Children with disabilities

Looking after children with disabilities is rewarding, but it can also be stressful. Children’s services have a specialist Children with Disabilities Team which helps families and other carers. The team's main work is with children who have severe learning and/or physical disabilities, children within the autistic spectrum. The team also works with children with sensory needs.

We are committed to the rights of these children to fulfil their personal potentials, ambitions and their roles in society. Disabled children are supported by both mainstream and specialist services. All services are expected to be inclusive.

The council has signed up to the Every Disabled Child Charter and has produced a Directory of Services for Disabled and Young People for carers, parents and professionals to help 'navigate the system'. It also contains information about all of the care pathways that families might be engaged with.

How we can help

The team can arrange practical support, personal care in the home, short breaks, counselling and residential services and can also put carers in touch with other specialist organisations. The team can also provide information in respect of specialist equipment for deaf children.

Getting an assessment

Parents can self-refer by contacting the screening social worker who will consider an assessment may be required. This establishes what the needs of the family are and how they can be met. This assessment takes into account three areas: the child's development needs, family and environment factors and parenting capacity. 
 
Following an assessment, a care plan is identified with the family.

Support for newly diagnosed children and their families

The social worker attached to the Borough's Child Development Team also works with children and families who have been newly diagnosed with a disability. This team includes health professionals as well as the social worker. 

Following an assessment the multi-disciplinary team meet to look at what kind of support can be offered. This might include:

  • health services such as speech therapy or physiotherapy
  • counselling
  • help with educational provision
  • help with welfare benefits.

Along with the family we regularly review all services that are provided.

Short breaks

Short breaks enable and support children and young people with a disability to live ordinary family lives, to have fun, try new activities, gain independence and make friends. They provide parents and carers with a short break from their caring responsibilities.

Families with children and young people with disabilities can access a short break by completing a self-referral, or by having a professional assessment.

Specialist short breaks are available for children and you people aged 5 or over and who live in Tower Hamlets with either 

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder(ASD) and severe learning difficulties; or
  • Complex health needs including those with physical and/or learning disabilities, those who require palliative care (continuing care) and those with associated sensory impairments. Complex health needs includes children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex and severe medical needs who may also have an additional physical and/or sensory impairment.

To read more about short breaks in Tower Hamlets, read our statement of short breaks services.

 

Download our Short Breaks Self Referral Form,
complete it and send it to:

The Short Breaks Co-ordinator
4th Floor, Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG 

Or email it back to: short.breaks@towerhamlets.gov.uk

If families wish to apply for overnight provision or more than one short break service for their children, they can contact the Children with Disabilities Team on 020 7364 2724 and ask for an assessment. 

For help and more information on short breaks, you can contact the Short Breaks Co-ordinator on 020 7364 1450.

Improving short breaks

We’ve spoken to families through our parent’s forum, PACSEN, to young people using our services, and surveyed many families currently accessing a short break. This is to find out what families think of our services and to find ways to improve our services. Using this feedback, we’re developing our services so that we can continue to increase the number of families accessing a short break, and to continue to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people.

If you have some feedback you would like to share with us on your experience of short breaks, please email us at short.breaks@towerhamlets.gov.uk or write to us at:

Children's commissioning Team
4th Floor, Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG

 

How to contact us

A screening worker is available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The Child Development Team can also be contacted via this worker.

Children with Disabilities Team
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 2724
Fax: 020 7364 2731
Email: CWD.screening@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Further advice

For practical advice on daily living equipment for disabled children, please visit the 'Living Made Easy for Children' website.