This page will help you understand the children and adult services available to support you.
Children services and Adult Social Care services have a duty to assess and provide support to those in ‘need’.
The support is for children, adults and families. They work in partnership with a range of services locally including health; education; housing; voluntary and independent organisations.
Section 25 of the Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to integrate education, health and social care provision where this would promote wellbeing and improve the quality of provision for disabled young people and those with SEN.
The Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to work across children’s and adult’s services so that young adults are not left without care and support as they move into adulthood.
The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:
If children and young people with SEN or disabilities are to achieve their ambitions and the best possible educational and other outcomes, including getting a job and living as independently as possible, local education, health and social care services should work together to ensure they get the right support. (1.22)
Local authorities and health bodies must have arrangements in place to plan and commission education, health and social care services jointly for children and young people with SEN or disabilities. (1.23)
What does that mean for you?
The Bexley Local Offer is the place to find information about Social Care Services and provision for children and young people with SEN or disabilities, including:
- leisure activities & short breaks
- moving from child to adult services
- living independently, and finding accommodation
- help finding work
Social care describes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support.
Some families will need practical support both inside the home and outside it.
Local authorities have a legal responsibility to help families who met the criteria for their different services.
To access local services and find out who to contact, click on this link to the Bexley Local Offer: Social Care Services | Bexley Local Offer
and, Bexley Care Hub Services: Bexley Care Hub (social care) | Bexley Local Offer
Help should be given to children and Young People who need it as soon as possible, this is known as ‘Early help’. You can be an age up to 25 years to be referred into the Local Authority for Early Help support.
Usually this would come about following discussion with school or college, though other agencies who may be supporting you.
This may occur if they think you need some extra help around behaviour or emotional wellbeing. If your difficulties are solely with behaviour in school this may not be the appropriate next step.
It may be the school or college need to consider putting place SEN Support.
Talk to your school or college first so you have the opportunity to explore all options for support.
As part of this process, you will be asked what’s working well, what isn’t and what might need to change. Your views, wishes and feelings are put at the centre of the process.
The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:
Where a child or young person has been assessed as having social care needs in relation to their SEN or disabilities social care teams:
must secure social care provision under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (CSDPA) 1970 which has been assessed as being necessary to support a child or young person’s SEN and which is specified in their EHC plan (3.49)
Therefore, local authorities have a duty to assess ‘children in need’ for any services they may need.
A child in need is defined within the Act as:
- a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development;
- a child whose health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services, or;
- a child who is disabled (the Children Act considers a child disabled if the child is blind, deaf, non-verbal, suffering from a mental disorder of any kind, substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed)
This means that if you are disabled, the local authority must carry out an assessment of care needs, though there is no prescribed process they must follow.
There may not therefore be a formal assessment, and needs could be identified as part of the work the Early Help service provides.
For more information on local policy and practice please click on the link to the Bexley Local Offer
Section 58 of The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to carry out an assessment of a child’s needs where this would be of ‘significant benefit’ to the child, and if it is likely they will have care and support needs when they turn 18.
The local authority has to provide support to enable you to plan ahead as your child approaches their 18th Birthday, so there are no gaps in services.
You, or your parent carer, may request an assessment at any time ahead of your 18th Birthday. However, the local authority can be flexible with the timing of the assessment, and they decide whether and when there is ‘significant benefit’ to assessing needs.
If you have an EHC plan, it is expected that preparation for adulthood begins from year 9 as part of the Annual Review. For more information on your EHCP, please click here: Bexley IASS: The EHCP.
The Local Authority have a legal duty within section 47 of the Children Act 1989 to investigate if they suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
Anyone can make a referral to Children’s Services, including a parent carer, wider family member, friend, doctor, teacher or health visitor if they are concerned about a child or young person.
Following a referral the Local Authority will then decide whether there should be any action taken to safeguard your welfare.
If someone has raised concerns by contacting social care, you may find it useful to read through the guidance from Child Law Advice, which explains what happens and how to prepare for questions you and your parent carer will be asked.
The Care Act 2014 provides the statutory framework for adult safeguarding and for Safeguarding Adults Boards. Chapter 14 of the Care Act Statutory Guidance covers safeguarding.
For information on Bexley services please click on this link: Safeguarding Adults – what to do if you are worried about an adult | Bexley Local Offer
If you have concerns please don’t stay silent: Ring the point of contact: 0203 045 5159
If you have any further questions or need advice or information regarding social care related to you SEND needs, please contact:
Bexley SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
London Borough of Bexley
2 Watling Street
t. 020 3045 5976
e. [email protected]
If you would like a named person to speak to, please ask for Kathie Canavan.
If you would prefer to fill in our self referral form, we will come back to you within 3 working days unless the matter relates to a safeguarding issue: Bexley IASS Self Referral