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How to access Council education and social care services

This document is primarily aimed at professionals. It provides a summary of the pathways to Council-run education and social care services for children and young people with SEND

Please see How to access health services for information about referral pathways to NHS services.

Last reviewed: 08/07/2019

Information owner: Business Strategy, People Portfolio

Council-run services providing generic SEND support

Educational Psychology Service

Referral reason: Concerns that a child/young person has additional educational needs that are not being met. The service also gets involved in other work in schools/ settings – e.g. around training, staffing issues, coaching, absenteeism, behaviour policy, working with parents etc.

Age range: Supports children/ young people aged 0-25 years

People involved: Educational psychologists (EPs) and Assistant Educational psychologists

Offer: Advice, assessment and support is given where appropriate

How to refer: Any provider can refer with parental consent. In order for a child to be discussed in school, parents must have signed the referral form. Schools/settings will be asked to prioritise involvement against available EP time. 

Contact: Call 0114 250 6800 or email educational.psychology@sheffield.gov.uk

MAST

Referral reason: Family in need of support for any of a wide range of issues including:

  • Family relationships and communication
  • Child or adult emotional and mental health issues
  • Accessing learning, employment and training
  • Domestic Abuse & Healthy Relationships
  • Positive parenting strategies to support challenging behaviour
  • Children missing school
  • Providing a safe home environment for children.

Age range: Supports children/ young people aged 0-19 years

People involved: MAST work with the whole family, the family’s chosen network and all professionals supporting the family.

Offer: MAST works with families to recognise and build on their strengths, and find solutions that work for the family to meet their needs with support from relevant professionals and the family’s network.

Depending on the family’s needs, support can vary from a single advice session, support to access group-work or the family may be allocated an Intervention worker to support the family for longer periods using a holistic multi-agency action plan with regular contact.

How to refer: For single issues, referral is using an Early Help Part 1 form. For multiple or complex issues, referral is via FCAF, Myplan or any comprehensive assessment of the strengths and needs of the family.

Contact: Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/mast for more information or contact:

MAST North: 0114 233 1189

MAST West: 0114 250 6865

MAST East: 0114 205 3635

Inclusion and Attendance Team

Referral reason: Concern about a child who is persistently absent from school, who may be at risk of exclusion (permanent or fixed term) and/or has identified additional needs including SEND.

Age range: Supports children/ young people from 2 years to post-16

People involved: Inclusion and Attendance team members – who will involve other services as needed. E.g. educational psychologists and the 0-19 health visiting service

Offer: Support is given particularly around transition points (e.g. school readiness, primary to secondary school, and preparing for adulthood/post-16).

Support might include:

  • Whole school support/ awareness raising
  • Group work
  • Work with individual pupils/families

Issues covered include: wellbeing, sleep, behaviour, social emotional & mental health.

How to refer: Schools are able to refer to the service through Vulnerable Learner Reviews, the Primary Inclusion Panel and Secondary Inclusion Panel.

Schools are also welcome to contact the service if the above routes are not appropriate:

Contact: Email Inclusion&LearningExternal@sheffield.gov.uk

0-5 SEND Service

Referral reason: Concerns about the special educational support needs for children aged 0-5+ years old. The service supports children whose needs are at levels 3 and above on the Early Years Sheffield Support Grid.

Age range: Supports children aged 0–5 years old (until end of reception class)

People involved: Inclusion teachers, Inclusion Assistants and Portage Home Visitors

Offer: The service provides advice, support and training to educational setting staff. 

This support might include:

  • Early identification and assessment of complex needs
  • Onward referrals / joint assessments with medical professionals
  • Advice about targeted support strategies
  • Packages of support
  • Advice about monitoring and reviewing support
  • SEND training and development for staff
  • SENCo briefings
  • Reports and referrals for statutory assessments
  • Transition planning/ support

How to refer: Referrals can be made for children at levels 3-5 of the Early Years Sheffield Support Grid for children in nursery groups, and for children at levels 4 -5 of the grid for children in reception classes.

