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4.1.1 Disabled Children's Service

RELATED CHAPTER

Short Breaks for Disabled Children Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in July 2014 to clarify the criteria for accessing the service, how to refer to the service, the assessment process, issues relating to Child Protection Cases and the Services that are available for disabled children and/or their families.


Contents

  1. Criteria
  2. Referral Process
  3. Assessment Process
  4. Child Protection Cases
  5. Services to Disabled Children
  6. Services to Carers
  7. Disability Register
  8. Reviews


1. Criteria

1.1 The eligibility criteria for the Disabled Children’s Team, establishes the threshold at which a referral, in relation to a disabled child, will be accepted on the basis that the child requires a specialist social care service.
1.2 The eligibility criteria are that the child must have a permanent or enduring impairment, diagnosed by a doctor or consultant, This includes children with life limiting conditions. Children diagnosed only with ADHD or a mental health condition do not meet the criteria for this service. However, children diagnosed with ADHD or a mental health condition who also have another diagnosis which meets the criteria, are eligible for referral to the Disabled Children’s Team.
1.3 Where social workers in other teams hold cases of children who might be considered to be disabled, appropriate advice and support can be made available from the Disabled Children’s Team.


2. Referral Process

2.1 In considering a referral to the Disabled Children’s Team the appropriateness of undertaking a CAF should be explored first with families.
2.2 Referrals can be made by families directly to the Disabled Children’s Team or, having gained parental consent, professionals can submit a Children’s Social Care Referral Form. If there are child protection concerns for a case already allocated to the team information should be given to the Disabled Children’s Team directly. If there are child protection concerns relating to a disabled child who is not an open allocation to the team the information should be sent to the Children and Families Assessment and Intervention Team.
2.3 Where social workers in other teams are dealing with a child protection referral in relation to a disabled child appropriate advice and support can be made available from the Disabled Children’s Team.


3. Assessment Process

3.1 All children who meet the criteria for the Disabled Children’s Team will receive an Assessment of their needs.
3.2 The Assessment will be carried out in consultation with the family, using information from other professionals as appropriate.
3.3 The assessment looks holistically at the child’s environment, the child’s developmental needs and parenting capacity and whether the child is likely to be at risk of neglect or abuse - see Section 4, Child Protection Cases.
3.4 Parents of children with a disability and the child (depending of their age and level of understanding) will be given information about the Rainbow Resource Scheme.


4. Child Protection Cases

4.1 If there are child protection concerns for a case already allocated to a social worker within the team information should be given to the Disabled Children’s Team directly. If there are child protection concerns relating to a disabled child who is not an open allocation to the Disabled Children’s Team the information should be sent to the Children and Families Assessment and Intervention Team. Where social workers in other teams are dealing with a child protection referral in relation to a disabled child appropriate advice and support can be made available from the Disabled Children’s Team.
4.2 The Disabled Children’s Team will undertake all Section 47 Enquiries, assessments and legal proceedings in respect of children who are already open cases.
4.3 In cases where there is a disabled child as one of a group of siblings under child protection procedures, allocation will be decided between the manager of the Disabled Children’s Team and the manager of the Child and Family Assessment and Intervention Team.


5. Services to Disabled Children

As a general principle, children and families are signposted to universal mainstream services, to promote social inclusion.

Where the assessment identifies that specialist services are required, the assessment will make recommendations as to the kind of services the child needs.

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

  • The provision of information on activities, clubs, and 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 for Disabled Children Procedure;
  • Support services using direct payments - see the Direct Payments Procedure.

When services have been agreed, they will be incorporated into a Child in Need Plan, Child Protection Plan or, a Child in Care Plan.

Within the Disabled Children’s Team there is an Occupational Therapist who assesses the needs of disabled children where the child or young person has permanent and substantial needs arising from their diagnosed disability, i.e. needs that are likely to continue beyond 12 months. The occupational therapist is able to offer advice on how to improve quality of life as well as providing aids, adaptations, including those funded through disabled facilities grants, and equipment, where appropriate. Advice is also available on moving and handling.

A child or young person does not need a social worker to access the occupational therapy service and referrals can be made by families contacting the duty social worker in the Disabled Children’s Team directly and requesting an occupational therapy assessment, or, having gained consent, referrers can submit a Children’s Social Care Referral Form.


6. Services to Carers

Services can also be provided to carers where the child is disabled. Under the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs. Any such assessment should follow the guidance in Chapter 1 Working Together 2015 and the Assessment Framework.


7. Disability Register

In B&NES this is called the Special Needs Link and is administered by the family information service. The Disability Register holds information about children with disability and is a legal requirement for all local authorities.

Parents are asked whether they wish to supply information about their child for inclusion on the register.

The register is used to plan and develop services for children with disability and also to assist Adult Services with information on future service needs.


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 6 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 Reviews Procedure.

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

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