Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual

3.8.1 Children's Disability Service

RELATED CHAPTER

Short Breaks - Threshold and Access Criteria Procedure

RELATED GUIDANCE

Criteria Assessment and/or Support From for Whole Life Disability Teams (including Transfer Requests)

AMENDMENT

In May 2019, a link was added in Related Guidance to Criteria Assessment and/or Support From for Whole Life Disability Teams (including Transfer Requests).


Contents

  1. Criteria
  2. Referral/Transfer Process
  3. Assessment Process
  4. Child Protection Cases
  5. Services to Children with Disability
  6. Services to Carers
  7. Disability Register


1. Criteria

1.1

The Whole Life Disability Teams provide specialist social care services for disabled children which include:

  • Sign posting, advice, information and assessment of Disabled Children who have a Permanent and Substantial Disability (Children's Act 1989);
  • Parent Carers assessments of parents whose children are likely to need specialist services;
  • Specialist Occupational Therapy assessments of children in need of aids and adaptations;
  • Arranging statutory Short breaks provision;
  • Arranging other services outlined in the chronically sick and disabled Persons Act;
  • Undertaking Child protection enquiries in relation to children who have severe and complex disabilities; (see paragraph 4);
  • Meeting statutory requirements in relation to severely Disabled Children Looked After including those for whom adoption is required.
1.2

The criteria are that the child must:

  • Be aged 0 - 18 (19 if still attending special school);
  • Have a permanent and substantial disability (diagnosed/identified by a doctor or consultant) and;
  • Whose needs cannot be met through universal or targeted services as evidenced in the CAF/EHC/TAC/Early Help Assessment/Priority Family Assessment.
1.3 The criteria do not include children diagnosed with emotional/behavioural difficulties or a psychiatric illness who should be referred to CAMHS.
1.4 Any children diagnosed with emotional/behavioural difficulties or a psychiatric illness will only be eligible for referral to the Whole Life Disability if they also have other disabilities which meet the criteria above.
1.5 Where mainstream social workers hold cases of children who have a disability, advice support and consultation can be made available from the specialist Whole Life Disability Team, a discussion in the first instance should be held between the team managers or senior practitioners.


2. Referral/Transfer Process

2.1

Disabled Children needing one of the listed services above will be referred to the Whole Life Disability Team. All referrals made by a professional should be supported by a CAF (common assessment Framework).

Where a transfer request is received from mainstream social care teams and it appears that the criteria for the Disabled Children’s Service are likely to be met, the Whole Life Disability Children’s Team Duty worker will undertake a joint visit with the allocated worker and a decision made by the Team Manager as to whether the criteria for transferring the case are met. The allocated worker will remain responsible for the case until transfer is agreed and arranged. Transfer of cases should always be planned between the respective team managers to ensure key duties continue to be met. Where there are child protection concerns, see Section 4, Child Protection Cases.
2.2

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

3.1

All children who meet the criteria for the Whole Life Disability Team will receive an assessment of their needs carried out jointly, when required, by a qualified social worker and occupational therapist. The assessment will result in the following decision:

  • The child does not have a disability or they have no identified needs;
  • The child has a disability but their needs could be met by universal/targeted services;
  • The child has a disability and their needs can be met via a pathway 1/2 offer of short breaks and or minor adaptations and the parents agree with a referral being made to the personalisation service;
  • The Child has a substantial or complex disability whose needs cannot be met without the provision of specialist services or a specialist Occupational Therapy assessment is required.
3.2 All Assessments will be carried out in consultation with the family, using information from other professionals as appropriate. The Child will always be seen as part of any assessment process.
3.3

Additional specialist assessments will be undertaken as necessary from:

  • Occupational Therapy;
  • Sensory Impairment;
  • Continuing care.
3.4 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

4.1 Child protection enquiries in relation to disabled children who have substantial or complex disabilities will always be undertaken jointly by a safeguarding social worker and a Whole Life Disability Children’s social worker.
4.2

All Section 47 Enquiries in respect of disabled children not currently known to Whole Life Disability Team, will be referred to and led by the Safeguarding Duty Team up to the point of ICPC. On receipt of a referral, the duty team will request allocation of a secondary children social worker from Whole Life Disability Team.

From ICPC, the Whole Life Disability children social worker will become the lead worker and a secondary social worker will be allocated from the area Safeguarding Team. Except in the case of a large sibling group when the Safeguarding social worker will always be the lead social worker and the Whole Life Disability Children’s social worker will become the secondary social worker for the disabled child only. The lead social worker will be responsible for all matters relating to the child protection enquiries/plan i.e., reports to conference, core groups, LPM’s etc.

The secondary worker will be responsible for any specialist advice, support and services.
4.3

All section 47 enquiries in respect of disabled children currently known to Whole Life Disability Team will be led by a Whole Life Disability Children’s social worker. The locality Safeguarding team will allocate on receipt of contact by DCT, a secondary safeguarding social worker. The secondary social worker will remain involved until conclusion of the child protection process.

If the section 47 enquiries are raised on a large sibling group, when the disabled child is already an open case to Whole Life Disability Team, the locality safeguarding team will lead on the enquiries and Whole Life Disability Children’s social worker will continue as a secondary involvement until conclusion of the child protection process/closure of the siblings, when Whole Life Disability Children’s social worker will resume sole allocation.


5. Services to Children with Disability

As a general principle, where children and families can receive universal and targeted services, these should be provided as a way of minimising the impact of disability and avoiding any unnecessary segregation from the child's local community. All professionals should refer to the family support strategy and pathway in their work with disabled children. The CAF should be used as an early intervention tool to ensure disabled children and their families can be supported to live ordinary family lives.

Where the CAF identifies that specialist services are likely to be required, these may be provided by health or voluntary agencies as well as the local authority and should be considered as part of the CAF process. The CAF should also consider if the families needs could be met by the basic offer of short breaks at pathway 1 or 2 (see Short Breaks Access and Eligibility Statement).

Disabled children who are likely to require specialist social care services as outlined in Section 1, Criteria should be referred to the Whole Life Disability Team. The support services that may be provided by the Whole Life Disability for a disabled child and his/her family range from:

  • The provision of specialist advice and 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;
  • Equipment, aids and adaptations including assistance were appropriate with applications for Disabled Facilities grants and re-housing;
  • Short break services under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person Act - see Chronically Sick and Disabled Person's Act 1970 for Disabled Children Procedure;
  • Short breaks providing overnight care, outside of the family home under the Children's Act;
  • Direct Payments - see Direct Payments Policy and Procedure.
Once services have been agreed, they will be incorporated into a Care or Support Plan and will be subject to regular review and monitoring.


6. Services to Carers

Services can also be provided to parent 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 of carers should follow the guidance in the Assessment Framework for children in need and their families - see Carers Assessments of Parents/Carers for Disabled Children Procedure.


7. Disability Register

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 to ensure parents receive information on available services.

All parents should be given information about the Disability register at the point of an assessment unless that assessment concludes the child does not have a disability.

Nottingham City Council’s Disability Register is maintained via the Families Information Service (Tel: 0800 458 4114). NCC also commissions information services. Further information can be found at the Ask Iris website (Link: www.askiris.org.uk).

Further information about a wide range of services for children with SEN or disabilities can be found on the local offer: www.asklion.co.uk.

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