Disabled children and their families

Specialist services

Our service for disabled children and their families is made up of teams who have a specialist knowledge in different areas of disability. This means the support with five you can be tailored to your additional needs.

A range of support

Our Team for Disabled Children is a team of social workers covering the whole of the Thurrock, working with children and young people from 0 to 18 years-old.

The Team for Disabled Children works with children and young people who have:

  • a permanent and substantial disability
  • a severe learning difficulty - this includes pre-school children who show a significant delay
  • a physical impairment that impacts their lives - this includes sensory impairment
  • a life threatening or chronic illness

The team works health, education and other services to make sure the needs of children and young people are met. They provide packages of care, which can include:

  • short breaks
  • domiciliary care
  • access to leisure activities
  • summer play schemes
  • advice and guidance

Types of specialist services

Early Support is a government programme that coordinates services for pre-school children with disabilities and their families. It’s a national programme that you can access at hospitals, clinics, child development centres, the Sunshine Centre, early years settings, children’s centres and portage services, where a professional comes out to your home, as well as some voluntary organisations.

Early Support keeps families at the heart of discussion and decision-making about their children.

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services (EWMHS) for children and young people provides help and treatment to children and young people who are experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties, or mental health problems, disorders and illnesses. They offer services to children and young people up to 16 years-old.

Referral is through doctors, educational psychologists and social workers.

Respite or short breaks are services that give a child or young person and their family to have a break from each other. We believe that having a break is important for both the child or young person and their family. It's a normal part of any family’s lifestyle and allows the parent or carer to recharge their batteries.

It also gives brothers and sisters space from each other to allow them to express themselves, and allows the disabled child or young person the chance to explore new opportunities and learn to become independent.

Services in your home, such as a ‘sitting service’, can be provided in the community. This could be a sessional worker to take your child out, or a befriender, a nursery or after-school club.

It can be provided overnight in a shared care family or in a residential care home.

Children’s Disability Record

By law we must compile a register of children with disabilities. This is to make sure that social care, health and education services give greater priority to supporting children with disabilities and their families. It helps us plan and coordinate services.

Each child on the register will remain anonymous and confidential. Only authorised workers from social care, health and education services have access to this information.

The record is voluntary, which means your child does not have to be included. Most parents want their child to be included, however, because:

  • it will help us to know the needs of children with disabilities in general and plan the right services for them
  • it will make sure that we are aware of your child and their needs
  • we can plan for your child’s future needs, and help in the transition to adult services
  • we will be able to provide families with regular information about services available