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Local Offer

Hampshire Portage Service (Services for Young Children)

Offering services to:
  • Children 0-5
  • Primary school aged children
Supporting people with:
  • Activities for children and young people
  • Special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND)

Portage is a home and early years setting visiting educational service for pre-school children aged 1 year to statutory school age with additional support needs and their families. 

Please Note

Portage referrals now need to be completed using the electronic form here SfYC Portage Support | Children and Families | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)

 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Hampshire Portage Service (Services for Young Children)
Telephone
01962 847070 01962 847070
Website
https://www.hants.gov.uk/.../portageservice
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Notes

For enquiries please either telephone 01962 847070 or complete the General Enquiry form from the Services for Young Children website: Services for Young Children Offices | Children and Families | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)

Where to go

Name
Hampshire Portage Service-Services for young children
Address
The Castle
Winchester
Hampshire
Postcode

SO23 8UG

View SO23 8UG on a map

Availability

Referral required
Referral Details

Referral to the Portage service can be made by a parent, an early years educational setting or by a health professional. Referrals must include evidence of delays. Parents need to contact their health visitor to discuss any additional needs that they have identified before referring to Portage.

Local Offer

Description

Portage is a home and early years educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families.

  • Portage is for children who have a significant delay by approximately one third of the child’s age in at least two different skill areas which must include cognition. An individual, flexible package of support will be provided depending on the needs of the child and family. The Portage Inclusion Practitioner (PIP) will work in partnership with families and professionals to plan appropriate targets to work towards and will liaise with early year’s settings and schools to ensure a smooth transition.
Contact Name
Portage Service
Contact Telephone
01962 847070
Links
Portage service
Services for Young Children General Enquiry Form
What does your service do?

Portage is a home and early years educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families.

Portage is for children who have a significant delay by approximately one third of the child’s age in at least two different skill areas which must include cognition. An individual, flexible package of support will be provided depending on the needs of the child and family.

The Portage Inclusion Practitioner (PIP) will work in partnership with families and professionals to plan appropriate targets to work towards and will liaise with early year’s settings and schools to ensure a smooth transition.

Who does your service provide for?

Our Portage service has an open referral process and referrals can be made by health professionals, early years practitioners and parents/ carers with the understanding that consent to the referral has been given.

You will also need to supply supportive information to include:

  • Early Years Practitioner - your plan of reviews with details of the impact these had on the child's ability to access the curriculum.
  • Health Professionals - the developmental Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), programmes of targeted support and any reports.
  • Parent – please contact your health visitor or early years setting for support if you have identified concerns with your child's development and feel portage might be able to support you. 

If the referral is accepted an initial contact will take place with a member of the inclusion team, in order that a decision can be made as to whether your child meets the Portage criteria and will be added to the waiting list.

There is no charge for the service and personal budgets cannot be used to pay for the service. It is centrally funded through Hampshire.

There is a high demand for Portage with limited capacity therefore there will be a wait to start full involvement. Depending on the need in each district and the number of referrals, the waiting list may vary in length. However, we aim to start working with you as a family, as quickly as we are able.

Requests for support forms can be accessed on: https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/developmentconcerns/portageservice

Information can also be accessed through the National Portage Association: Welcome | National Portage Association

How can I start using the service?

Our Portage service has an open referral process and referrals can be made by health professionals, early years practitioners and parents/ carers with the understanding that consent to the referral has been given.

You will also need to supply supportive information to include:

  • Early Years Practitioner - your plan of reviews with details of the impact these had on the child's ability to access the curriculum.
  • Health Professionals - the developmental Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), programmes of targeted support and any reports.
  • Parent – please contact your health visitor or early years setting for support if you have identified concerns with your child's development and feel portage might be able to support you. 

If the referral is accepted an initial contact will take place with a member of the inclusion team, in order that a decision can be made as to whether your child meets the Portage criteria and will be added to the waiting list.

There is no charge for the service and personal budgets cannot be used to pay for the service. It is centrally funded through Hampshire.

There is a high demand for Portage with limited capacity therefore there will be a wait to start full involvement. Depending on the need in each district and the number of referrals, the waiting list may vary in length. However, we aim to start working with you as a family, as quickly as we are able.

Requests for support forms can be accessed on: https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/developmentconcerns/portageservice

Information can also be accessed through the National Portage Association: Welcome | National Portage Association

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

Core Portage is a countywide service and can be accessed across all 7 districts of Hampshire listed below:

  • Eastleigh & Winchester
  • Havant 
  • New Forest District and South Test Valley 
  • Basingstoke and Deane and North Test Valley 
  • East Hants 
  • Hart and Rushmoor  
  • Fareham and Gosport  

Teams can be contacted using the address and phone number here: 

https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/providers/sfyc-offices

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

Once a request for support has been received, the Inclusion team representative will arrange to contact you. This will usually be via phone or Microsoft Teams but may sometimes be a home visit. An initial assessment is carried out to ascertain the individual support that may be offered.

Once an initial contact has taken place, and it is agreed your child meets the Portage criteria they will be added to the waiting list.

