Making Memories… Giving Hope

Refer a Child on a CHICKS Break

Refer a Child on 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, amongst others.

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 this professional. This will cover the reasons why the child has been referred, as well as any behavioural or medical needs the child has. It is important that this person is able to answer these questions with as much detail as possible to allow CHICKS 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, to provide sufficient 24-hour contact information while the child is on the break, and to 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, be young carers or be subject to neglect, bereavement, abuse, emotional distress 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 the criteria for referral, please check our referral FAQs.

The referral process

Please note: submitting a referral does not guarantee a space on a break. We receive more referrals than we have available spaces.

  1. Referral form: Complete an online referral form.
  2. 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 a telephone assessment. This is the point at which you will find out whether the child has a break with us or not.
  3. 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.
  4. Transport form: We will provide you with a form with 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.

Click here to refer a child

Please note: submitting a referral does not guarantee a break place being allocated. Unfortunately, we receive more referrals than we have spaces.

Please find the first break dates for 2020 below. Please note, we are currently only running breaks from our Daleside Retreat in Derbyshire.

Click here for 2020 break dates

Please note: our referral form is currently not working when using Internet Explorer. Please re-open in another browser such as Google Chrome.

National Express coach discount

CHICKS are delighted to have been chosen as National Express’s newest charity partner, 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, their chaperones, and volunteers attending a CHICKS break.

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, in 2019 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 of their time at CHICKS.

Group bookings

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.

Any more questions?

Please check our referral FAQs in the first instance. If you have any further queries that aren't answered here, please get in touch: email coordinators@chicks.org.uk or call 01822 811020.

"CHICKS breaks are a source of pure, uncomplicated happiness for a child who has had some difficult experiences." – Referral partner, Hackney