Social care support for children with disabilities

Who are the Children with Disabilities (CwD) team?

The Children with Disabilities (CwD) Social Work Team provide services designed to meet the needs of children and young people who have complex disabilities.

The CwD Social Work Team is one of a range of services that can provide support to children and young people with disabilities and their families. Other services available are those provided by health, education, play and youth services as well as community resources provided by voluntary agencies.

The CwD team offer services to those children and young people requiring additional resources in respect of their disability, where the disability has a profound impact on the child or young person’s life.

An assessment will be offered where the child has a condition which is substantial, long lasting or permanent, is a physical and/or learning disability or a life limiting, life threatening condition. These may include:

  • severe learning disabilities
  • severe physical disabilities
  • severe developmental delay in motor and or cognitive functioning
  • profound multiple disabilities
  • severe sensory impairment (registered blind and/or profoundly deaf)
  • complex and severe health problems that arise from the disability, that are life threatening, degenerative illness or organic disorder resulting in severe disability
  • a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Condition with an associated learning disability and where the condition severely affects day to day functioning

An assessment will not be offered to a child or young person with the following diagnoses, unless they have other conditions that meet the criteria as detailed above:

  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • most Autistic Spectrum Conditions including Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, emotional and behavioural difficulties, Oppositional Defiance Disorder
  • mild physical disabilities
  • mild learning disabilities
  • mild Global Developmental Delay
  • speech and language difficulties
  • sensory disabilities only
  • controlled epilepsy
  • mental health conditions

Where CwD team criteria are not met, advice or referral to other services or signposting may be offered.

The assessment will also consider the specific needs of parents and other family members in their role as carers (this is sometimes known as a parent carer needs assessment).

The CwD team's assessment and support in the Eligibility Criteria

Wherever possible all children and young people, with or without disabilities, should be supported to have their individual needs met by their family and by universal (available to
everyone) and targeted services which are available in their local community.

What universal (everyday) and targeted support is available for children and young people with disabilities?

There is support available for children with disabilities and their families across the county. There is lots of information and advice on the Local Offer website around services and support for your child and for you as a parent carer. Below are some key pages you may want to look at:

  • childcare for children with SEND
  • SEN support (in schools and for younger children)
  • groups and activities for children and young people with SEND
  • support groups for parent carers of children with SEND

Support from Children with Disabilities Team

It is hoped that parents and the extended family will provide care for their children and young people, but sometimes some children and young people with disabilities may have needs that cannot be met by just the family, communities or universal (everyday) services. When this is the case, to be eligible for a service from the Children with Disabilities Team, a child must be regarded as disabled for the purposes of an 'assessment of need' under the Children Act 1989 and Equality Act. The definition used by the service is as follows:

The definition of disabled children and young people is set out in the Equality Act 2010:

'that is a child and young person who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-today activities.'

Website: Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010 from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Website: Children Act 1989 from Legislation GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

What is an 'Assessment of need'?

Any child or young person with a recognised disability (as in Equality Act 2010) is entitled to an assessment of need (as children in need s17 Children Act 1989). Where disabled children/young people and their families can meet their own support needs or directly access (everyday and additional) services, they are encouraged to do so. When a child or young person or family requests an assessment, it is carried out by talking and listening to the child/young person and their family. In addition information is gathered, with the family's consent, from professionals who know the child, such as the GP, school and health visitor. The assessment will also consider the specific needs of parents and other family members in their role as carers.

Needs can be identified by a Social Work Assessment or an Early Help Assessment. The presenting need, known history of need and any existing or historical assessment will help inform the appropriate pathway for assessment at the point of contact/request.

The outcome of an assessment will enable us to make a judgement about the level of need and most appropriate pathway of services to meet that need. This could be Social Care (Level 4) Targeted Family Support (Level 3) or universal (everyday) services (Level 2). The child or young person and their family will be given a copy of the completed assessment and be able to comment on it. Where social care support is needed the assessment may lead to a 'child in need' or 'short
breaks' plan.

This will set out what social care, other professionals and the family itself, agree to do to address the identified needs. This will include what care and support is to be made available to the child/young person and the family. In the event of significant harm being found, the safeguarding procedures will be applied.

Following the assessment access to services is dependent on the level of need the child or young person has and the amount of support which has been identified.

Contact

In order to request an assessment of need, you should call the Family Front Door on 01905 822666. They will then contact the specialist Children with Disabilities Team for them to determine the most appropriate pathway for assessment that the child or young persons needs.

Family Front Door Phone Number 01905 822666

There are some other services that can give you advice and guidance on this and other issues around special educational needs and/or disabilities. This includes the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) (opens in a new window).