We provide a range of different services to support disabled children and their families. Wherever possible, we try to enable disabled children and young people to access mainstream services.
The philosophy behind our services is that they should help families lead normal lives, and contribute to the health, wellbeing, growth, development, enjoyment, and achievement of the children and young people it serves.
What is the service?
A range of services delivered by the disabled children’s team.
The Disabled Children’s Team is made up of social workers, a social work assistant and occupational therapists.
Who are the services for and how do we decide?
The Disabled Children’s Team (DCT) Team in Westminster is part of Children’s Services, and provides services to disabled children aged 0 to 18 and their parents and carers living in Westminster.
In Westminster, children with a disability are regarded as children first and as children with impairment second. Children with a disability are therefore not classified by assessment according to their physical or mental impairment, but assessed according to the impact any impairment has on their quality of life and that of their family. Social Workers will carry out an assessment which also takes into account the needs of the carer and family as a whole.
The majority of children in Westminster who require services will receive them through universal provision, such as schools and GPs, within their local community. The same should be true of any child with a disability. This applies unless the impact of the child’s impairment on their life is too great to be addressed by universal provision. In this case, a referral for an assessment should be made to the DCT Team.
The eligibility criteria for the Disabled Children’s Team (Social Care) are:
- Children and their families whose main need for services arises out of the children’s disabilities or condition
- These conditions have a substantial or critical impact on the quality of the child/young person’s or/and their families’ lives;
- The needs cannot be met by universal/targeted services alone.
To meet the needs of disabled children, young people and their families, we have to be as fair and as consistent as we can in assessing and allocating services. Our assessment leads us to an opinion of whether a child’s needs can be met by universal, targeted or specialist services.
Therefore our judgments and decisions about the services which are provided are based on the assessment, and take particular account of the following:
- The impact that trying to meet the additional needs of a disabled child or young person is having on the family as a whole.
- The likelihood of family breakdown resulting from the demands of the care, supervision, or behaviour of the child/young person.
- The effect of disturbed nights on the carer and their family.
- The impact of moving and handling has on the wellbeing of the carer
- The number of children in the household their ages and needs.
- Those children with disabilities who have severe challenging behaviours which impact on all aspects of the child/young persons functioning or pose a risk to self or others.
- The impact on families where the families own resources and/ or Universal and Targeted services are unable to provide the required level of support.
- Those children with disabilities who have recently been subject to a child protection plan, and who remain in need of ongoing specialist services.
- Those children/young people with disabilities who require support because of their mental health needs.
Needs at this level will require a “Single Assessment” by the Disabled Children’s Team or an assessment by another specialist service.
Social care and key partner agencies are required to maintain, where possible and appropriate, the child/young person safely within their family and community.
What is the referral process?
For all queries relating to Children and Families services, please contact:
The Children and Families Assessment Team
4 Frampton Street
Tel: 020 7641 4000
Independent Support for Parents of Children with SEND
A range of organisations provide information, advice and support to families of children and young people with SEND that is independent of the Local Authority. For information on these organisations and how they might be able to help you, please click here.
Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled? This may be a parent, a brother or sister or a grandparent. Maybe you help by staying at home a lot to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, perhaps translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking. If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. There is extra support available to support young carers living in Westminster. For more information, please take a look at this page.