Supporting children and young people with disabilities

Looking after a child or young person with disabilities can cause significant stress at times. Some families may need higher levels of support to maintain an ordinary family life.

This support could be for a few weeks or months to overcome a difficult time, or it could be for a longer period of time.

Children's Specialist Support Team

The Children’s Specialist Support Team often provide support where a child or young person has significant disability or impairment and there is also an additional need.

The support given could be:

  • parent, family support or sibling support
  • promoting independence and social development
  • child protection
  • prevention of coming into care or being placed away from home

Behaviour support service

This service provides intensive support for behaviours which are challenging and having a significant impact on family life.

Find out more about the behaviour support service on our Family Services Directory

Sleep clinic

This service provides support and advice for children and young people with disabilities who are struggling to sleep well. It also helps families who are suffering from long term sleep deprivation as a result of their child’s difficulties sleeping.

Find out more about the sleep clinic on our Family Services Directory

Getting support and assessments

If you are caring for a child with additional needs and you feel you need more support, contact children's social care by:

All disabled children are eligible for a single assessment to determine whether they need social care support. Not all children, young people and families need the same level of support. Support requirements depend on the nature and severity of a disability or need and the parent's capacity to meet it.

A single assessment may lead to other interventions or referrals to early help or advice.

Services can only be provided as part of an agreed plan following an assessment. Usually this will be a social care assessment, carried out within 45 days of contact.  It could also be as part of an education, health and care plan.

Any assessment will always include:

  • the wishes, feelings and aspirations of the child or young person
  • the aspirations their family have for them
  • information from health and education teams - and it may be necessary to include others

If your child is eligible for a service, the team will undertake a resource allocation questionnaire with you and your child. This is to create a personalised approach to how those needs are met.

This could involve:

  • the council providing support directly
  • the council providing support through other organisations
  • personal budgets

We will always work with you to support you in meeting your child's needs.

Children with disabilities and complex needs may be assessed as needing a social work service. A single assessment for children with disabilities will consider their carer's needs. These will form part of any recommendations, often referred to as a carer’s assessment.

Personal social care budgets

One outcome from an assessment might be a personal budget.

This support could be used at home and when out and about in the local and wider community.

More information about personal budgets is available from:

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