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Disabled Children's Service

Disabled Children’s Service

The aim of the Disabled Children’s Service is to work in partnership with disabled children and young people, their families and carers to enable them to have the best opportunities in life.

About our team

The Disabled Children’s Team is a specialist social work team responsible for the assessment of disabled children and young people up the age of 18 and the provision of information and the packages of support to meet their assessed need.

This service is over and above that provided as part of universal or targeted services. The majority of families do not need a social worker and their needs are met by receiving support through universal or targeted services. At times these provisions may not be sufficient to meet the child or young person’s complex needs and additional support may be required.

Early intervention can prevent families experiencing extreme pressure, reaching crisis point and becoming at risk of breaking down.

Person centred thinking and planning is at the heart of the service. The social work team work alongside other agencies such as schools and health services to develop inclusive practice to benefit children and young people.

The team provides both a social work and care management service.

Our aim is to work in partnership with children, young people, their parents and cares and other professionals to provide support when it is needed.

The team works in partnership with Education, Health, other Social Work teams and Short Break providers to ensure good outcomes for children and young people are delivered.

 How to access support from the service?

Access to specialist support is identified through an assessment by a qualified social worker called a Single Assessment. When completing the Single Assessment the social worker will communicate with the child or young person to gain their views using their preferred method of communication. The social worker will also talk to parent(s), carer(s) and any relevant agencies which can assist with the assessment. Other professionals may also assist to complete the assessment.

What does a Single Assessment cover?

When completing the Single Assessment the social worker will look at a number of issues that may be affecting the child (or children) and family. The worker will find about the strengths and difficulties in the family by asking questions about:

  • The nature of the child’s disability and how it impacts on both their life and their family or carer.
  • The child’s needs including- their health, behaviour, education, social and emotional wellbeing as well as their social and family relationships.
  • The family’s situation – the number of children within the household and if there is more than one disabled child within the household, if the parent(s) or carer(s) have a disability or health needs.
  • If the parent(s) or carer(s) are employed, have money issues, housing, relationships within the family and those who support the family.
  • The care of the child - including how well parent(s) or carer(s) are offering basic care, keeping the child safe, helping them learn, offering guidance and a stable home.
  • The child’s wishes and feelings.
  • Depending on the age of the child, any needs to prepare for adulthood or the transition to Adult Services

During or after the Single Assessment has been completed, services may be provided to meet the needs of the child or family or they may be signposted to another service or agency. Consideration will be given if short breaks would improve the quality of the child’s life.

For children with multiple health needs, including complex challenging behaviours the assessment will consider if a Continuing Care Assessment should be undertaken by Health Services.

How can we help?

Services can be provided for children and young people with complex needs, such as:

  • Social work support, advice and guidance
  • Social work assessment and planning to address particular need arising from the child or young person’s disability
  • Advice and guidance on services available in the community to meet the needs of the child concerned, their parents and carers
  • Family Support
  • Support within the home or community
  • Overnight care provision with family carers, residential units or at home
  • Short break services
  • Domiciliary Care in the home
  • Access to direct payments
  • Safeguarding Services
  • Looked after Children Services

What are Direct Payments?

Direct payments are a resource given to parent(s), carer(s) or young people by the authority to enable them to buy in support. These payments do not affect benefits and are paid into a bank account regularly or as a one off payment.

Through the Single Assessment the social worker will assess if the young person is eligible to assess direct payments and if the parent or carer (or young person if over 16 years old) is willing and able to administer direct payments with support. The Single Assessment is presented to a panel of managers in the service to decide if direct payments are the most appropriate option and how funds should be allocated.

If agreed an agreement will be drawn up and advice given to the parent or carer setting out the responsibilities and obligations of both them and the local authority. The parent or carer will be supported when employing personal assistants, using agencies or any other services to meet the assessed need. 

What services are there for parents and carers?

A carer’s assessment can also be completed for parent(s) and carer(s) and should form part of the overall Single Assessment to determine their needs.

What happens after the Single Assessment?

When a Single Assessment is completed by a social worker which results in ongoing involvement from the service a continuing plan called a Child In Need (CIN) Plan is drawn up. This takes place under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

The Child in Need Plan is a written plan including the needs of the child and a coordinated response from services to meet their needs. This plan is shared with parent(s), carer(s) and young people.

It is recognised that the needs of a disabled child and their family change from time to time. There will be times when more support is needed or less so it is important that the services change according to assessed need. Therefore services are reviewed through a multi-agency Child in Need (CIN) Planning Meeting with the child, parent or carer at least every 6 months to ensure that the level of support is right and the child is making progress. Parent(s), carer(s) and young people can also request a review of their plan.

Who can we help?

To be eligible for an assessment by the Disabled Children’s Team the child must:  

  • be under 18 years old
  • be a resident in Liverpool
  • have a permanent and substantial impairment, resulting in a functional disability, which affects their daily living including a severe learning need

Please note a child will not be eligible if they are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, HIV or a psychiatric illness unless they have other disabilities which meet the eligibility criteria.

Those who are not eligible for support from the Disabled Children’s Team may be able to access support from the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Early Help and Short Break Service in Liverpool.



What do the SEND Early Help and Short Break Service do?

This service offers support to disabled young people aged 0- 19 years by working within the EHAT (Early Help Assessment Tool) model; a holistic way of working with young people, families and professionals to support the disabled child. They can provide:

  • Advice, consultation by telephone/signposting to relevant service.
  • Tailored support and intervention for the child through Universal, Specialist and Targeted Services (which may include short breaks, direct payments, after school and holiday provision).
  • Support for sleep difficulties, or any other concerns about the child's development.
  • Carer's Assessments.

You can find details for the SEND Early Help and Short Break Service on the Liverpool Local Offer.

 Disabled young people 0- 19 years requiring support from this service can be referred via their local Early Help Hub, or directly to the short break service on 0151 225 6020

How to make a referral?

To make a referral to the SEND Early Help and Short Break Service, contact the team directly on 0151 225 6020. To request an assessment from the Disabled Children’s Team, a parent, carer or agency should contact Careline on 0151 233 3700.

Careline is staffed by customer service advisors and social workers, who can take referrals for social work assessments, give advice or signpost to other services or agencies. Careline can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including bank holidays. There is an Out Of Hours Service for urgent matters.

How to contact us?

The Disabled Children’s Team can be contacted on 07876844310 during week day working hours (Monday- Thursday 9- 4.45, Friday 9- 4.15)

If a child has a social worker, their individual number will be provided for the child, family and agencies.

Tell us about yourself

Local authorities have a duty to have a record or register of disabled children in their area under the Children Act 1989.  This is done through the Liverpool Disabled Children and Young Person’s Passport. This is a register used to plan and develop services and to assist adult services with information on future needs. This is voluntary for parents and young people and will not affect any services or benefits. It will also not guarantee any additional services or benefits. Details will be provided by the assessing social worker or by contacting the Disabled Children’s Team.


Who to contact


Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Young Adults (16 to 25)
Primary (5 to 11)
Secondary (11 to 16)
Early Years (0 to 5)
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