The MultiAgency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) screens all referrals to Children's Social Care and makes the decision as to the most appropriate team to assess the needs of the child/young person. Sometimes the needs of the child, young person and parent/carer can be met through other agencies or services offered by Northamptonshire Children's Trust. This eligibity criteria identifies those children and young people that should be referred to the Disabled Children's Team.
When the MASH receive a referral, in liaison with the Diasbled Children's Team, they decide if the child or young person meets the eligibility criteria for an assessment of need which is completed under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Carers needs are considered within this assessment and the local authority commission Northamptonshire Carers to assess and provide additional support to carers.
Northamptonshire Children's Trust applies the Equality Act 2010 definition of a disability.
A Child has a disability if:
- they have a physical or mental impairment;
- the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities
These words have the following meanings:
- substantial (that is, more than minor or trivial); and
- adverse; and long term (that is, it has lasted or is likely to last for at least a year or for the rest of the life of the person affected).
- Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments
A child with disability will be defined as having: "A permanent severe/substantial learning and/or physical disability and/or profound sensory impairment"
- The child may be vulnerable because they have on-going health needs arising from their disability which require supervision
- The child may be vulnerable in ordinary day-to-day situations without supervision because of his/her disability
- The child may have a physical dependency in terms of his/her day-to-day care needs, which substantially impact upon the family and other carers
- The child may have emotional or behavioural difficulties airing out of his/her disability
Eligibility criteria for the Specialist Disabled Children's Team:
In order for a child or young person to be considered for support from the specialist Disabled Children's Team (level 4), a number of areas of need relating to the child's disability and impact on the family are considered. The needs identified below are usually present for intervention from the Disabled Children's Team to be provided.
Disabled children meeting eligibility for specialise tier 4 services will usually have:
- Severe learning disabilities
- Severe physical disabilities that require a high level of personal care support, without which their independence would be significantly restricted; including substantial sensory impairment together with auditory and/or visual impairment
- Severe developmental delay in motor and/or cognitive functioning
- Profound multiple disabilities
- Complex and severe health problems that arise from the disability, that are life limiting, degenerative illness or organic disorder resulting in severe disability
- Children and young people who are diagnosed with Autistic spectrum disorder which has a significant impact on their communication needs, social and behavioural development
The Disabled Children's Team is unlikely to provide a service to children with:
- Moderate physical disabilities
- Specific learning difficulties
- Speech and language difficulties
- Minor sensory impairment
- Educational problems
- Emotional and behavioural problems including children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Mild to moderate developmental delay
- Mental Health difficulties
- Children whose main needs centre around emotional / behavioural development and or mental health can be referred or signposted to other appropriate teams or agencies who can best meet their needs, for example:
- Early Help teams
- Northamptonshire Local Offer
Some children can be referred immediately to specialist services:
- A disabled child who was in receipt of specialist help from another Local Authority moves into Northamptonshire
- A child with Continuing care needs is referred by the Continuing Care Service