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Kirklees Children with a Disability Service (CWD)

The Kirklees Children with a Disability Service (CWD) is a specialist children’s social care service with a focus on providing advice, support and services to disabled children and their families. 

CWD provide support to families living in the Kirklees area who have needs that they are unable to meet as a family or have concerns about a child or young person who has learning, physical or complex health needs.

This support can include respite for families, carer support and help for a young person with disabilities to access sports and leisure facilities locally.

The Children with a Disability Service is made up of an Early Support and Inclusion Team and a Social Work Team.  The teams can provide information, guidance and signposting to other services and/or carry out an assessment of need in order to ensure that a family gets the right support or service at the right time.

Who is the service for?

The Children with a Disability Service consider the needs of disabled children and young people from birth up to the age of 18 years old.  These may include:

  • 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
  • A sensory impairment, a learning disability, or an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) which impacts on day to day life.
  • Complex health needs.

For further details please refer to the Children with a Disability Service Eligibility Criteria which can be found on the Kirklees Children with Disability service page (opens in new window)

How to contact the Children with a Disability Service

CWD are contacted via Children’s Service’s Duty and Advice Team on 01484 456848 in the first instance.

You will be required to consent to sharing of information.

The Children’s Service Duty and Advice Team ask several questions to ensure that the Children with a Disability Service is the right team to refer you through to.

 The CWD team will:

  • Listen, offer a good conversation and work in partnership with you to help identify solutions.
  • Help to co-ordinate multiple services if required.
  • Consider completing a Single or Early Support Assessment

The assessment process:

  • Requires consent
  • Is an information gathering process
  • Looks at the full range of your child’s needs
  • Will involve your child, you as carer and any other significant people.
  • Includes information from professionals involved with your child for example, education, health or housing.

The assessment will explore the impact of disability on family life and consider:

  • The growing needs of your child, including education health and social needs
  • Routines and care needs
  • Their likes and dislikes
  • Any areas of difficulty for example behaviour, sleep or mental health
  • Their individual communication needs
  • The current situation and background history
  • Their opportunities to take part in their community
  • Your well-being as the parent/carer
  • The well-being of the whole family.

In children’s services, the assessment of the carer is not a stand-alone document.  The needs of a carer are included in both the Single and the Early Support Assessment.

There are 2 types of assessment; Early Support Assessment and Single Assessment.

An Early Support Assessment would be undertaken by a Family Support Worker from the Early Support & Inclusion Team and would involve:

  • At least one visit to the family home
  • Gathering information from all involved professionals
  • Listening to your child’s wishes and feelings
  • A visit to your child in another setting e.g. school

Once unmet needs are identified, outcomes to work towards will be agreed and included in a Short Break Plan. This plan will be reviewed or reassessed annually unless there is a significant change of circumstances and whenever possible this will coincide with the EHC review in school/College.

A Single Assessment would be undertaken by a Social Worker where a situation is complex and more in-depth assessment is required alongside a plan of support (Child in Need Plan). 

A Single assessment is

  • An in-depth assessment
      • Carried out over a maximum of 45 working days.

During this time a family may be supported by a multi-agency plan called a Child in Need (CIN) Plan (if the assessment takes longer than 15 working days).

A Single Assessment and social care intervention would also be required where concerns about a child highlight that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and action is required to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare (Section 47 of the Children Act 1989).

The decision about the level of assessment that is required is based on the initial request or referral information.

The Single Assessment will address the following questions:

    • What are the needs of the child/young person? Are there any unmet needs that require support?
    • What is the child/young person wishes and feelings? What is life like for them?
    • What is the impact of the child/young person’s disability on their everyday life?
    • What other professionals are involved? What support is already in place?
    • Are the parents able to respond appropriately to the child's identified needs?
    • Do the parents have the capacity to respond to the child's needs?
    • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the family
    • Evaluate the risks to the child or children (if there are risks)
    • Who is in the family support network? Who else can or does support the family?
    • Are there any other children in the household or elsewhere who should be subject to a Single Assessment?
    • Determine the level of intervention required both in the immediate and longer term.

All relevant information (including information about the history and functioning of the family both currently and in the past and adult problems such as domestic violence and abuse, substance misuse, mental illness and criminal behaviour/convictions) should be considered.

A Genogram (a graphical version of a family tree) will be completed to help social workers gain a good understanding of the family. The family will be provided with an assessment plan that will detail the assessment process.  

The CWD Service is made up of 2 teams.

Early Support and Inclusion Team

Early Support is a way of working which aims to identify problems or needs as soon as they emerge and respond as quickly as possible to avoid problems increasing. Early Support can be provided at any stage in a child or young person’s life.

The ES&I Team aim to work with families by:

  • Offering information, advice and signposting to local community and targeted services
  • Undertaking an Early Support Assessment where needed.

The family support workers for CWD Early Support work specifically with families who have concerns or identified needs associated with a child’s disability.

Inclusion Officers

The Inclusion Officers work closely with the Family Support Workers and Social Workers in the Children with a Disability Service and a range of other practitioners, including other council services and community leisure and activity providers, to ensure that services take consideration of disabled children and young people and are welcoming of and confident when supporting children.

All children and young people must be given the opportunity to achieve their aspirations and reach their full potential by having a range of opportunities open to them.

The Inclusion teamwork with parents, carers and children to understand their views and ensure the views shape and influence services.

Social Work Team

A social worker will be required to work with a family when a situation is complex. If a child’s needs are challenging for those offering care or the child is considered to be at risk of harm, a Single Assessment would be required to understand the situation, consider the needs and wishes of the child and family and agree any services that are required.

If children or young people are allocated a social worker then they will be supported on a Child in Need plan, Child Protection Plan (if the child is at risk of significant harm) or if the child is looked after by the Local Authority.

Should a child or young person be subject to a plan and receiving support from the Local Authority then this plan will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the package of support is meeting the child/young person’s needs. The frequency of these reviews will depend on the type of plan in place.

The Children with a Disability Service have access to information about a range of short breaks opportunities available in Kirklees, some of which require signposting or an assessment from the Children with a Disability Service to be able to attend them.

Disabled children are legally defined as Child in Need under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

It is the general duty of every Local Authority to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need in their area and to provide a range of services appropriate to those children’s needs, to promote the upbringing of children in need by their families.

If a package of support is required to support the child and family then a request will be made by the allocated worker to Kirklees Resource Decision Making Group (DMG) where a multi-agency decision will be made.

Last updated: 02/10/2020

Useful links

Children With Disability Service

Children With Disability Service