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4.1.2 Children's Disability Service


Contents

  1. Criteria
  2. Referral Process
  3. Assessment Process
  4. Child Protection Cases
  5. Services to Children with Disability
  6. Services to Carers
  7. Disability Register
  8. Reviews
  9. Role of the Child Development Centre Link Worker
  10. The Joint Exceptional Needs Initiative (JENI)
  11. Integrated Paediatric Occupational Therapy Service
  12. The Sensory Impairment and Deaf Services Team
  13. Transition From Childhood to Adulthood


1. Criteria

The criteria for the Children with Disability Service establishes the threshold at which a referral in relation to a child with a disability will be accepted on the basis that the child requires a specialist social care service.

Where a child has disabilities, which appear to meet the criteria and particularly call for specialist intervention, these cases will be referred to the Children with Disability Service.

The criteria are that the child must have a permanent or long lasting disability (diagnosed by a doctor or consultant) and be severely or profoundly impaired. Consideration will also be given to other children who have a significant number of moderate impairments.

The criteria do not include children diagnosed with ADHD or HIV or a psychiatric illness.

Any children diagnosed with ADHD or HIV or a psychiatric illness will only be eligible for referral to the Children with Disability Service, therefore, if they also have other disabilities, which meet the criteria.

Where mainstream social workers hold cases of children who might be considered to be disabled, appropriate advice and support can be made available from the specialist Children with Disability Service.


2. Referral Process

Where a referral is received and it appears that the criteria for the Children with Disability Service are met, consultation will take place and advice sought as to whether the criteria for transferring the case are met. Where there are child protection concerns, see Section 4, Child Protection Cases.

Where there is a dispute, the matter should be discussed between the relevant team managers with a view to resolution.

Where the dispute remains unresolved, the matter should be referred to the Service Managers with a view to resolution.


3. Assessment Process

All children who meet the criteria for the Children with Disability Service will receive an Assessment of their need for services.

The Assessment will be carried out in consultation with the family, using information from other professionals as appropriate.

It is the impact the disability has on daily living that is a key part of the assessment.

Additional specialist assessments and interventions will be commissioned as necessary from:

  • Occupational Therapy;
  • Sensory Impairment.

The assessment may identify that needs arise due to a child's disability or as a result of a parent's health or disability or a child may be in need of protection from Abuse or Neglect - see Section 4, Child Protection Cases.

Parents of children with disability and the child (depending of their age and level of understanding) will be given information about the Disability Register - see Section 7, Disability Register.


4. Child Protection Cases

With new referrals (i.e. where the case is not open to the CWD Team, where the primary concern is child protection, following the Assessment carried out by the Referral and Assessment Team the case will transfer to a Protection and Court Team whilst the CWD Team will offer specialist advice or jointly work the case. If, following further assessment, the safeguarding issues are not substantiated and the case is redefined as one which requires a specialist service from the CWD Team the case will be transferred to them.

Where the Referral and Assessment Service retain responsibility for the child's case, appropriate advice will be provided by the CWD Service relating to issues arising from any disability. However, the assessment process and any instigation of child protection procedures will remain the responsibility of the Referral and Assessment Service until such time as the case is formally transferred.

The Children with Disability Service will usually undertake all Section 47 Enquiries, assessments and Legal Proceedings in respect of children who are already open cases, although appropriate consultation will be made with colleagues in Referral and Assessment Services regarding practice issues.

In cases where there is a child with disability as one of a group of siblings under child protection procedures, joint working will occur between the Children with Disability and the Referral and Assessment Services as agreed between the respective team managers.


5. Services to Children with Disability

As a general principle, where children and families can receive mainstream services, these should be provided as a way of minimising the impact of disability and avoiding any unnecessary segregation.

Where the assessment identifies that specialist services are required, these may be provided by health or voluntary agencies as well as the local authority. The assessment will make recommendations as to the kind of services or equipment that are required to meet the child's needs.

The provision of equipment is based on an assessment by the Occupational Therapist and will be funded only in relation to the Local Authority's statutory responsibilities. If the need for specialist equipment falls outside of the Local Authority remit, the responsibility for provision resides with the Community based Occupational Therapy service within the Community Health Service.

