Disabled Children's Team, Hampshire County Council
We are a specialist social work service which meets the social care needs of children and young people with severe and complex disabilities, and their families.
Who to contact
Where to go
- Disabled Children's Team, Hampshire County Council
Eastleigh, Havant, Alton, Basingstoke
- Age Ranges
- 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- What does your service do?
- We are a specialist social work service, meeting the of children/young people with severe and complex disabilities, and their families. Social care needs include personal care, social support, and protection for children in need/at risk. We complete assessments to help us understand what families may need; and organise services to meet these needs. If we aren’t the best people to help, we tell families about other services that may be able to help them. Our aim is to support your child within your family and we’ll work with other professionals already involved with you. When concerns are raised about the welfare of children we support, investigate and plan what needs to happen to ensure children are safe. We don’t usually provide services directly ourselves, but we can arrange these sorts of services to help a family. These can be: * Support worker * Direct payments * Overnight short breaks/respite care * Occupational therapy/equipment * Parenting support/courses * Young carers’ support for siblings Support isn’t necessarily time-limited and is based on what your family needs, though it will be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains appropriate. The aim of these services is to support families to meet the needs of their child / young person with disabilities. There is more detailed information in “Support for Your Family: Short Breaks Service Statement”, a guide to what short breaks are available to support your family and how to find suitable services. This guide was co-produced with parent representatives and can be found [http://www.hants.gov.uk/shortbreaks/servicestatement1.htm here]
- Who does your service provide for?
- We can support children from birth to 18 years.
Specialist services from the Disabled Childrens Teams are targeted at families with the most complex needs. To ensure that we can provide these services to the families that need them, when they need them, we have worked with local parents and carers to develop our eligibility criteria that we use to assess the needs of each child and their family. Further information can be found in the [http://documents.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/2014-03-26CWDSSBMJShortBreaksServiceStatementupdated2014.pdf Short Breaks Statement].
You may be eligible for specialist services from us if your child requires a large amount of additional support as a result of their disability and additional needs in order to achieve their age appropriate potential – and this support cannot be provided within your family.
Examples of when you may be eligible include when:
* Specialist equipment is required to help you move around (e.g. a wheelchair). * Support is required to be able to undertake all basic self care functions (that are age appropriate). * Your child or young person requires constant supervision throughout the day and for prolonged periods at night (when no longer age appropriate). * As a result of their disability, your child or young person’s behaviour proves a serious risk to themselves and/or others. This includes self-harm. * Without support, their ability to communicate severely affects their personal safety, i.e. they are non-verbal. * They have a profound and multiple learning disability, severe learning disability, or autism with challenging behaviour, which results in a significant risk of self-harm or harm to others.
- How can I start using the service?
- OurTo request support or ask for an assessment please call 0300 555 1384 or email [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com]. You can refer your own family, or a referral could come from someone else who knows you, for example a teacher or health visitor (Children’s Services would ask the referrer if you have given permission for this). You will speak to a central team first at Hantsdirect, who will decide if the Disabled Children’s team are the right people to follow up your call.
To see what help might be needed, a Social Worker will need to talk with you to complete an assessment. This assessment should take into account your whole family’s needs, including your needs as a carer. Children’s Services have to complete an initial assessment within 10 working days. The assessment is a way of recording information gathered by talking with your child, you, and other people involved with your family. After this, recommendations will be made about what will happen next.
Most specialist services do not have a charge to families.
Personal budgets: this is an allocation of funding following an assessment that families can receive directly and spend on meeting the child’s social care needs. In Hampshire our pilot for personal budgets is underway and we will be updating this section regularly.
- Where is it located and what areas does it cover?
- The services are available throughout the whole of the Hampshire County Council area (excluding Southampton and Portsmouth cities who have their own services).
Specialist services from social care are available via Disabled Children’s social work teams. There are four teams:
* Western Area team – covering the New Forest, Winchester, Eastleigh, and southern Test Valley
* Havant, Fareham & Gosport – covering Havant & Waterlooville, Fareham & Gosport * North East team – covering East Hampshire, Hart and Rushmoor * Basingstoke/Andover team – covering Basingstoke and Andover and northern Test Valley
- How are decisions made about who can use your service?
