Local Offer

Pre Birth & Something Isn't As Expected

Children’s additional needs or disability may be apparent at birth or may emerge overtime or as a result of a significant event such as brain injury.

The people involved will vary depending on where and when parents notice that something is not as expected in relation to their child.

The aim of this stage is to ensure that parents feel supported from the start. Parents should be given clear explanations about what is going to happen next and where to get further information and help. Professionals should recognise that potential vulnerability of families with a child with special educational needs or disabilities and be aware that for disability services “one size does not fit all”.

Regardless of which professional person is involved first, parents should be given information, as follows:

  • What could happen next – this should include who will make the diagnosis (if necessary), where and an indication of appropriate timescales
  • Where to get more information about the disability or special educational need in the meantime including trusted and reliable websites
  • The contact details of a professional to speak to who will be able to provide information about appropriate support
  • An up-to-date copy or booklet, plus relevant website address which provides a guide to services

 At this stage the team around the child will start to look in detail at the needs of the child/young person and the support needs for the rest of the family and start to record this information as part of a person centred assessment approach and will result in a support plan which will detail simple outcomes and support needed to reach them. If parents prefer, a separate “carers” document can be drawn up.

Any assessment and plan will draw together reports from relevant professionals eg: health, education and social services, which states:

  • What the outcomes to be achieved are for the child and the family, eg: what changes do we want services to achieve and by when. There will be a focus on getting services in a timely fashion including therapies and specialist intervention
  • What services will be provided including times, locations, frequency, by who and any waiting times
  • Which equipment and/or adaptations are required and when they will be provided
  • Up-to-date information, plus relevant website addresses which provides a Guide to Services

Families with children born with complex medical needs will need an agreed care co-ordination plan for discharge from hospital. This plan will include details of the follow-up services to be provided, including dates and times, where the service is to be delivered, by who and how often. The plan should also say how often the service will be reviewed, when the next review will be due and who will come to that review. Review meetings will take place as set out in the plan.

 At this stage the following information will be given to parents via the Key Worker:

  • The name of someone to contact, including an ‘out of hours’ contact
  • Information about direct payments and an offer to be put in contact with another family who have already tried it

Parents will also be provided with information about the Hartlepool Network (Register of children with a disability). The register is used to inform planning of services and as a way of keeping in contact with families about events, offers and other services. 

Provision Types

U - Universal services are available to all children & young people and can be accessed without an assessment.

T - Targeted services are for children & young people who may need additional support to access services, or may need groups or services that are specifically designed to meet their needs. Some targeted provision can be accessed directly with or without an assessment.

S - Specialist services are for children & young people with severe and/or complex needs who are likely to require even more support than is available either through universal or targeted services. This service will require an assessment of need.