Children referred should have a learning difficulty or developmental delay as part of their profile of needs.

Referrals are made by health professionals, educational settings, Council services and parents.

(Children with behavioural difficulties need to be referred to MAST. Reception children with social communication difficulties need to be referred to the Autism team. Details for both are included in this document). 

Where agencies are unsure about a referral, we welcome a telephone call to help. Please call 0114 273 6411.

Portage

Referral reason: Referrals are made for children aged 0-2.5 years old with significant and complex special educational needs and/or disabilities, whose parents are asking for support to encourage their child’s development and to help source an appropriate educational setting for the future.

Age range: Supports children/ young people 0–2.5 years

People involved: Portage team workers and portage home visitors    

Offer: The service offers practical advice and support to parents.

It will offer an initial home visit to explore possible offers and help parents to understand their child’s additional needs. Practical support will also be offered – for example, through special toys to encourage development.

The service will also signpost to other support services as appropriate, and support families where children need joint further assessments – for example for an EHC Plan.

There is also a portage playgroup (jointly run with the NHS) for families.

How to refer: Referrals are not made directly to the Portage Service but to the 0-5 SEND Service.

Referrals are usually made by medical professionals. Others are made by agreement after a telephone discussion with the Senior Portage Visitor or 0-5 SEND Service lead.

The portage service provides intervention at key points for children they support.

Children who are displaying social communication difficulties are allocated to an Inclusion teacher.

Contact: 0114 273 6411

Early Years services in Family Centres

Referral reason: Low level need to signpost to services and encourage involvement in family centre groups to link to improved health, child development and parenting aspirations 

Age range: Supports children aged 0–5 years

People involved: Family Centre workers, including Children’s Centre Co-ordinators, Early Years Prevention workers and infant feeding peer support workers

Offer: The service will encourage and support parents and their families (children under 5) to engage in activities that may support their development and prevent escalation of need 

How to refer: Everyone is welcome to attend their local Family Centre.

Professionals – including early years providers and nurseries – are also able to refer people to the Early Years services.  A simple Early Help referral form can be completed by emailing your local Family Centre HUB:

eybeststartteam-north@sheffield.gov.uk

eybeststartteam-east@sheffield.gov.uk

eybeststartteam-west@sheffield.gov.uk

Referrals are discussed at Early Years Partnership meetings which are held monthly in each area.

Independent Travel Training

Referral reason: Referrals are made to provide travel training for young people who have a learning difficulty and/or disability.  

The referral will enable the team to work with young people, who have little or no experience of travelling independently to their school/college/ or learning establishment. Travel Training provides the necessary skills for a young person to travel safely and successfully.

Age range: Supports children / young people aged 11–19 years

People involved: Travel Assessment & Training Team

Offer: An accredited and experienced Travel Trainer will work on a one to one basis delivering a tailor-made training package, adapted to meet the young person’s specific needs.

The Travel Trainer will help develop the young person’s skills to enable them to travel to their school/college/ or learning establishment independently. This includes how to use public transport, road safety skills, personal safety, safe places, what to do in emergency situations, and much more.

Travel Training increases self-confidence and opens up further opportunities for the young person, as they progress to adulthood.

How to refer: Referrals can be made by completing a referral form which can be obtained by either contacting the team on 0114 2053542 or by email: Indetravel@sheffield.gov.uk

Young people, parents, carers, schools, colleges, other education establishments and services can refer.

