At sometimes a family may feel they need some additional support in caring for their child. Social Care teams can offer support to those with identified needs.
How do I get social care support?
Social care is based on maximising everyone's independence, so a request or referral from social care may result in information, advice and guidance being given. Sometimes it might be decided that more information about a family is needed. In children's social care further information is gathered through a Child In Need Assessment, using the Single Assessment Framework (SAF). This assessment is designed to work with a family to have a shared understanding of the families’ strengths and what support they need to thrive.
What are the social work teams in Bristol?
If you have a child who is disabled, or has special educational needs (SEND), you can expect to receive advice and guidance on services to support your child and your family. This may include short breaks, inclusive play or receiving a direct payment.
If your child and family's needs are complex you may be allocated a social worker to support you.
The Disabled Children Service provides a range of assessments and services for disabled children in Bristol, who have needs arising from their impairment which cannot be met by services available to all children.
If a young person is over 18 they may be supported by the Preparing for Adulthood Team.
What kind of support can social work teams offer?
If it is agreed that a child and their family would benefit from the support of a social care team a practitioner will meet with the child, and any carers to agree how the eligible needs will be met and to draw up a support plan setting out goals with the young person to meet need and to move to greater independence.
Child in Need Assessment
A Child in Need assessment is carried out by a social worker.
Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 says ‘a child in need is a child who is disabled or whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health and development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired without the provision of services’.
The outcome of the assessment and plan may range from a simple referral to another agency or a more detailed, long-term written action plan.
Your child may be eligible for an assessment if:
- they have a medical diagnosis of a severe physical impairment, learning impairment or autism
- they have a home address in Bristol city
- their needs can’t be met by standard children’s services
What is the transition from children's services to adult services?
If your child/family is receiving support through a social care practitioner in the Disabled Children's Team you do not need to make a referral to the Preparing for Adulthood Team as the practitioner working with you will do this (but you might want to check).
If you are receiving a service through a different Social Care team, they will discuss with you and your young person whether social care support will continue to be needed and make a referral to Care Direct if neccessary.
This page has information for residents in the City of Bristol. Find out about what other Local Authorities do.
Last Update 1 December 2016 by Findability Team.
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