Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
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4.1.1 Children's Disability Service

LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND DEFINITIONS

The framework within which children’s services work with children, young people and their families is underpinned by a range of legislation including, but not limited to:

  • Children’s Acts 1989 and 2004;
  • Children’s (Leaving Care) Act 2000;
  • Care Standards Act 2000;
  • United Nations Convention on the rights of The Child;
  • Human Rights Act 1998;
  • Adoption and Children’s Act 2002;
  • Data Protection Act 1998.

The policy framework also has regard to and is consistent with a range of government guidance, particularly the principles set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

RELATED CHAPTER

Short Breaks Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was revised and updated in November 2013 and references to Working Together were revised to reflect Working Together 2015 in July 2015.


Contents

  1. Criteria
  2. Referral Process
  3. Assessment Process
  4. Child Protection Cases
  5. Services to Children with Disability
  6. Services to Carers
  7. Disability Register
  8. Reviews


1. Criteria

Eligibility Criteria for Direct Referrals to LDD Social Care

Severe or Profound Learning Disability:

  • Child or young person needs full time help with every aspect of their lives, including eating, drinking, washing, dressing and toileting;
  • Child or young person has a Statement of SEN and attends a special school, requires constant supervision during school breaks and lunch times and 2:1 adult supervision when in the community.

Child or young person diagnosed with severe or profound:

  • Learning Disability / Developmental Delay;
  • Physical Disability;
  • Sensory Disability;
  • Multiple disabilities that impact on the child or young person to the same degree as a diagnosis of severe / profound disability.

Child or young person is diagnosed with complex health needs including cancer / palliative / transplant / life threatening condition.

Child or young person has severe behavioural difficulties related to child’s permanent and severe / profound disability.

The LDD Service will also receive transfers from Children and Families teams where the child or young person is diagnosed with moderate to severe disabilities and an assessment has identified a serious risk to the child or young person. The child could be at risk of full time accommodation or family breakdown without specialist provision or the carers have one of the following issues that may impact on their ability to care for them on a full time basis:

  • Carer of child or young person has a disability or long term health needs i.e. physical, learning or mental health condition;
  • Carer of child or young person has regular sleep deprivation due to child or young person’s disability;
  • Carer of child or young person has known significant pressures in the home environment e.g. domestic violence;
  • Carer of child or young person is a sole carer with a limited support network;
  • Child or young person is in receipt of higher rate DLA - Care Component.

Severe or Profound Physical Disability:

  • Child or young person is wheel chair dependent both inside and outside the home environment;
  • Child or young person is reliant on specialist equipment for transfers and mobility generally;
  • Child or young person is dependent on others for feeding, bathing, dressing and toileting;
  • Child or young person is in receipt of higher rate DLA - Mobility Component.

Severe or Profound Sensory Disability:

  • Child or young person is registered blind;
  • Child or young person has severe hearing and/or visual impairment and requires the need for additional supervision to maintain safety and to access specialist support;
  • Child or young person has no language or communication appropriate to age.

Complex Health Needs:

  • Child or young person has complex health problems requiring specialist advice and guidance which is under regular review at specialist hospital.

Severe Behavioural Difficulties related to Child’s Permanent and Severe/Profound Disability:

  • Child or young person is diagnosed with a permanent disability e.g. some ASD and requires 2:1 adult supervision in the community.

Eligibility Criteria for Transfers from Children and Families to LDD

Moderate to Severe Learning Disability:

  • Child or young person needs significant help with every aspect of their lives, including eating, drinking, washing, dressing and toileting;
  • Child or young person has a Statement of SEN, attends a special school and requires constant supervision during school breaks and lunch times and 2:1 adult supervision when in the community;
  • Child or young person is in receipt of middle rate DLA - Care Component.

Moderate to Severe Physical Disability:

  • Child or young person is able to walk with aids or uses a wheelchair;
  • Child or young person is able to manoeuvre self at least some of the time in wheelchair of either electric or manual type;
  • Child or young person is reliant on others for feeding, bathing, dressing and toileting;
  • Child or young person is in receipt of lower or higher rate DLA - Mobility Component.

Moderate to Severe Sensory Disability:

  • Child or young person is eligible for registration as partially sighted;
  • Child or young person has severe hearing and/or visual impairment and requires the need for additional supervision to maintain safety and to access specialist support;
  • Child or young person has very little or no speech, but is able to communicate at least basic needs using any method, e.g. PECS, signing.