Support services funded/partially funded by Sheffield City Council

SENDIASS

Referral reason: Young people, parents and carers refer themselves to SENDIASS for accurate, impartial information, advice and support 

Age range: Supports young people, parents/ carers of children and young people (aged 0-25) with any level or kind of difficulty or disability 

People involved: SENDIASS workers    

Offer: Impartial, confidential information, advice & support to parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities on matters relating to their:

•    Education
•    Health
•    Social care
•    Funding & Benefits
•    Access to services
•    Equipment & adaptations
•    Leisure

How to refer: Young people, parents and carers refer themselves to the service. Tel: 0114 273 6009, Email: ssendias@sheffield.gov.uk

Sheffield Carers Centre

Referral reason: To help any adult who is an unpaid carer. A carer is someone who provides support  – practical and/or emotional – to an adult or child with an illness, disability, frailty, mental health problems or substance misuse issues.

People involved: Carer Advisors  

Offer: Sheffield Carers Centre offers advice, information and support.

This includes:
•    Carers Advice Line
•    Drop-in Sessions
•    Specialist Advice
•    Information Library
•    Time for a Break service
•    One-to-one counselling
•    Support Packages
•    Plan for Emergencies
•    Carers Cafés
•    Newsletter
•    Carers Groups    

How to refer: People are able to refer themselves to the Sheffield Carers Centre – please use the relevant form on the Sheffield Carers Centre website. If you are a carer, please use the Register with Us page; if you are a professional wishing to refer a carer to Sheffield Carers Centre, please use the referral form.

Council-run services to help with Communication and Interaction

Autism Education Team

Referral reason: Concerns about a child’s social communication needs – covering children with and without an Autism Spectrum Condition diagnosis.    

Age range: Supports children/ young people aged 0-25 years   

People involved: Autism Education Team – the team may also involve Educational Psychology    

Offer: Advice, assessment and support is given where appropriate

How to refer: Schools can refer to this service – usually done by SENCOs. In order for a child to be seen in school, parents must have signed the referral form. Forms should be sent to: Autism education support team, 4th floor Moorfoot, Sheffield S1 4 PL

Schools and families can also call the Sheffield Autism Team Support Line and speak directly to a specialist teacher from the Autism Team. The line is open Monday to Thursday, 1pm till 4pm, and the number is 0114 273 6567.

Contact: Tel 0114 273 6412, email autism.educationteam@sheffield.gov.uk

Rowan and Mossbrook outreach

Referral reason: Concern about how a child with an Autism Spectrum Condition’s needs are being met in mainstream education  

Age range: Supports primary school aged children (5-11 years)

People involved: Educational psychologists, the autism education team and teaching support staff from Rowan and Mossbrook schools    

Offer: Extra support for a child in their mainstream school – provided by teaching support staff from Rowan and Mossbrook schools

How to refer: Schools cannot refer to this service. Instead they should contact Educational Psychology (0114 250 6800) and/or Autism Education Team for advice (autism.educationteam@sheffield.gov.uk or educational.psychology@sheffield.gov.uk)

Referrals are made by the Council’s Educational Psychology, Autism Education Team and SENDSARS – they are considered by Educational Psychology and Autism Education Team.

NB - All other types of support offered by Educational Psychology and Autism Education Team must have been tried before Rowan and Mossbrook outreach support is given.

Council-run services to help with Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Progressions Team

Referral reason: Schools can refer when they are concerned about a young person of secondary school age. In general young people will need some of their learning to be delivered outside a school environment due to their needs.

Alternative Provision can support young people to:
•    Develop their readiness to learn;
•    Improve their chances of making progress;
•    Achieve successful transition between phases of education towards adulthood and employment; and
•    Be supported to reintegrate for excluded or disengaged pupils.

Age range: Supports children / young people aged 11-16 years   

People involved: The Progression Team staff work with Sheffield Schools in matching alternative provision from our Alternative Provision Network (of 24 approved providers). The team meet learners, school staff and parents/ carers.    

Offer: Learners take part in a range of activities/ interventions depending on the alternative provider. Learners are supported to explore progression opportunities, gain experience or a qualification, and/or have a positive school reengagement plan. Where appropriate, young people are supported back into school attendance.

