The Children's Disability Team provide Social Work support and services to disabled children and young people aged 0 to 18 years old, who have a broad range of needs that impact on their ability to be equal, safe and to achieve their potential.
We recognise that families may need a little extra support from time to time and the Social Workers will work in partnership with parents, carers and young people and to offer advice, support and social work before a situation reaches crisis point. The team work with children and young people aged 0 to 18 years identified as having:
- A moderate to severe learning disability (including where the young person also has a diagnosed autism spectrum condition)
- A physical disability or sensory impairment where there is a significant impact on day to day life
- Complex health needs or long-term medical condition where there is a significant impact on day to day life
- Needs for services arising out of the child's disabilities or intrinsic condition and these needs cannot be met by universal or targeted services alone
The service also provides support and intervention for some young people who have challenging behaviour associated with their disabilities.
We accept referrals through the Gateway or from Children's Social Care Advice and Assessment Service where needs are identified as complex and meet the criteria for support outlined above.
Intervention in helping children and families to overcome the problems of disability can include support to enhance parenting, helping parents develop the skills and understanding to be more effective in meeting their child's needs and to keep them safe at home; undertaking joint assessments of need with other disciplines in implementing the frameworks for inter-agency and multi-disciplinary working; acting as broker and requesting funding to obtain the support people want; arranging good-quality alternative care for children whose parents cannot care for them; and regular review of complex support packages in ensuring support fits the changing needs of children and families.
Social workers take the lead role in co-ordinating and carrying out assessments of need and formulating care plans that are compliant with all relevant statutory requirements and department policies, standards and guidelines and that promote the well-being and protection of children. One worker is specifically employed to support transitions to Adult Social Care. We assess needs and risks through the completion of recognised assessment tools in accordance with government and local guidance for Children in Need, Children and Young People in Care and Child Protection.
Where necessary the social worker will initiate appropriate statutory action to protect children at risk and they hold responsibility for undertaking statutory visits to Children and Young People in Care; those subject to a Child Protection Plan and for identifying the permanency needs of children who cannot be cared for at home.
As a team we are committed to:
- Meeting the needs of children with disabilities and their families
- The active participation of children, young people, families and carers
- Ensuring stable, secure, safe and effective care for all children
- Protecting children from abuse and neglect
- Promoting positive outcomes and giving better life chances for all children
- Planning and supporting young people through transition to adulthood