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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer

Support for parents and carers

Most families of disabled children can access the support they need directly without a social care assessment or intervention. There are a number of universal and targeted services available to families through the local offer. These include parenting support services, short breaks and leisure activities and other relevant services.

Families who need specialist support above and beyond what can be accessed in the local offer will need a Child and Family assessment.  If this assessment shows that specialist support is required, it will then be used to inform a personalised support plan created with your child or young person and your family. This plan will be recorded in a Disabled Child Support plan.

A Resource Allocation System will be used to help us understand the level of support your child needs to meet their outcomes. This tool will help us make consistent decisions around allocation of resources for all families.  These decisions are currently made at a multi-agency care package panel Families may access this support through a personal budget.

Social Care

Social Care support for disabled children and young people up to 25 is offered by a number of services ranging from Early Help to specialist social work services. All social care services work closely with involved partners including Health, Education and Voluntary services to ensure you receive the right support at the right time.

Most families can be best supported through early help services which may include providing information, advice or even a coordinated Team Around the Child approach.  However, some children and families need additional support to ensure their needs are understood and their outcomes are achieved. This may mean that the Short Breaks team will become involved or a social work assessment is needed. See the Protocol for Assessment and Threshold Guidance for more detail.

Social Work Services

Social Work Services

If your family requires a social work assessment, you may be supported by either a mainstream social work team or the Disabled Children and Young People Service (DCYPS) Social Work Team.  A social work assessment is called a ‘Child and Family Assessment’ The assessment is informed primarily by the children and young people, their families and relevant people and includes a social work analysis. This assessment looks at what is working well and what the worries may be for your child and family. It also identifies outcomes for your child and family and makes a recommendation around what support may be needed to meet these outcomes. 

The decision around which social work team is best to support your family is made at the point of referral by the MASH team. If your child or young person has mild or moderate disability then they may be supported through the mainstream children social care teams.  If your child has severe or complex needs, they may be supported by the DCYPS Social Work Team

Safeguarding Disabled Children and Young People

Safeguarding Disabled Children and Young People

In most cases there are no concerns about the child’s safety or the standard of care parents are providing.

However, sometimes the people working with a child may have concerns that parents are not able to meet their child’s needs or that the child may be at risk of harm. In these cases, social care may need to take action under the law to make sure the child is safe and well-cared for. See here for more information on safeguarding disabled children and young people.

Siblings of Disabled Children

Support and activities are available for siblings of disabled children through the local offer, including Young Carer’s support. We have a responsibility to identify siblings of disabled children who may be taking on a caring role and ensure their outcomes are being met too. This can be explored through either an early help assessment or social work assessment.

Carer’s Assessments

Carer’s Assessments

Your needs as a parent or carer providing care for a disabled child will be explored as part of the Child and Family Assessment. This will likely include a specific carer’s assessment built in to the holistic family assessment to better understand the impact of the caring role on you.

There are many support services available for parent carers in Greenwich which can be accessed without a social care assessment/intervention.

You can also find information on accessing the Parent Carer Needs Assessment on this page.


The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014 (updated 2015))

 The Equality Act Guidance for Schools

Guidelines for the ‘use of reasonable force’ – please note that for pupils with SEN, there are other statutory guidelines which apply in addition to these

Short Breaks for children, young people and carers

Short Breaks refers to services that help parents/carers to more effectively provide care for their disabled children by providing them with regular breaks so that they can meet the needs of other children in the family; study or take part in leisure activities themselves; or carry out day to day household tasks. We also want short breaks to help make sure young people access positive activities.

To find out more, visit the Short Breaks page or contact the Short Breaks team

Direct Payments/ Personal Budgets

For information on Personal Budgets including info on drop in surgeries for families please cilck HERE