Who to talk to and what social care support is available for young people in the SEND community.
Most children and young people with special needs and/or disabilities will use the services that are there for everyone in the community, for example leisure centres, doctors, etc. These are known as Universal Services.
A small number of children and young people, whose circumstances are complex and who may not be able to live at home without special support, will require assessment by social care teams. Where children and young people are assessed as needing social care services, families may choose to have a direct payment to arrange their own support.
Families may be referred by a professional, or refer themselves through the integrated children's services telephone service 0300 456 0108 which includes all referrals for SEND.
They will be asked to provide basic information on this call, including:
- name and address
- the people who are living in the house
- the nature of the child or young person's needs
- any diagnosis the child has
- other support services they are receiving
- whether the child has a EHCP or ESA
- support networks available to the child
Further information about Early Support Assessment.
If families are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Short Breaks payment, we will ask how this is being used to support the child, as well as what use is being made of community or targeted services. If it is determined that a child has an outstanding need that cannot be met by universal or targeted services, or by what other members of the family or community are able to do to provide support, then a qualified social worker will be assigned to carry out a Single assessment. Ideally this will take place within 5 working days.
The social worker will visit the child at home and talk to them about their life. This is to help us build a fuller picture of the child's needs and how they are being managed. The social worker will then talk to any other professionals already involved in supporting the child, so we can co-ordinate any support with them.
After the initial assessment, a decision is made about whether a child meets our criteria:
- a child or young person and their family whose main need for services arises out of the young person's disabilities or intrinsic condition
- these conditions have a substantial or critical impact on the quality of the child or young person's life and/or their family
- their needs cannot be met by universal or targeted services alone
A family may be directed to more appropriate services or, if necessary, they will be assigned a social worker. The social worker will work with them to develop a plan on how to meet the child or young person's needs. This is called a Child in Need Plan. If a child has a EHCP, this information will be used to inform the Child in Need Plan. How these two plans work together will depend on individual circumstances and how a child's needs are prioritised. If a child has a SEND Lead Worker, their social worker will work closely with them to support the child. The social worker will also capture a carer's needs alongside the child's assessment.
If the social worker decides the child or young person needs a service provided by Wiltshire Council, they will make a referral to the Family Support Panel. This panel meets fortnightly and considers all recommendations for disabled children across the county. A direct payment could be offered at this stage. The social worker will set up the support agreed and will make sure that the family remain informed.
Key services and further information
If you have an EHCP or a My Support Plan you will be able to request a Care Act Assessment, your allocated worker will be able to make a referral through the transitions meeting to request this. Alternatively, you can phone Advice and Contact on 0300 4560111 and make the request yourself
If you have received support from Wiltshire Council via the Children and Young People's Disability Team (known as CYPDT) this may continue until you are 18 years old.
At age 18, if you are not eligible for support from adult social care, you will be supported to find alternative services. You will then close to children's social care without a transfer to adult social care.
In the future, if you feel that you do need support from adult social care you can make a referral through the Advice and Contact service on 0300 4560111 and request a Care Act Assessment.
For more information check back on the previous years sections for helpful link reminders or visit:
Social worker responsibilities include safeguarding, looked after children and those with complex needs where a risk to wellbeing exists. When working with young people with SEND, a social worker's role is primarily to make sure that young person can remain with their families with minimum intervention. It also involves overseeing the support they receive and working with them to build independence and resilience.
Where our family support panel decide to provide a Wiltshire Council service, a social worker will remain involved. They will review the package of support every 6 months to make sure it is meeting the young person's needs and achieving the outcomes the family are looking for.
When a service is no longer needed, the social worker's involvement will end. At this point our team will make sure a family has access to the universal and targeted sources of support that they need.
Will social workers use EHCPs?
Social workers need to work across lots of areas of need and co-ordinate their support with multiple agencies. This means they have specific forms of assessment that need to be followed. They will still pay close attention to the kind of information in an EHCP. At the moment social workers will be most likely to use a EHCP to support a young person during transition.
Individuals 15 and over can be referred to the Enablement Teams.
IES provide time limited support of up to 6 weeks. OES provide time limited support of up to 12 weeks. This is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The allocated worker must remain involved throughout our involvement.
The teams operate from 9am to 5pm but are flexible in its approach to meet the requirements of the people we are supporting.
