Children with disabilities

Our Children with Disabilities Team supports children and young people under 18 with complex disabilities and their parents or carers to maintain a family life in their home community using a range of support services.

The team is made up of social workers, childcare support workers, and occupational therapists who work in partnership with the family to assess their needs and the impact of the child's disability. A co-ordinated Children in Need Plan is developed for the child and family with other organisations like health and education and sets out the help that will be provided for the child and family.

The team also supports young people aged 16 to 18 into early adulthood in partnership with other services like adult services, health and education.

Who is eligible for support?

Children and young people with complex or significant disabilities will be eligible to receive a service and their parents or carers and their siblings.

Children with complex disabilities are those needing care 24 hours a day because they have a physical or learning disability or even a combination of disabilities. They are likely to be receiving special education and having a lot of one to one support in the classroom or be in a nursery for disabled children if they are under four. Children who are complex usually have limited self care skills and their speech and language may not have developed or be very poor. Some children also have behaviour problems at home and in school and may have a lot of difficulty sleeping at night or need help to turn in bed or go to the toilet.

Children with significant disabilities are also likely to need a lot of help but may have some self care skills and be able to communicate. Although they may not need one to one support they will need help in the classroom. Although children may sleep at night they will need a lot of help bathing, washing and dressing or take much longer to learn these skills. Some children may have behaviour problems that cause a lot of disruption at home, in the community or at school.

This section has been produced as a guide for parents and carers and if you are in doubt whether your child meets the criteria then please contact the Contact and Referral team

Assessment of need

If your child meets the eligibility criteria for the Children With Disabilities Team, an Initial Assessment, or an Occupational Therapy Assessment will then be carried out by a Social Worker or Occupational Therapist. These assessment help to understand the needs of your child and your family and will include collection of the following information:

  • Child's needs for support
  • Parents or carers needs because they are providing high levels of care
  • Support your family and child are receiving from other family members

Social work support

Once the social worker understands your child and family needs they can offer advice and guidance, refer to other organisations, some of which may be community based and or provide services that will help share some of the caring you do . (See short breaks below)

Occupational therapy

The Community Occupational Therapy Service aims to maximise independence and to reduce the effects of disability. The occupational therapists undertake specialised assessments for children and their carers and may recommend small or large adaptations to a child's home, specialised equipment, or teach alternative techniques to help a child develop, or restore and maintain functional skills. They also carry out moving and handling assessments to highlight the need for specialised equipment and provide training and advice.

Asking for help and support

You can ask for help by contacting the children's services contact and referral team.

Parents and carers

Parents and carers may be eligible for an assessment of their own needs if your child has a social worker. The assessment will enable a social worker to better understand the level of care that as a parent you provide. There are also a range of services within Caerphilly County Borough Council that may be able to help such as short breaks or to support you to undertake training and get get into the workforce.

Short break services

Short breaks enable parents and carers to have time for themselves which can be a few hours during the day, evening or overnight if a child has complex disabilities while the child has an enjoyable and stimulating time mixing with their peers and making new friendships. We have prepared a statement to explain about some of the short break services that we have within Caerphilly County Borough Council which is available below.

Short breaks for parents and carers of children with disabilities

Services include:

  • Nursery
  • Community based play for under 4's
  • School holiday play and leisure for children 5 to 18
  • Disability sport
  • Saturday club
  • Sitting
  • Outreach

There are also a range of community based services and activities like after school clubs, youth activities and sports. Our statement also has useful information for parents and carers including support to underatke training or get back into the workforce.

If you would like information about any of the services please call our Children with Disabilities Team on 029 2084 9700 or email

Contact us