How to refer: Schools can refer and access alternative provision and should discuss this with families first. Schools can contact or refer to the service by
emailing ECT@sheffield.gov.uk or phoning 0114 2296133, or by completing the online referral form.

Exclusions Team

Referral reason: Concern about a child at risk of permanent exclusion or who has already been permanently excluded    

Age range: Supports children / young people or primary and secondary school age

People involved: Complex Case Manager and Exclusion and Reintegration Officer

Offer: The team coordinates the Primary and Secondary Inclusion Panels, supporting schools which are bringing cases to the panel and providing support post-panel.

The team also provides advice, guidance and signposting to schools for children at risk of exclusion. (This may include access to nurture, alternative provision and additional support from the Sheffield Inclusion Service).
    
How to refer: Schools and professionals can contact Sarah.kelly@sheffield.gov.uk / 0114 2735750, or Genine.nuttall@sheffield.gov.uk / 01142736197

Becton Hospital School

Referral reason: Child has been admitted to an inpatient ward at either Sheffield Children’s Hospital or the Becton Centre for Young People (Tier 4 CAMHs)    

Age range: Supports children/young people aged 5- 16 years

People involved: Medical Staff, CAMHs and School     

Offer: School teaches pupils until they are discharged from hospital.

How to refer: Admission decisions made by medical consultants


Becton Medical Outreach

Referral reason: Education for children where a clinician has determined the child is medically unable to attend school

People involved: Medical Staff, Becton School, and school where pupil is (and remains) on roll  

Offer: Becton Medical Outreach teach pupils until they are medically able to attend school.

How to refer: Admission decisions made by medical consultants

Council-run services to help with Sensory and Physical Needs

Service for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children

Referral reason: Concerns about a child’s hearing in the classroom    

Age range: Supports children/ young people aged 0-16 years   

People involved: SCC Service for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children     

Offer: Advisory support to educational settings on inclusion strategies, including the physical environment, use of specialist equipment, teaching strategies and differentiation. Monitoring visits or direct teaching support to child or young person.

How to refer: Referrals usually come from Hearing Services, Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Schools can also refer (e.g. if a child is new to the city) as long as they have parental consent (see referral and consent to share information letter). The Service endeavours to see new referrals within 15 working days of referral.

Contact: Anne Wilson, Peripatetic Team Leader, Anne.Wilson2@sheffield.gov.uk

Vision Support Service

Referral reason: Concerns about a child’s vision or recent diagnosis of visual impairment.   

Age range: Supports children/ young people aged 0-25 years   

People involved: SCC Vision Support Service  and ophthalmology (NHS)  

Offer: Advisory and direct teaching support to a child or young person at home and educational setting. Support may include providing assistive technology, training in specialist skills, providing modified learning resources, curriculum adaptation and intervention teaching.  

How to refer: Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s ophthalmology department usually refer to the service. Schools can also refer (e.g. if a child is new to the city) as long as they have parental consent and the child has a visual impairment diagnosis.(See referral and consent to share information letter)

Contact: Joanne Hogg, jhogg@taptonschool.co.uk, Tel: 0114 2941201

Social Care

Parenting support

Referral reason: Parents and carers would like some practical advice and support with parenting.     

People involved: The Parenting Team     

Offer: There are a range of services on offer including online parenting courses, discussion groups and parenting programmes. A selection of discussion groups also run in different languages.

Programmes include "Stepping Stones" – a programme for parents of children aged 0-12 who have a disability.  Builds parenting skills for promoting children’s development, social competence and self-control

How to refer: Contact the Parenting Team on 0114 205 7243. Parents can self-refer for parenting support. Schools can also contact the team on a parent’s behalf. More information 

Children with Disabilities Team

Referral reason: Where social care support is needed due to a child’s disability, where this is the primary need and an assessment is required to consider support provision.

Age range: Supports children/young people aged 0-16 years     

People involved: Social workers and support workers in consultation with partner agencies.    

