Are you worried about your child?
Do you have concerns about your child’s development? Are you worried that their speech, mobility or behaviour differs from other children of a similar age?
All children develop at their own, individual rate, and in their own ways. However, as a parent, you know your child best and should share any concerns you have.
Where to go for help & advice (children aged 0-5)
If your child is aged between 0-5 you can talk through your concerns with your child’s:
- Health Visitor
- School teacher
- Preschool or nursery key worker
Alternatively, you can contact the Child Development Centre (Margaret Wells-Furby) who can advise you as to who is best placed to help.
If you’re worried about your child’s speech and language development, you can contact your local Children’s Centres who run regular Speech & Language Therapy drop-in clinics.
For concerns about a child's physical or sensory development, or if you want to see a dietician, you can self-refer to CYPIT (Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapies) by phone or via their website:
Tel: 0300 365 1234
The Referral Process
Referrals for assessment are generally made as a result of a CAF being submitted to the Local Authority Hub (a group of multi-disciplinary professionals). The CAF (Common Assessment Framework) is a way of working out what extra support your child may need. It involves meeting with practitioners to make sure you only have to tell your story once and that help is provided as quickly and effectively as possible. With your agreement, practitioners have a conversation with you to identify your child's needs and strengths.
What happens next will be different for every child depending on their need. They will be referred to the practitioner best placed to help them. This might be a multi-professional assessment, or a referral for direct support from the Child Development Centre, a referral to Children's Centres or a referral to a paediatrician.
Children aged 5+
If your child is already in school, you should discuss any concerns you have with your child’s Class Teacher, Head of Year or school SENCO. Schools are provided with funding to meet the needs of most children with special educational needs. However, if needed, and if your child meets the threshold, the school can put in a request for a statutory assessment to determine what extra support your child might need.
Generally about one or two children in every hundred will have educational needs that are more severe or complex and the Education Act 1996 and the Children and Families Act 2014 has provided a statutory framework for assessing their needs.
You may also speak directly with the local authority’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) team:
Special Educational Needs Team: 01344 354048
If your child’s school does not share your concerns and you feel you want to seek further support and advice, contact the Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS), who provide impartial advice to parents whose children have, or may have, special educational needs.
Worried about the safety or welfare of a child?
If you have concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of harm or neglect please seek advice from the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). If you believe that urgent action is needed please contact :01344 352005 (Mon-Fri 9am-5om) or 01344 786543 (5pm-9am and weekends)