Here are some of the key organisations and professionals who provide social care services for children with disabilities or special needs and their families.
Children’s Centres: City-wide centres where parents and children can get services and support, advice and information.
Community Family Worker: Works in the home alongside the parents, offering practical and emotional support
Duty Officer: A social worker on the ‘duty desk’ taking new referrals and dealing with emergencies.
Early Years Visitor: Work alongside health visitors as part of the Sure Start team
Family Link Workers: Also known as Linx workers or Parent Support Advisors, they provide support to families and are a link between home and school
Health Visitor: Visit children in their homes from birth until they go to school, checking their health and development
Keyworker: Acts as a main point of contact for everyone involved in the care of your child and enables this care to be coordinated
Occupational Therapist (OT): Carry out specialised assessments for families who need equipment and adaptations to the home (there is another kind of OT, working within the Children’s Disability Service, who help children develop everyday skills, such as feeding themselves, getting dressed and playing.)
Outreach workers: Provide programmes of activities for children, either in their own home or by taking them out. Outreach workers are part of the Children’s Disability Team
Social workers: Offer ongoing emotional advice and practical support to families in need. Responsible for needs assessments. Some SWs have special expertise in services for children with disabilities