Accessibility Statement

Children with a Disability Service eligibility criteria

This information sets out which children and young people will benefit from the services of the Kirklees Children with a Disability Service in an eligibility criteria, and the principles of support to Children with a Disability and their families, carers Service

Kirklees Children with a Disability Service (CWD) is a statutory Social Care and Early Support service, which provides specialist, disability related, services to children and young people aged 0-18 with the most complex needs.

Services may be provided to children and young people who:

  • are resident in the Kirklees area
  • are between the ages of 0 and up to the 18th birthday
  • have a diagnosed physical or mental impairment which is likely to have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities
  • children with a sensory impairment, a learning disability, or an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) which impacts on day to day
  • children with complex health needs and those with palliative, life limiting or life-threatening conditions
The council defines substantial and long term as follows:
  • Substantial means that the disabled child or young person will require significant levels of support from another person to carry out their basic day to day functions such as eating, dressing, washing, participating in activities in or out of the home, and night-time care. It is expected that they will continue to require this level of support as an adult.
  • Long-term means that the disability is expected to be.

The service would not support children and young people who have had acute medical problems, illnesses, or operations which can be disabling but from which they will recover.

The Children with a Disability Service want to make sure families receive support from appropriate services to meet their needs and so will offer advice, guidance, support and signposting to children and young people if required. for example if you have:

  • mental health conditions, with no primary need
  • social, emotional and behavioural problems not associated with a disability
  • a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD unless in conjunction with a substantial and permanent learning, physical or communications disability. This will only be escalated from lower forms if urgent or there is a safeguarding

This information is for children and families who are supporting a child, children or young person with additional needs which may also include a learning or physical disability to help them understand the range of support they can access.

The principal legislation for care support services to disabled children, young people and their families is the Children Act 1989. Kirklees also have regard to the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 as they relate to children with disabilities and Education Health and Care Plan, and to the Care Act 2014, which requires assessments to be carried out in respect of children who may have needs for support when they reach the age of 18 years.

Section 17 of the 1989 Act places a general duty on all local authorities to ‘safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need’. A ‘child in need’ may be regarded as a child who needs additional support to reach their full potential.

The definition of children in need at section 17(10) includes children who are disabled within the meaning of the 1989 Act. Section 17(11) states: ‘…. A child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity’

In relation to the provision of short breaks, Kirklees have applied the statutory guidance on the promotion of the welfare of disabled children using short breaks, published in 2010, and the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010.

In addition, Kirklees have considered the Equality Act 2010, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 s.49A and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It is important that all those working with Children and families work to a common set of principles that underpin good practice.

“Children” within this information refers to all 0- to 18-year-olds. Kirklees principles include:

  • being child centred
  • making decisions rooted in evidence
  • being focused on outcomes
  • being respectful for all people at all times
  • listening to family members
  • listening to voices of children in the best way they can
  • clearly communicating our actions and what steps we are taking to support a family
  • recognising the importance of a child’s family and community
  • understanding the family’s individuality, beliefs, culture and spirituality
  • being honest and transparent
  • offering help early doing all we can to keep intervention at the lowest possible and safe

These principles of practise have been established through conversations around early support, working locally together and from our approach to seeing the strengths within families and adopting a restorative style.

  • Work closely with the community hubs to promote early identification and assessment of unmet needs and support early response either through consultation or direct support.
  • To work with health professionals to identify families with an early diagnosis to offer advice, guidance and support in a multi-agency.
  • Liaise with SEND to ensure families who are in receipt of EHC Plan are aware of social care services and can access an early help assessment.
  • We take a whole family approach and ensure our work integrates with other support being offered so as not to duplicate and intrude unnecessarily into family life.
  • We take a restorative and strengths approach that builds resilience and develops capacity across the partnership to offer the right support at the right time to the right families.

We have identified four levels of support: Universal Services, Getting Help, Getting More help, and Getting Risk Support.

Our Early Support approach in line with the Kirklees Thrive model


The range of services available in Kirklees to provide support

Kirklees Council recognise that most children and young people will be able to reach their full potential living with a family, in a community, accessing activities and services that are open for all children and young people. They will be attending school and all their needs will be catered for.

