The Support we Offer to Children with Disabilities

We provide support to children and their families with disabilities such as:

  • hearing loss
  • a visual impairment
  • significant communication difficulties
  • a severe learning disability or a moderate learning disability where there is an associated syndrome
  • a physical disability
  • a chronic or life threatening illness i.e. a degenerative or terminal condition.

If you aren’t currently receiving any support, please contact us for an assessment.

Contact details can be found on the left of this page, or you can phone the Emergency Duty Team on 0845 606 1212.

Statutory Assessments for children with disabilities

Assessments for children with disabilities are undertaken within the same timescales as for non-disabled children. The timescales are as follows:

  • Single Social Work Assessment – 40 working days
  • The team manager will review the assessment within 10 working days of commencement
  • Carers Assessment - no defined timescale. Will usually be completed at the same time as the Single Social Work Assessment

What do assessments involve?

  • When a referral is made to the Children with Disabilities Team, a decision is made within 24 hours as to whether the child meets the criteria for an assessment. If a parent asks for their child to be assessed it will automatically lead to a decision to complete an assessment.
  • All assessments will involve the child, parents and other family members and other agencies involved with the child such as their school, paediatrician or health visitor. The assessment can only be completed if the parent gives consent for other agencies to be contacted for information.
  • Assessments are completed based on the Framework for Assessment of Need. The assessment will look at the strengths within a family and the needs of the child and family in the areas of:
    • The child's developmental needs
    • The parent/carers ability to meet their child's needs
    • Family and environmental factors.
  • The outcome of the assessment will determine whether a child requires services from social care.

If you are your child's 'carer'

If you are your child's 'carer', defined as the person providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis, you are entitled to have an assessment in your own right.

  • This will look at your ability to provide and continue to provide care for your child, followed by the provision of any services and support for which you are eligible.
  • This assessment will be under The Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2005.
  • This assessment either can be carried out separately or in conjunction with your child's needs assessment.
  • The local authority must take the result of your assessment into account in deciding what, if any, services to provide to your child under Section 17 Children Act 1989.

Family Self-Assessment

For help with thinking about what support your family may need look at the Family Self Assessment, which can be found on our Short Breaks page.

  • You can fill in the form online and return it to your Lead Professional/social worker.
  • Some of the services you may be assessed as needing include respite, assistance in the home, assistance with gardening, or being provided with training or counselling.
  • At the end of the assessment should be a plan detailing the support your child will receive and from whom. If your child requires an allocated Social Worker a multi-agency Child in Need Meeting will be held to confirm the plan.

What should you expect during the assessment process?

  • Your views should be included in the assessment.
  • Your child should be at the centre of the assessment
  • The assessment will be completed within timescales. The exception to this would be if you are unavailable to meet during the timescale for the assessment or if another agency working with you and your child does not respond to requests for information.
  • You should receive a copy of the assessment when it is completed.

How are decisions made?

  • Unlike the situation after the assessment of adults under s47 National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, there are no strict rules in the Children Act 1989 governing how Local Authorities should decide whether an assessed child is eligible for support and services.
  • Once needs have been assessed the social worker will decide which needs, if any, are sufficiently high to warrant the provision of services.
  • If services are to be provided, then a care plan will need to be designed in agreement with the relevant service providers, carers and the service user.
  • If a decision is made not to provide services, then Social Care should provide a clear explanation and reasons for this decision.
  • If you do not agree with this decision then the complaints procedure can be invoked.

Page last updated: 21/06/2017