2. Referral Process

2.1 Where a referral is received and it appears that the criteria for the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities are met, consultation will take place and advice sought as to whether the criteria for transferring the case are met. Where there are child protection concerns, see Section 4, Child Protection Cases.
2.2 Where there is a dispute, the matter should be discussed between the relevant team managers with a view to resolution.
2.3 Where the dispute remains unresolved, the matter should be referred to the Service Managers with a view to resolution.


3. Assessment Process

3.1 All children who meet the criteria for the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities will receive a single assessment. This assessment will be completed by the LDD service if the child meets the severe disability threshold, or the Duty team if the child has a moderate disability with other compounding complex environmental/parenting concerns.
3.2 The Assessment will be carried out in consultation with the family, using information from other professionals as appropriate.
3.3 It is the impact the disability has on daily living that is a key part of the assessment.
3.4

Additional specialist assessments will be commissioned as necessary from:

  • Occupational Therapy;
  • Sensory Impairment.
When a child is referred for an occupational assessment and they meet the LDD eligibility criteria, a specialist occupational therapy assessment will be completed subject to the urgency of the equipment needs for the child. For non urgent occupational therapy referrals, a waiting list is in place. If during the occupational therapy assessment other needs are identified, the Occupational Therapist will refer the child and family back to the LDD social work team for further assessment.
3.5 The assessment may identify that needs arise due to a child's disability or as a result of a parent's health or disability or a child may be in need of protection from abuse or neglect - see Section 4, Child Protection Cases.
3.6 Parents of children with disability and the child (depending of their age and level of understanding) will be given information about the Kite Register - see Section 7, Disability Register.


4. Child Protection Cases

4.1 With new referrals (i.e. where the case is not open to the LDD Service) where the primary concern is child protection, following the Single assessment carried out by the Duty team, a discussion will take place between the relevant team managers within the Duty team and the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities as to which team will hold responsibility for the case. Where the Duty team retain responsibility for the child's case, appropriate advice will be provided by the LDD Service relating to issues arising from any disability. However, the assessment process and any instigation of child protection procedures will remain the responsibility of the Duty team until such time as the case is formally transferred.
4.2 The Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities will usually undertake all Section 47 Enquiries, assessments and legal proceedings in respect of children who are already open cases.
4.3 In cases where there is a child with disability as one of a group of siblings under child protection procedures, joint working will occur between the LDD and the relevant children’s social care team as agreed between the respective practise managers.


5. Services to Children with Disability

As a general principle, where children and families can receive mainstream services, these should be provided as a way of minimising the impact of disability and avoiding any unnecessary segregation.

Where the assessment identifies that specialist services are required, these may be provided by health or voluntary agencies as well as the local authority. The assessment will make recommendations as to the kind of services or equipment that are required to meet the child's needs.

Any recommendation for the provision of equipment requires the approval of the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities Service Manager. If approved, equipment will usually be provided on a long term loan basis. Adaptation work through a Disabilities Facilities Grant can be carried out by referral to the local authority and the family will be given assistance with this.

The support services that may be included in a support package for a disabled child and his/her family range from:

  • The provision of information on activities, clubs, playgroups and play schemes;
  • The provision of advice and information about other organisations which may be able to offer help and support;
  • Support for the child in/outside the home;
  • Day care services such as childminding;
  • Short breaks providing overnight care - see Short Breaks Procedure;
  • Support services using direct payments - see the Direct Payments Scheme Procedure.

When services have been agreed, they will be incorporated into a Child in Need Plan - or, where the child becomes Looked After, a Care Plan or Short Break Plan.


6. Services to Carers

Services can also be provided to carers where the child is disabled. Under the Carers (Recognition and Services Act) 1995 carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs. Any such assessment of carers should follow the guidance in the Assessment Framework (as revised by Working Together 2013 and 2015).


7. Disability Register

In Slough the disability register is called the KITE Register holds information about children with disability and is a legal requirement for all local authorities.

Parents can register themselves on the Slough Borough Council website to supply information about their child for inclusion on the register.

The register is used to plan and develop services for children with disability and also to assist Adult Services with information on future service needs.


8. Reviews

Reviews of Child in Need Plans for children with disability take place within 3 months of the start of the plan and thereafter six monthly. Reviews are conducted more frequently where circumstances require it, e.g. where there has been a significant change in the child's circumstances or with the resource or resources involved.

The review is usually conducted by the allocated worker contacting all those involved in the plan. The worker will then prepare a summary of the comments and observations made and present it to the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities practice manager for approval. Where necessary, changes to the Child in Need Plan will be made and the amended plan circulated to all involved as set out in Child in Need Plans and Review Procedure.

For reviews of children in receipt of short breaks, see Short Breaks Procedure.

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