- Following assessment, the social worker will need to discuss your family’s needs with their managers to agree the plan that will be put in place to support you, including any services that might be provided.
The team’s assessment might be that you are not eligible for a specialist service from them, but they can give information about other services. If you disagree with decisions about eligibility for this service you can ask the team who assessed your child for a review of the decision by another team manager. Mediation is available if you remain unsatisfied, for more information visit [http://www.hants.gov.uk/mediation-process.pdf.%20 www.hants.gov.uk/mediation-process.pdf. ]
If you do not agree with the services offered following an assessment, please discuss with your social worker or their team manager. If you are still not happy , you can complain in writing to: Children’s Services Department Complaints Team, Elizabeth II Court North, Winchester SO23 8UG or email [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com]
If overnight short breaks are recommended following your assessment, the social worker will make a request to a county-wide panel that considers all requests. Overnight breaks are targeted at families where: : * The child regularly does not sleep through the night and needs supervision to stay safe.
: * The child has complex health needs that regularly need attention during the night.
: * The child’s support needs are so intensive that parents/carers need a longer break.
- How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making?
- Social workers will always involve your family in your child’s assessment and in any planning or reviews. Social workers develop skills in communicating with children/young people with disabilities, including using pictures, symbols and Makaton (an adapted version of sign language used by people with learning disabilities alongside speech).
Services to meet assessed needs will only be provided with your agreement and you will always be involved in the decision-making about support for your child.
There are circumstances where social workers need to act to safeguard children; and families might disagree with social workers’ decisions or actions. Social workers will be honest and open with families during their work with them, and aim to work together with the family to safeguard children.
If your family has communication/language needs, the service will arrange an interpreter/ support for you while doing the assessment and for any subsequent discussions or meetings.
The Disabled Children’s teams are contributing to a plan to improve participation by parents/carers and children/young people in the whole service.
- Is your service fully accessible?
- Social workers from Disabled Children’s teams will usually visit you in your home or somewhere else you choose. If you are asked to come in to an office for a meeting we will make sure the building is accessible for you and your child/young person. Please discuss your individual requirements with the team member.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?
- Social workers have professional qualifications and have to continue training and learning to update their skills and knowledge throughout their careers. Some Disabled Children’s teams also have Children and Families Support workers who work alongside qualified social workers.
Any services arranged by social workers use workers who have their own minimum training requirements. For example, care support workers coming into your home or supporting your child at overnight short breaks will have minimum training requirements according to their role, for example safeguarding, administering medication, moving and handling. Ask your social worker or the organiser of the service about the training that staff have.
Social workers will help to arrange individual training if this is needed to fulfil your child’s care plan; for example asking a Community Children’s Nurse to show care support workers how to feed a child using a gastrostomy tube.
- How will I know my child is safe?
- All members of the Disabled Children’s team have had checks and references before starting work, to make sure they are safe and suitable to work with your child. This also happens for any services arranged by your social worker.
Hampshire County Council has a Safeguarding Children policy which gives clear information about how children should be kept safe. All services that we arrange also have their own policy to follow.
The Disabled Children team will make sure that services we arrange are fully aware of your child’s specific needs due to their disabilities, and that staff are confident to support your child and keep them safe. For example, a community nurse could train support workers before they work with your child. Staff will ask for your input when completing risk assessments about supporting your child.
- Who can I contact for further information?
- While the service is working with your family you will usually have a named worker who is your main contact to discuss your child’s needs, or any changes or concerns.
All teams have a duty worker who is able to help you if your named worker is not available. Outside of office hours, Children’s Services has an out-of-hours service number 0300 555 1373 (in an emergency please ring 999).
If you need some support with your involvement with the Disabled Children’s team you can seek advice from Parent Voice Information and Participation service by calling 0300 303 8603 or email [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com]
If you have any concerns you should raise them with your named worker, or their line manager in the first instance. Further details of the Children’s Services complaints process can be found [http://www.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/contact-cs/cs-complaints.htm www.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/contact-cs/cs-complaints.htm here]