Adaptation work through a Disabilities Facilities Grant can be carried out by referral to the local authority and the family will be given assistance with this.

The support services that may be included in a support package for a disabled child and his/her family range from:

  • The provision of information on activities, clubs, playgroups and play schemes;
  • The provision of advice and information about other organisations which may be able to offer help and support;
  • Support for the child in/outside the home;
  • Short breaks providing overnight care - see Short Breaks Procedure;
  • Support services using direct payments - see the Direct Payments Scheme Procedure.

When services have been agreed, they will be incorporated into a Child in Need Plan (which will also apply to children who are deemed to be looked after under Section 17 - or, where the child becomes Looked After, a Care Plan.


6. Services to Carers

Where a child is disabled the Local Authority has a duty under the Carers (Recognition and Services Act) 1995 to promote the parent's entitlement to an assessment and, where requested, to undertake one. However, best practice dictates that in most cases the needs of parent carers can, and should, be captured within the child's assessment within the child's Assessment.

Practitioners should refer to the Framework of Assessment specialist "Assessment of Disabled Children" materials.


7. Disability Register

The Children's Disability Register holds information about children with disability and is a legal requirement for all local authorities.

It is an elective register which means the names of children cannot be entered onto it without the expressed permission of the parent, or a person holding Parental Responsibility. Parents are therefore asked whether they wish to supply information about their child for inclusion on the register.

In addition to being used to plan and develop services registration is used to plan and develop services for children with disability and also to assist Adult Services with information on future service needs. Additionally, it also provides parents with a 'yellow card' that enables parents to obtain discounts on certain local services and fast-track

See Transition from childhood to Adulthood


8. Reviews

Reviews of Child in Need Plans for children with disability take place within 3 months of the start of the plan and thereafter at least six monthly. Reviews are conducted more frequently where circumstances require it, e.g. where there has been a significant change in the child's circumstances or with the resource or resources involved.

The review is usually conducted by the allocated worker contacting all those involved in the plan. The worker will then prepare a summary of the comments and observations made and present it to the Children with Disability Team manager for approval. Where necessary, changes to the Child in Need Plan will be made and the amended plan circulated to all involved as set out in Child in Need Plans and Review Procedure.

For reviews of children in receipt of short breaks, see Short Breaks Procedure.


9. Role of the Child Development Centre Link Worker

The CDC Link Worker is a social worker based within the Children With Disabilities Team, whose main role is to assess the social care needs of the children referred for an MDA. The assessment of the social care needs is then collated with the assessments of the other professionals within the CDC team to form the overall MDA report. Once the MDA has been completed, the CDC Link Worker attends the feedback meeting with the parents where the findings of the MDA are shared with the family.

See Role of the Child Development Centre Linkworker


10. The Joint Exceptional Needs Initiative (JENI)

The Joint Exceptional Needs Initiative (JENI) is a ring-fenced budget that is used to provide additional support to children and young people between the ages of 0 to 19 years who present with challenging behaviours and complex needs arising from enduring and severe disabilities.

See The Joint Exceptional Needs Initiative (JENI)


11. Integrated Paediatric Occupational Therapy Service

Within the Children With Disabilities Team, the Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist provides a point of contact for new referrals in situations where CSC staff have identified a need for occupational therapy input. These referrals are then taken to the Community Occupational Therapy Team for consideration and, where it meets the eligibility criteria, allocation for assessment.


12. The Sensory Impairment and Deaf Services Team

If an assessment identifies a need for a more specialist assessment of the client's equipment needs, the Children With Disabilities Team will notify the Sensory Impairment and Deaf Services Team of this need.

Upon receiving a request from the Children With Disabilities Team, the Sensory Impairment and Deaf Services Team will undertake a specialist assessment around the sensory impairment needs with a view to making the necessary arrangements for any specialist equipment where applicable.

See The Sensory Impairment and Deaf Services Team


13. Transition From Childhood to Adulthood

The collaboration between agencies and the co-ordination of services are of paramount importance to disabled young people as they leave childhood and legally become adults. This transition process is likely to be more difficult and last longer for young people with disabilities. It is crucial that all agencies work together to ensure that young people with disabilities get the services they are assessed as needing in order to make the successful transition into adulthood.

See Transition from childhood to adulthood

End