If your child does not meet the Portage criteria, the Inclusion team representative will discuss alternative options and sign post you and your child to other agencies that may be able to support you.

Once your child reaches the top of the waiting list the Inclusion Team Leader will allocate your child to a Portage Inclusion Practitioner (PIP).

Once allocated you will be contacted by telephone to arrange a mutually convenient time for a home visit to meet your PIP.

The PIP will regularly review their caseload with parents/carers and their ITL at individual supervision and team meetings and adjust the level of support provided as the needs of your child changes, including when Portage support will finish.

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making?

Services For Young Childrens Inclusion Team can be contacted using the address and phone number here:

https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/providers/sfyc-offices


During the initial contact, the Inclusion Team representative will explain how you can contact the service whilst your child is on the Portage waiting list.  Our contact details are included in the Information pack you should receive in your email. The Information pack can also be accessed here: https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/developmentconcerns/portageservice

Once allocated you are encouraged to speak to your PIP with any comments or concerns you have about the support you are receiving. Additionally, you can contact the ITL, via phone or using our general enquiry form.

A complaints procedure is included in the Information pack should you as a parent wish to make a more formal complaint.

Children receiving Portage may be supported by other agencies and professionals within the fields of health, social care and education. Therefore, effective consultation and collaboration is vital on a regular basis to ensure that all areas of your child’s needs are being met.

The first set of targets can be written as soon as it is appropriate for your child. A variety of materials and developmental journals can be used to make initial and on-going assessments of your child’s skills and views of other professionals working with your child will always be taken into account when setting targets.

Portage reports will be written in a concise, unambiguous and specific format, ensuring that only relevant and appropriate information is shared within the report.

Portage leaflets, support, guidance and advice are available on Portage web pages and are available for parents, practitioners and professionals: https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/developmentconcerns/portageservice

 

 

Is your service fully accessible?

Our service is based within the home of the child or their early years education setting. Therefore, accessibility for home visits is subject to the families own home environment.

However, every effort is made to make sure our service is as accessible as possible, utilising the resources available through Hampshire County Council such as translators, Braille, large print, hearing loops, Makaton signs and symbols etc.

Similarly all pre-school, nursery, childcare settings and childminders are encouraged to make reasonable adjustments to their environment to ensure all families can be included.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?

All staff are qualified and experienced to a high level.

All PIP's have completed a recognised National Portage Association Basic Workshop and several members of staff have completed an advanced course to become accredited to support further training for practitioners.

They will have a sound knowledge of child development and competencies in assessing, designing delivering and evaluating teaching skills.

In addition, they have effective communication and people skills.

PIP's have support through supervision to continue their own ongoing workforce and professional development by accessing a variety of training and courses.

Some members of the Hampshire Portage Team specialise in certain areas, for example sleep, toileting, Video Interaction Guidance, Behaviour Management and Makaton signing.

The Portage service promotes an active working partnership with a variety of agencies that are involved with your children and your family.

Joint working visits are often made with other agencies also involved with your child, sharing information and strategies to support you as a family.

PIPs will attend or chair meetings such as Team Around the Child (TAC) where needed, to ensure that all relevant information is shared to enable all needs of the child to be met effectively. Views of other professionals working with your child will be taken into account when setting targets.

How will I know my child is safe?

The safety of children is paramount. All Portage Inclusion Practitioners and volunteers are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked. 

The Portage team have a responsibility to ensure all children who use their service are safe. All Inclusion staff have a good understanding of the working together to safeguard children document. The team takes a lead in providing support, advice and guidance to lead practitioners within early years settings for safeguarding through support groups, policy documents and direct links with Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership team. Safer recruiting practices are adhered to by all recruiting staff. Please contact local offices using the following link

https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/childcare/providers/sfyc-offices

The professional phone line 01329 225379 provides instant professional advice and guidance to all staff that have concerns over a child’s welfare. An Inter agency referral form is the quickest way to notify the Childrens services team to a safeguarding concern. The reception and assessment (R&A) team 0300 555 1384. Out of Hours 0300 555 1373 are there to provide immediate child protection advice. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) role 01962 876364 supports practitioners with any allegations made against adults working in the childcare sector. 

Which of the following applies to your setting?
  • Our service is delivered in the home
What communication methods are you familiar with?
  • PECS
  • Signs and symbols
  • Makaton
Does your service include children and young people with:
  • Visual impairment
  • Physical disabilities
  • Personal care needs
  • Any impariment
  • Social mental and emotional healh
  • Hearing impairment
  • Autistic spectrum conditions
  • Challengine behaviour
  • PMLD
  • Communication needs
  • SLD
  • SPLD
  • Complex health needs
  • MLD
How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

The National Portage Association: https://www.portage.org.uk/

Hampshire Portage Service, delivered by the Services for Young Children Inclusion Team: Services for Young Children Offices | Children and Families | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)

 

Offering services to:
  • Children 0-5
  • Primary school aged children
Supporting people with:
  • Activities for children and young people
  • Special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND)

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Last Updated: 25 October 2023

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