What does our children with disabilities service do?
We are a specialist service that offers support to children with disabilities aged 0 to 18 and their families.
The service comprises of a small specialist team of social workers and assistants who have relevant knowledge, experience and skills. We work closely with other services such as health, education and community organisations.
We offer a range of services such as:
- short breaks (respite) provision
- leisure and recreation
- long-term residential care
- the disability register
- transition planning
- direct payments
Other services you may find useful
Disabled Facilities Grant
A Disabled Facilities Grant can be accessed by some families – this can help promote safe access in the home.
Parent carers needs assessment
Important provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 for parent carers of disabled children and young carers came into force on 1 April 2015.
There is no new right to services for parent carers of disabled children, as there is for family carers of disabled adults under the Care Act.
What we have for parent carers of disabled children is a new assessment duty – and one that should lead to a better informed decision about the holistic package of support that disabled children and their families need.
Section 97 of the Children & Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to assess parent carers on the appearance of need or where an assessment is requested by the parent.
This is called a parent carers needs assessment.
Looked-after-children (LAC) with special educational needs and/disability (SEND)
All services and information outlined in our Local Offer are equally available to all children and young people, including those who are also looked-after-children (LAC). There is some specific support for children and young people who are looked after, please see further details in the sections below.
Central Bedfordshire Virtual School
The virtual school is an additional resource which exists to support and challenge all those involved in the education of children in care. It is involved in, or promotes nationally and locally, various initiatives to support the educational achievement of children in care. The virtual school is not a teaching tool or environment. It does not replace the school or educational provision of children in care.
All children in our care from the age of 2 and in education post-16, including university, are part of our virtual school – this includes looked after children (LAC) with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND).
Support Offered by Bedfordshire Youth Offending Teams (YOTs)
The Bedfordshire Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) are directly involved in the administration of the Youth Justice System at local level. They give support to young people who become involved in the system, and to their families, from the initial point of involvement through to supervision of young people who have been through the courts. Where reparation forms part of the solution, they will be involved in making all the necessary arrangements to see it through, and take an active part in the process to ensure the most satisfactory outcome for all concerned. In addition the YOTs work closely with schools to develop restorative justice activity, as well as undertaking specific school focused projects aimed at crime prevention. These include citizenship and crime projects and arranging prison visits with young people who are at risk of offending.
The Youth Offending service is made up of multi-agency professionals from health, education and the police to provide a tailored support and intervention to all young people.
The service can be contacted as below:
South Bedfordshire Youth Offending Team
36 Old Ford End Road
Telephone: 01234 276400
Children's homes and suitable provision
Short breaks overnight respite is provided for our most complex children with disabilities. In Central Bedfordshire, there are two children's homes that provide short break/respite care:
- Dunstable and surrounding areas - Kingfishers (PDF 573.7KB) provides overnight respite in these areas. A children's home providing short breaks for children with learning and/or physical disabilities aged 8 to 18 years
- Biggleswade and surrounding areas - Maythorn (PDF 282KB) provides overnight respite in these areas. A children's resource providing short breaks, long term care, shared care and community support for children and young people with disabilities aged 0 to 18 years
Telephone: 0300 300 8314