There is one social care team for children with disabilities. They work across Achieving for Children in both of the neighbouring boroughs of Kingston and Richmond. There are eligibility criteria for access to the team and each individual case will be assessed by discussion between the team manager and the SPA (Single Point of Access) Manager.
The objective of the team is to support children and young people with disabilities and their families by:
- assessing their needs and identifying services to meet those needs;
- reviewing and monitoring services; and
- providing statutory support for children in need, looked after children and those in need of protection, and those subject to public law proceedings.
The team works with children and young people with disabilities who live within the Kingston and Richmond boroughs.
Family Support Team (FST)
The Disabled Children's Team work very closely with the Family Support Team and have the same eligibility criteria for access to support.
After a Social Care assessment has taken place and it has been established that a child or young person is eligible for support from the ISCD Social Work Team, the Disabled Children's Social Care Team would transfer/allocate cases to the Family Support Team if a child or young person:
- has no current safeguarding concerns;
- is not looked after or leaving care;
- has no more than 24 overnights of care per year.
Cases can transfer back to DCT should there be any new safeguarding concerns or significant changes which require a social work reassessment and oversight.
In some circumstances, children can be referred by ISCD Social Workers to the Family Support Team for short term co-working to address particular issues such as behavioural management.
To qualify for support from the Integrated Children with Disabilities Team (DCT and FST), the child must meet the requirements in the profound or severe labelled columns in at least two of the dimensions as outlined in the Eligibility Criteria:
- Behaviour Associated with the Disability
- Family and Social Relationships
- Children under the age of 5
- Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment
Parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities can make a direct referral via the SPA. The teams also accept referrals from professionals, again via the SPA. Referring professionals need to gain permission from parents or carers.
The location of the integrated SPA is Guildhall 2, Kingston. The telephone number is: 020 8547 5008.
The Children’s Act 1989 places a duty on children’s services to provide or co-ordinate the provision of services to all disabled children. The overall provision of these services is a responsibility across children’s services and associated health and voluntary sector services. All the Children with Disabilities Teams provide specialist services to a defined group and at times this may include support to access care or short breaks provisions if needed.