welcome back each calendar year (depending on the previous break report and suitability), but they may only attend once per calendar year.
For more information, including our full criteria, please check our referral FAQs.
The referral process
Please note: submitting a referral does not guarantee a space on a break. We currently receive more referrals than we have available spaces.
- Referral form: Complete our online referral form.
- Telephone assessment: When we feel we are able to offer a space to the child(ren) you have referred, we will call you to conduct an assessment. This is the point at which you will find out whether the child has a break with us or not.
- Consent form: If successful, you will need to inform the family and get a Consent and Medical Form signed by the child's legal guardian.
- Transport form: We will provide you with a form informing you of the different pick-up and drop-off locations and times.
How to make a referral
We operate a rolling referral system. This means that once you submit a referral, it will be valid for one year from the date on which you submitted it, or until the child is allocated a break with us. After a year, you will need to submit a new referral form.
Please note: submitting a referral does not guarantee a break place being allocated. Unfortunately, we receive more referrals than we have spaces.
Please note: our referral form is currently not working when using Internet Explorer. Please re-open in another browser such as Google Chrome.
Please find the first break dates for 2020 below. Please note, we are currently only running breaks from our Daleside Retreat in Derbyshire.
If you would like to discuss booking a group of children on a CHICKS break, then please get in touch with the team using the contact details below.
National Express coach discount
We are delighted to have been chosen as one of National Express’s charity partners, alongside the Prince’s Trust. Supporting CHICKS is one way in which National Express will fulfil its Youth Promise, a set of five commitments made to young people to enhance their opportunities of success in work, education and life.
As part of their package of support, National Express, the UK's largest coach operator, are donating FREE return coach journeys to be used by children accessing a CHICKS break and their chaperones, as well as break volunteers.
By providing a free method by which children can reach CHICKS, this support from National Express will enable children whose parents or referral agents had previously been unable to fund their travel to access a CHICKS break. Often, these are the children in most need of our support. We will offer you this discount when confirming a child's place on one of our breaks and confirming the transport locations and times.
In addition, National Express are also funding the memory bags given to each child at the end of their break, complete with presents, diaries and photo compilations.
Any more questions?
"CHICKS breaks are a source of pure, uncomplicated happiness for a child who has had some difficult experiences." – Referral partner, Hackney