Family Information and Services Hub

Eligible for Social Care?

Question: I have been told I do not meet the criteria for social care what can I do?

Your rights:

Hampshire Local Safeguarding Children Board and Hampshire Children's Trust have agreed clearly defined thresholds for services.

You should have been given a copy of the eligibility criteria if a decision is made that your child is not eligible. If you feel they have not been applied fairly, or that important factors were not taken into account during the assessment, you should ask the social worker who assessed your child for a review of the decision.

This will mean that another team manager will review the decision to see whether the criteria have been consistently applied. You will receive a letter confirming the reviewing manager’s decision within 21 days of your request.

After this, should you still feel the decision is wrong, you may request a face to face meeting with a service manager from Children’s Services to discuss the decision.

If you still remain dissatisfied, you can complain in writing to: Children's Services Department Complaints Team, Elizabeth II Court East, Winchester SO23 8UG,  email:, or by telephoning the contact centre on 0300 555 1384.

Short breaks
Short breaks give parents or carers an opportunity to have a short break from caring. Criteria to access these activities are explained on the Hampshire County Council short breaks website.

Gateway card
For disabled children who do not meet the eligibility criteria for support from a specialist team there is the Gateway Card. The Gateway Card is free and will give you access to activities, play schemes and buddy schemes available through the short breaks programme.

The Gateway Card is for children and young people who:

  • have a disability and/or additional needs 
  • need support to participate in leisure and recreation activities
  • are between 0 to 19 years old 
  • live in Hampshire and/or attend a school in Hampshire (excluding Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight as they have similar schemes).

The Buddy scheme is available to young people from 7-19 years of age.

People who may be able to give you information and support:

  • Advocacy for the carer or child/young person
    An advocate is a person who supports you and helps you to explain and say what you want. They help you to ensure that your views are heard, so that your problems can be sorted out. They can: help you to put your views and feelings across about decisions that are being made about your life, speak on your behalf if that’s what you want, help you make a complaint and give you information and advice about your rights and any worries you have as well as help you make choices about what is best for you. All advocacy services are independent and are there to represent you. You can find advocacy groups on the Solent Minds, Choices Advocacy, Carers Together and Speakeasy websites. 
  • Local and National charities advice
    There are many local and national charities. Some specialise in certain types of disability e.g. Autism, downs Syndrome and they often have very useful guidance for parents and carers. Others specialise in carers or disabled rights for both young people and adults. Often these charities have local support groups where parents and carers can share their experiences.

    You can also search this Family Information and Services Hub for local support groups for carers and families with disabled children.


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Page last reviewed: 03/02/2022

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