Offer: The service offers support to children and young people aged 0-16.  Social workers undertake an assessment to inform planning and social care provision. This will be a holistic assessment that includes information from other professionals working with the family.    

How to refer: Parents/carers, members of the public and professionals can refer to the service by contacting Sheffield’s Safeguarding Hub: 0114 273 4855

Preparation for Adulthood (PAT)

Referral reason: Concerns about what a child or young adult will do when they leave education. When families need support meeting the care needs of young people aged 16 to 25.    

Age range: This service is for young people aged 16 to 25 years old who have an EHC Plan   

People involved: Social workers and care managers in the PAT team.     

Offer: Support given includes:

  • Guiding and linking to the services available for people over 16 still in education.
  • Helping plan for the future including services for people when they leave education.
  • Providing support to families who are struggling to meet the care needs of children and young adults with disabilities.
  • Completion of Care Act assessments to support transition to adult life.

How to refer: Over 18’s are able to refer themselves by calling 0114 273 4908, emailing Fieldwork-CDTBS@sheffield.gov.uk, or visiting First Contact, Howden House, 1, Union St, Sheffield S1 2SH.
Parents/carers, individuals and professionals – including schools - can also refer to the service by contacting Sheffield’s Safeguarding Hub: 0114 273 4855

SNIPS – Special Needs Inclusion Play Care Service / Early Help Team

Referral reason: Parents and carers need a break from their caring responsibilities and/or there is a barrier to children being included in mainstream activities.     

Age range: Supports children/young people aged 5-18 years   

People involved: Play care mentors (who match children to an activity and support clubs to become inclusive).
Inclusion officers (who complete early help assessments – and look at what support they can put in place to help families).
Direct payments support officer

Offer: Help is given to clubs to enable them to be inclusive.
Families are matched to an appropriate short break.
Families are helped to become an employer when they are in receipt of a direct payment to meet care needs.
The direct payments and short break services are reviewed annually to make sure they are still meeting needs.

How to refer: Parents and carers can refer themselves to the service by contacting SNIPS (Tel 0114 273 5368 or email SnipsBusinessSupport@sheffield.gov.uk).
A parent/carer can apply for a short break activity – this could be after school, at weekends or in school holidays.  
If they meet criteria, the service offers to match a child to an activity which gives the parent/carer a short break from their caring responsibilities.
Parents/carers, schools and other professionals working with the child can also request an assessment which can give a direct payment and/or be-friending – as well as a short break activity.
This should be done by contacting Sheffield’s Safeguarding Hub: 0114 273 4855
Schools – or other professionals who work with the child – can also refer directly to SNIPs if they are doing an assessment and want to make a request to the Early Help Panel (chaired by SNIPS) for short break services including activities, direct payments and befriending.  Contact 0114 273 5368 or email SnipsBusinessSupport@sheffield.gov.uk
 

Short break grants for children with disabilities  

Families with a child or young person with a disability aged 0-18 years can apply for a short break grant. More information

Sheffield Safeguarding Hub 

Referral reason: Safeguarding concerns about a child/young person     

People involved: Social workers, health staff, domestic abuse advisors and South Yorkshire Police    

Offer: You will be put through to a trained 'screening' social worker, who will take information from you and offer advice and make a decision on how the concern will be dealt with, and tell you what will happen next.

If you are a professional and your concerns are not considered to require an immediate response but meet the threshold for social care intervention you will be asked you to complete a Multi-Agency Confirmation Form (MACF) to be completed and returned to the Safeguarding HUB within 24 hours (Telephone advice given to professionals will not be recorded unless am immediate response is required)

We will update Parents/Carers and Professionals of the outcome in writing within 3 days of all completed referrals.

Members of the public can discuss their concerns in confidence and if necessary, anonymously.    

How to refer: Anyone – schools, professionals, members of the public etc can call 0114 273 4855 at any time, including parents.

Last Updated: 08/07/2019
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