Early Support could help you if you have a child aged 0-5 years with a disability.
Early Support aims to support families by identifying a named keyworker who can help by providing information, signposting to other services and by co-ordinating the other professionals who you are involved with you.
“ My son doesn’t receive a co-ordinated package of therapies. Many ‘experts’ see him and deal with their part of him and then send him back to me for reassembly”
Where possible a family should nominate their own keyworker. The keyworker will maintain regular contact with the family and also be a point of contact for other professionals.
The keyworker is someone who can provide practical and emotional support for the family, such as providing relevant information, helping to complete Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or other forms, attending appointments or referring to other agencies.
Resources are available for families and professionals such as:-
A Family File (a parent held record)
A Family Pack (blue box) containing useful information about professionals the family may meet, benefits advice, statutory assessment, childcare etc
There is a range of Early Support materials for families.
These include Parents Information Booklets Eg, Professionals you may meet, Financial Help, Help with Childcare
Information Booklets on specific conditions Eg. Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorders
All of these are available for free from the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF).
Any professional can introduce these resources to families and provide help to use them.
The keyworker will organise regular Family Service Plan Meetings to plan goals for the child and to ensure that both families and professionals are well informed. Families should be made to feel part of the meeting and be involved in developing targets for their child.
The family are provided with a written Family Service Plan which identifies the targets which were set during the multi-agency review, and the persons responsible for them.
Your keyworker will arrange regular Family Service Plan meetings which will give opportunities for professionals to share information with you and with each other. You will be involved in setting targets for your child so that a Family Service Plan can be developed. This plan will identify goals for the forthcoming months and who is responsible for undertaking them. The plan should recognise the needs of the whole family.
Early Support resources/booklets are available from the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) or SIGN (Sheffield Information Giving Network) Tel. 0114 2669476
Training is also avalaible to learn more about the support for families with young disabled children.
To find out more how Early Support can help you contact the Early Support Team.