To find out more visit:
The Hearing and Vision team provide a range of services to people who are blind, have limited or impaired sight, are deaf or have an acquired hearing loss. They also help people who are deafblind, which is also known as dual sensory impairment (a person who has a significant combination of hearing and sight loss). If you are experiencing problems with day-to-day living such as using a telephone, preparing meals or being active in the community, the Hearing and Vision team can help.
The Hearing and Vision Team work closely with Children Services. Any person who is transitioning over to adult services with a hearing loss or vision impairment is entitled to an assessment if ongoing needs. Support is then given to help achieve those needs and case closed when completed. Once in the Adult system new referrals can be raised should needs change at any point in the future.
Further information can be found on the adult care website, visit:
Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else. It lets you take time out to look after yourself and helps stop you becoming exhausted and run down.
Day opportunities are for attendees to grow in confidence and live their best life. They work with people to try new activities to learn new skills and to maintain the old ones. Support workers use specialist techniques and effective communication to empower people to achieve outcomes they wish to complete. They also work alongside other professionals and communities to ensure people enjoy their time and get the best from the service. The environments support people to maintain independence, personal development and inclusion in local community life.
If you already have a social worker they should assess and discuss with you the appropriate support. If you feel you need support and would like have your needs assessed you can find referral information by visiting: Day opportunities and respite.
You can visit the following page for further information on Wiltshires day opportunities and respite services:
The Shared Lives Service helps people over the age of 18 to live as part of a family, within the carers home, where they receive the support or care that they need. Transitions are supported from the age of 16.
The service places adults who have mental health needs or learning disabilities, physical impairments, or are elderly, or those who, for a variety of reasons, cannot manage to live without support. Shared Lives carers provide support with daily tasks, from personal care and accessing health services, to making decisions and learning new skills.
To find out more information about Shared Lives and about assessment and access to this service visit:
To see what people involved in Shared Lives have been up to visit the Shared Lives Facebook page.
The Building Bridges programme is being relaunched with funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund via Wiltshire Council and the new programmes will run through to April 2025
The programme offers a holistic service that provides personalised support to people with significant barriers & challenges to help them build their independence and move towards education & employment outcomes.
A personalised needs analysis, circles of support map and holistic support action plan will be developed with each participant. They will then be offered a range of one-to-one and group activities based on their individual needs as they progress through support.
Building Bridges are more than happy to integrate existing support that participants have in place into their plans with Building Bridges if participants would like them to.
In addition, Building Bridges will also offer:
- access to self-confidence building courses
- volunteering and work experience activities
- debt and benefit advice
- travel training
- one to one counselling, anxiety, and mental health support
- support in gaining skills and qualifications
Participants will be supported to develop their CVs, job search skills and interview skills and have access to support for up to three months to help them sustain their education and employment outcomes.
Who can Building Bridges support?
The programme can support participants who are aged 16+, but those aged under 18 need to be NEET (not in education, employment & training) or at risk of becoming so.
Participants need to have the legal right to work in the UK and we can support those who are:
• economically Inactive
• unemployed but not receiving support from DWP employability programmes
• employed but facing barriers & challenges to sustain employment
Building Bridges cannot support people who are in prison or remanded in custody, but we can support those who are remanded on bail and ex-offenders.
Building Bridges cannot replace statutory provision (Local Authority, DWP Job Centre, etc.) but we can work alongside other support provision if there is additionality.
People can refer themselves to the programme or make a referral on behalf of someone else they are supporting with their permission.
Referrals can now be made via the Building Bridges website or for further details please contact the team by visiting Building Bridges: Get in touch.
This service supports children and young people with a disability/multiple disabilities. They provide assessment for specialist services and overnight short breaks.
To contact the team use the 'Integrated Front Door' phone number 0300 456 0108 or email email@example.com.
For more information visit:
The Learning Disability and Autism Service (LDAS) is an adult social care service.
They work with adults (aged 18 and over) who have a diagnosed learning disability and/or an Autistic Spectrum Condition who have social care needs.
Their work includes: Care Act Assessments, Information, Advice, Signposting and Support Planning.
For more information visit their page: Learning Disability and Autism Service
The Moving On Service goes live on the 1st of August 2023. It will start by working with young people from Wiltshire Council internal social care teams and will grow to accept young people from the long term adult social care teams, from early 2024. The team will start small but will grow over time to cope with demand. Currently new referrals will continue to follow the current processes.
