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Children with disabilities

We support children and young people who have a disability from birth to the age of 25 years old; this includes support for parent carers and for young carers.

Wolverhampton Children and Young People Services provide specialist services for disabled children which are delivered by the Disabled Children and Young People's Team (DCYPT) - a social work team that is based under the Children's Social Care.

The Disabled Children and Young Person's team will support children or young people from birth up to 25 years of age who have a diagnosed disability and the primary need of the child or young person relates to their disability. In doing so the team will also consider what support is required to the individual's parents, carers and any other children within the household, taking a whole family approach informed by a social work assessment.

The team works within the following legislative framework:

  • The Care Act 2014
  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Mental Health Act 1983 and 2007
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
  • Care Leavers Regulations (2010)
  • SEND Code of Practice 2005
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Autism Act 2009 and Think Autism (national strategy)
  • NHS Continuing Healthcare guidelines (DOH) 2012

The team assesses and provides services for children/young people with disabilities and their families aged 0-25 where there are:

  • Child protection concerns
  • Children in need who have complex support needs, relating to their disability
  • Where the child young person is a Looked after by the Local Authority (LAC)
  • Transition planning
  • Assessment to access Short Break services
  • Care Act assessments for Young people approaching their 18th birthday

The team recognises that the children and young people are children first, however the team do have specialist knowledge in working and supporting children and young people with disabilities. We seek to provide a whole family approach and support a smooth transition into adulthood.

Universal services also have a role in meeting the needs of disabled children; children who have additional needs or face additional barriers which inhibit and prevent their inclusion in society. All Universal services are expected to be accessible to all children and their families and develop provision which is inclusive of a wide variety of need, these can be accessed via the Strengthening Families hubs. 

How to access DCYPT

All referrals to the Disabled Children and Young People's Team should be made via the MASH, this includes requests for short breaks. A number of partner agencies are represented in the MASH and can access a wide spectrum of information and subject this to Multi agency analysis to determine the more appropriate service in line with the DCYPT's criteria. For Young people ages between 18-25, referrals should be made via the front door via Single point of contact, Customer services. However, if the concern relates to Safeguarding this should be raised via a Safeguarding Adults form 1 (SA1) and sent to the Multi agency safeguarding hub.

Please follow the link below which will forward you to contact details for the MASH, Strengthening families hubs and out of hours.

MASH Contact Details

Assessment and Planning in relation to Short Break Provision

Guidance relating to short break provision is covered in statutory guidance. The guidance imposes a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children/young people with disabilities, including consideration of the need for short breaks. The guidance identifies the need for appropriate proportional assessment and planning; including consideration of the needs of parents and carers.

All requests for short breaks will need to be made via the Multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH), which may result in the completion of a Family and Carers Assessment to determine if additional or specialist support is needed. The need for overnight provision will always need an assessment to be completed. A social worker will need to be the primary worker for all children/young people who receive an overnight short break under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

In addition the team will:

  • provide advice and consultation to other services/teams
  • provide a 'joined up' service through a 'step-up/step-down' approach by close working relationships with the Early Intervention services
  • work systemically across agencies and services to ensure that the holistic needs of a child are met by the family having access to a range of support, to promote inclusion and builds on existing family strengths and community provision.

Transition to adulthood

Local Authorities have a duty to carry out an assessment of anyone who appears to have care and support needs regardless of their eligibility and state funded care.

 "Services at transition should be aimed at moving a person into work/adult life in such a way as to promote their independence and so reduce their long term needs for care and support."

We know that the transition to adulthood is a time when young people and their families are thinking about their aspirations for the future. If people are likely to have care and support needs when they are 18, they need information and advice so that they can make the necessary plans.

The Care Act says that if a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a 'child's carer') is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is 'significant benefit' to the individual in doing so. This is regardless of whether the child or individual currently receives any services.

When either a child or a young carer approaches their 18th birthday, they may ask for an assessment. A parent or carer may also ask for an assessment as the child they are caring for approaches 18.

As in all assessments, local authorities will need to consider the needs of the person, what needs they are likely to have when they (or the child they care for) turn 18, and the outcomes they want to achieve in life. They should consider what types of adult care and support might be of benefit at that point, and also consider whether other options beyond formal services might help the individual achieve their desired outcomes. The Act says that when an assessment is carried out, information should be given about whether the young person, child's carer or young carer is likely to have eligible needs for care and support when they turn 18. The person should receive advice and information about what can be done to meet or reduce the needs they are likely to have, as well as what they can do to stay well, and prevent or delay the development of future needs.

A successful transition to adult care and support needs the young person, their families and professionals to work together. This is crucial. The Act gives local authorities a legal responsibility to cooperate, and to ensure that all the correct people work together to get the transition right.

The Children and Families Act creates a new 'birth-to-25 years' Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) for children and young people with special educational needs, and offers families personal budgets so that they have more control over the type of support they get. In some cases, where a person is over 18, the 'Care' part of the EHC plan will be provided for by adult care and support, under the Care Act.

The Children and Families Act also improves cooperation between all the services that support children with special educational needs and their families. This requires local authorities to involve children, young people and parents in reviewing and developing care for those with special educational needs. Information is available on the Local offer webpage outlining support that can be offered locally.