Children with Disabilities
The Children with Disabilities Team works with children (between the ages of 0 - 18 years) and families where a child has a severe learning, physical or sensory impairment which causes them chronic and substantial difficulty in their daily living. We also work with children who have life threatening illnesses. The aim of the team is to provide support to help these children live with their families and enjoy the same opportunities and expectations as other children.
In the majority of cases we work directly with children and families together with other relevant agencies including Health and Education to provide support to children and their families in order to meet their assessed needs.
The Children with Disabilities Team also has an Occupational Therapist who undertakes assessment in respect of children with disabilities who may require specialist equipment or adaptations to the family home.
The Team works to the principles and requirements of the legislation regarding children and disabled people.
Finding out what support you need? (Assessment of Need)
Before we can offer you help, we need to find out exactly what kind of support you need. We do this through the assessment process.
Children and young people with disabilities have a legal right to have their needs assessed (and the needs of their carers) on request. To help get the clearest picture of your child’s needs we may need to consult with Health, Education and any voluntary agencies involved.
Once our assessment confirms that your child meets the criteria for the team and highlights to us what support services you need, we will start putting them in place.
Services we may be able to offer (subject to eligibility) include:
- Keyworker, and linking with other services eg: Health, Education.
- Supporting young people during their Transition years to adulthood (14-18 years).
- Short break (respite) facilities, including support in the community.
- Benefits advice.
- Home Care support.
- Advice regarding registered charities.
- Information on other organisations, which provide support.
- Carers assessments.
- Referral to the Young Carers project.
- Signposting to ‘Universal Services’ in Blaenau Gwent – the Families First project.
More information about the services
Short breaks – family link: This service can provide regular short breaks including overnight stays by linking the child with a disability to another family. The service offers breaks for parents and new experiences for the child. Link families undergo a rigorous assessment and receive payment and ongoing support.
Community Support: The Children with Disabilities Team works very closely with the Barnardo’s project based in the Blaenau Gwent area. This service enables a disabled child to get involved in community activities with the support of a Barnardo’s support worker.
The support worker will assist the child to participate in activities within their Community to help the child to feel part of their community and to develop their social and independence skills e.g. youth club, swimming club, visiting places of interest, etc.
Home Care: Home Care is offered to provide practical support in the child’s home.
Supporting Young People with their Transition to Adulthood
In conjunction with other professionals, the Children with Disabilities Team can ensure that young people with disabilities are supported towards their transition to adulthood. For example, a range of professionals involved with supporting the young person with disabilities (including Adult Services Social Services) will work with the young person, from their 14th birthday, and their family to assess and plan support. This will ensure the necessary support is in place for the young person for when they reach their 18th birthday.
The Children Act 1989 requires each Local Authority to collect information about children and young people with additional needs or a disability. The Index brings together the registers held by Education and Social Services to plan for the future for children with any disability and/or life-altering health condition.
The Index is a confidential, secure computer database which holds all the necessary information, about children and young people aged 0-19 with any disability and/or life-altering health condition. To help with the work in Blaenau Gwent, Education and Social Services have joined together to consolidate all information held on children, young people and their disabilities.
The Index will enable us jointly to:
- Collect and supply information for planning for future years and the immediate future – from Schools and Transport to Holiday Schemes and Respite Care. This makes sure children and their families are included in planning services.
- Ensure that children and their families know what is going on in Blaenau Gwent and how to read and obtain services.
How do I get support from the Children with Disabilities Team?
If you have a child with disabilities and wish to make use of any of these services, you will first need to have your child’s needs assessed by a social worker.
- Short Breaks Statement for Disabled Children
- Pan-Gwent Multi-Agency Transition Protocol for Young People with Disabilities and/or Additional Learning Needs
- Children with Disabilities Team