The service will continue to support young people in fulfilling their pathways to adulthood. The aim of the Moving On Service is to better prepare young adults and their families for adult services and will work closely with other professionals to ensure a smooth journey from childhood to adulthood.
If you are a professional, young person or parent/carer who has been referred to the service and you need to get in touch please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know it's a big step when you move out of care and start living on your own or with friends.
We want to support you as you move on to the next stage of your life. So, we asked local care leavers what kind of support would be really useful, and they came back with some great ideas and from this we've created our Care Leaver Promise.
To get the support set out in this promise, you must have been in care for a period of at least 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after age 14 and included some time after your 16th birthday. If you are not sure whether you qualify for support, then ask your Personal Advisor (PA) or social worker and they will be able to tell you. Your PA can provide you with a range of practical support and they will talk with you about the information in this Promise
To find out more visit:
For young people where day opportunities are not appropriate, or are not a preferred choice, a direct payment can be requested instead. A direct payment is a way of paying for a personal budget. A personal budget is the amount that their support plan comes to. This option is available for young people with a disability who have an assessed need. How this is used is up to the young person and their families but can be used for private day opportunities or a PA.
Some young people and their families do not wish to receive a direct payment. In these circumstances a direct service may be something families wish to explore further. A direct service is where the council pays an agency directly to provide support in line with assessed need. A completed support plan is sent to all accredited providers within Wiltshire and they will tender for agreement to provide the support.
A personal budget is the money Wiltshire Council allocates to an individual to meet their assessed support needs.
An outcome based assessment will be carried out to establish an approximate figure for how much the council would need to spend to meet an individual's needs.
A personal social care budget is the money that can be made available if a child or young person is assessed as needing additional support at home or in their community. This assessment is carried out by a social care team.
The Community Connecting team helps you find out more about services and facilities within your local community.
The Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST) assists young people in finding and sustaining varying levels of paid employment with local employers.
Wiltshire Youth Justice Service works with children and young people, their families, victims and the wider community to prevent and reduce offending. The service is made up of multi-disciplined professionals who work together to provide support for young people involved in, or at risk of contact with the criminal justice system. Wiltshire YJS includes social workers, youth justice officers, young people's support workers, a speech and language therapist, specialist school nurse, police, parenting worker, substance misuse worker and education workers. We work closely with other services such as education to support holistic planning with a child first, offender second approach.
For more information visit:
Most of the young people our team work with have long-term needs that are identified at an early age. These young people are likely to require support for the rest of their lives. The Children and Young Peoples Disabilities Team (CYPDT) social workers continue to work with young people who have been eligible for services as children, until they have achieved stability in their lives.
At this point, individuals will be transferred to our adult Learning disabilities and Autism services( LDAS). They may also be transferred to Adult Care. We expect this to happen when individuals are aged between 18 and 25. This is done on a case by case basis, depending on the circumstance of the individual. During this time, we communicate closely with other health and care professionals, as well as individuals and their families, to keep them informed of relevant developments and processes.
Social workers and SEND lead workers will continue to work with young people and families in a person-centred way using the EHCP. Parents and young people will contribute to and have a copy of the EHCP.
More information about Adult Social Care in Wiltshire.
Our Early Support Hub aims to build effective support within our communities for children and families where there is not a safeguarding risk to ensure that children and families receive the right support at the right time for them. We have strong multi agency partnerships with Police, health, education, domestic abuse services, substance misuse services and child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) who are co-located within the Front Door services. The ESH also works with several virtual partners including probation, army welfare service and adult mental health.
Our Early Support Hub also has lead roles for young people, midwifery, early years, domestic abuse and education liaison who sit within the early support hub who can offer advice and guidance to professionals and families.
Access to the service and more information can be found by visiting:
If a family we are working with moves out of Wiltshire, we can refer them directly to their new authority and share the results of the assessment and plan developed in Wiltshire.
When a family moves into Wiltshire, we will generally request information from their previous authority and this will be used to inform our own assessment, once the family has arrived in Wiltshire. If we have enough notice, our team are able to plan for their support before they arrive.
For more information on moving in, out and admissions visit:
If you think a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, or is injured, contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub - MASH on 0300 456 0108. If there is immediate danger, phone the police or emergency services on 999. You can also contact the Children and Young People with Disabilities Team on 01225 713090 for specialist advice on services.