There may be times when additional information and advice is required to continue to meet the needs of all your family members. The Kirklees Local Offer website is where parents, carers, children and young people up to 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can find information, advice and guidance about support, services and activities that are available to those living in Kirklees

What the professionals say: Most children will be kept safe from harm and be able to reach their full potential with support from Kirklees universal services. Your child does not require an assessment to access these services. These services are available to all children and young people with or without a disability. We promote and encourage the full inclusion of children with a disability in our universal services. The social care team may well not be involved with you at this time but Inclusion Officers may engage with local providers to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made as far as possible to ensure all children can access them and advise the service about any additional support needs to ensure the service is inclusive and support to children with a disability.

What we mean: This is not an exhaustive list, but these are the most common agencies who are able to advise and assist in the support of your child without the need for further referrals or assessment.




Children’s Centres



Family GP

Health Visitors

Housing Services

Aids and adaptions

Voluntary sector

Local clubs and activities

Support groups/parent-led support groups


For the process for finding childcare in Kirklees please approach the Family Information Service for further information, support and guidance- Kirklees Childcare search page (opens link in new window)

What the professionals say: Some children, young people and families will need some additional help for a while and if this can be provided as early as possible we can work together to stop things getting worse. An assessment through Early Support will not be routinely offered at this stage. An early help contact will be used to establish whether the child and family are eligible for further support and have any unmet needs. The service will be supporting families to get the right access to support services, maybe community activities and ensuring parents have access to a short break if required.

What we mean: A variety of arrangements and provision aimed at helping children with a disability and their families to live an ordinary life including:

  • advice, guidance and support from Early Support services
  • childcare advice and liaison
  • aids and adaptations assessment
  • advice regarding SEND process/Senco engagement
  • information regarding short
  • signposting to voluntary groups/self-help groups
  • signposting to health support services

What the professionals say: Some children and their families will require more support than can be offered within Universal or Getting Help and it may be a more in depth consideration is given to the needs of the family and closer working with partners is required. An early support assessment will be undertaken either by the universal Family Support Service or the Family Support Team within Children with a Disability Service. The early support assessment will consider the eligibility criteria, to determine whether services will be provided by the Children with disability services. It will consider each case on an individual basis, taking into account all of the family circumstances. Following the early support assessment the child and family will be informed of the outcome and if the child is eligible it will also identify the appropriate service.

What we mean: An early support assessment will be completed by a family support worker and a plan put in place to address any unmet needs. The assessment will be conducted in accordance with Chapter 3 of the 2010 guidance in respect of short break provision. Short breaks will be considered as part of the plan which can include targeted support through children’s care providers or direct Payments. The assessment will be child centred to enable children to participate fully to their own lives and have greater choice.

Short breaks can be provided by local authorities through the use of their powers under s.17(6) or s.20(4) of the Children Act 1989. Where a short break is considered to be appropriate, a short break care plan will be developed, in consultation with the child where possible and their parents.

Specialist Help/Social work assessment

What the professionals say: When children and families are at risk of breakdown, children are thought to be at risk of harm or when the needs of the child are challenging for those offering care the situation is then considered complex. At this point a single assessment is required, resulting in a Children In Need (CIN) or Child Protection (CP) plan, and regular reviews. Kirklees recognise that eligibility criteria is not relevant to its statutory duties pursuant to CA 1989 s.20, or other statutory duties for intervention. If such a need is identified, then the single assessment and CIN or CP plans will be drawn up.

What we mean: Access to specialist care providers (including weekends, daytime, and overnight). This will involve regular CIN or CP meetings, jointly attending EHC plan review meetings and statutory interventions. We will seek to jointly commission services with health and education to deliver a child-centred plan, that focuses on outcomes and enable children with a disability to have rewarding fulfilling lives

We are committed to the principle of the right service right time. Working together with families and partners at the earliest opportunity to build good foundations.

Last updated: 11/01/2022

Useful links

Children with a disability