Disabled children statutory social work team

Welcome to the disabled children team page. Find out what we do, contact details, useful links and information on social work services for all disabled children, including those who are deaf or have dual sensory loss needs.

We are Northumberland disabled children team. If your child has a moderate to severe learning and/or physical disability we will do our best to provide support, or to put you in touch with those who can.

Where appropriate, we aim to:
  • promote the care of children within their own families and communities by providing an assessed package of support
  • assess support needs via one of two assessments; an early help assessment (EHA) or a children and family assessment (if criteria is met for accessing statutory social work support)
  • minimise the impact of the disability by limiting social barriers that exclude disabled young people from universal provision and addressing the ‘every child matters’ outcomes
  • assist children and young people at times of transition, including transfers to an adult services care manager
Click on the links below to find out more about this service.
Where appropriate we:
  • complete a statutory ‘children and families assessment,’ following a referral
  • co-ordinate care plans
  • organise services, including referrals to other services
  • liaise with multi-agency professionals who may be involved with your family
  • regularly review our plans and services with young people and their carers, at least every six months
  • identify young people who may require assistance to access further education, supported employment or particular care services post 18
If your young child is to be 'looked after' overnight, via short-break care or full-time accommodation, the council has additional responsibilities to promote your child's welfare and protection.
Examples of services which might be provided following an assessment for a package of individual support:
  • after-school clubs
  • specialist holiday activity schemes
  • daycare or sponsored childminding
  • sitting services and/or direct care of the child, if unable to be met through standard services
  • enabler support, providing periods of respite for parents/carers
  • enabling the young person to access local resources and break down social isolation
  • short-break or full-time care where necessary (referrals are sometimes made to specialist residential education resources with the support of funding from family and health services)
  • daily living aids
  • support with adaptations through paediatric occupational therapists, where deemed necessary via a referral from us if the department criteria is met
  • specialist social workers and aids for deaf children
  • specialist social worker for children with dual sensory needs
  • specialist visual impairment assessment, with recommendations for equipment and/or mobility training
  • referrals to specialist services, eg the pre-school portage service, benefits advice, etc.
An assessment will look at the needs of the child and the needs of your family.

The information gathered helps us to understand how best to help you and find the most appropriate people to help.

There are three types of assessment:
  • early help assessment (EHA)
  • children and family assessment
  • carers assessment
The children and family assessment will include an assessment of the carer’s needs. However, carers can request a separate assessment if they feel this would be more beneficial.
In year nine, we decide whether young people with statements of special educational needs or education, health and care plans (EHCP), are likely to require social care support services as an adult. This usually happens when a transition social worker from our team attends the child’s year nine school review. 

If it appears likely they’ll require adult social care support, their name is put on our transition database. This means:
  • their progress is monitored by us until they are 18
  • information and advice can be offered to the young person and their family
  • information about their likely future needs can be passed to adult services 
This happens whether or not young people are already receiving a service from our disabled children team.
We’re required by law to maintain a register of disabled children living in Northumberland to help to plan and monitor our services. We call this register Infolink. Registration on the database is voluntary and you are entitled to see what has been recorded about your child.

To register your child on Infolink, please contact:

Kirstine Gagie
Tel: 01670 536400
Email: DCTINFOLINK@northumberland.gov.uk
Families who’re registered on Infolink are eligible for the My Max Card scheme. This entitles you to a Max Card, which gives free or discounted entry into many museums, galleries and heritage attractions across the country.

How do I get one?
You need to be registered on the Infolink register and then call us on: 01670 536400. 

The card is valid for children and young people up to the age of 18.

Please complete the electronic form here.
Tel: (01670) 536400

Referrals to:

Disabled Children Team
Eddie Ferguson House
Ridley Street
NE24 3RG
If you need support at home, daycare or short breaks and this has been agreed following an assessment of need, you can arrange these yourself, rather than via the council, depending on your preference.

Under our direct payments scheme, the county council will pay you the cost of the service, and you then make your own arrangements. There are some exceptions to this, which are described in the documents below. For further information, contact:

Louise Duff
County Hall
NE61 2EF
01670 629090

Useful Information for Home and Community Care for Children with Disabilities Providers

Find out more about how you can become a provider that can support delivery of care plans in the home and community.