Social care covers a range of services that help people with day-to-day living. For children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), this often means help with personal or physical care due to a disability. It also means support for children with SEND who are looked after (in foster care or residential care) and those in need of protection (safeguarding).
Disabled Children's Team
Shropshire's specialist Disabled Children's Team is located in Shrewsbury, but covers the whole council area. The team helps children and young people with permanent and severe disabilities.
Early help means taking action to support a child, young person or their family as soon as a problem starts. This can happen at any point in a child's life, and applies to any problem or need, including SEND.
A range of services provide early help. You can find out more about these in our early help offer.
Looked-after children are those receiving care because of a court order or by voluntary agreement with the parents. This can be for a variety of reasons, including abuse, neglect and family issues relating to the parents' ability to care for the child.
Looked-after children and young people with SEND usually receive specialist help from the Shropshire Virtual School.
Children’s Occupational Therapy Team
Support via an assessment for equipment and potential adaptations within the home can be requested through the Children’s Occupational Therapy Team. Children’s Occupational Therapists assess children and their parents/carers to offer help, advice, safety and support in the home through the provision of equipment and or adaptations to ensure safety, maximise mobility and promote independence.
Children and young people are referred through Compass to await allocation of an OT for assessment. Cases that are deemed higher end are put as a priority. This is based on our threshold document. Referrals can be self-referral from the young person or their family or other professionals or voluntary workers who have the family’s permission to refer the child/young person for support.
It is expected that prior to receiving an assessment, parents/carers will have already undertaken reasonable measures to keep their child safe, as would be expected for any child. The Occupational Therapy Team will not provide items which are aimed at general home safety for children. These items include; standard baby/video monitors, window locks (e.g. Penkid Lockable Safety Window Restrictor), cupboard locks (e.g. Whatlock Magnetic locks) and bolts/locks on doors, which are readily available for purchase.
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation have produced a Specialist Equipment and Safety Adaptations Information Sheet which contains useful information on improving safety within the home.
Drop in clinics
The OT team run drop in clinics on most Fridays between 10-1pm at the Jigsaw Room, Child Development Centre, Monkmoor Campus, Shrewsbury where we offer safety advice. Parents are advised to check in advance that the clinic is running by calling 01743 251810 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to check.
Please call 0345 678 9021 for more information about equipment and adaptations
Personal budgets and direct payments
A personal budget is an allocation of money that can be used to meet the aims agreed in an education, health and care (EHC) plan. Any young person with an EHC plan or their parents/carers can request to be assessed for a personal budget.
A direct payment is one way of managing a personal budget. It means the money is paid directly to the young person or parent/carer for them to buy and manage services themselves.
Short Breaks are opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their primary carers. This can benefit both the child and the carer.
They include day, evening, overnight or weekend activities, which can take place in the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer, or a residential or community setting. Short breaks can also be provided through a temporary carer, relieving the primary carer of their caring responsibilities without them being separated from the disabled child or young person.
Transitions and preparing for adulthood
Transition means making the steps from compulsory education to further education or employment, from adolescence to independence, and from child to adult health or social care services if needed. Specialist support for smooth transitions begins for young people in Year 9 as part of their annual review.Find out more about Preparing for Transition into Adulthood.
Parent Carer Needs Assessment
If you are a parent carer of a child with a disability and have parental responsibility, you have the right to request a parent carer needs assessment (see the Children and Families Act 2014).
We must assess parent carers if:
- It appears to us that the parent carer may have need for support
- We receive a request from the parent carer to assess their need for support
The assessment will consider:
- Your individual needs as a parent carer
- Things that could make looking after your child easier for you
- Your well-being* as a parent carer
- The need to safeguard and promote the welfare of your disabled child
- The need to safeguard and promote the welfare of any other children that you care for
*The well-being duty is an important addition to guidance in the Children and Families Act 2014. It means we must consider:
- Your personal dignity and respect
- Your physical and mental health and emotional well-being
- Your protection from abuse and neglect
- Your control over your day-to-day life
- Your participation in work, education, training or recreation
- Your social and economic well-being
- Your domestic, family and personal relationships
- The suitability of your living accommodation
- Your ability to contribute to society
A parent carer may choose for their needs to assessed within the social work assessment of their child with a disability. This should lead to a better informed decision about the holistic package of support their child with a disability and their family require to meet their identified needs. Alternatively a parent carer assessment can be carried out independently, without a child's assessment being completed.
How to request a parent carer needs assessment
If you would like to make a request for a parent career assessment please call our First Point of Contact (FPOC) on 0345 678 9021.