Early Help, Care & Support
Being a parent of a child with an additional need can be complex, and sometimes you need to find out more about what help is out there, when tough times become challenging.
This is where the Early Help, Care & Support Page can help. Information on this page gives an overview of the support you can explore, when you most need it.
There are a wide range of organisations available both across Gloucestershire and nationally, who provide advice and support to families of children and young people with SEND and/or those professionals working with them.
In addition to the information on this page, details around some of these services can be found on the Parent Carer Community Support Page in Gloucestershire’s Local Offer, whilst more detailed information around Advice, Support and Early Help Services could be worth exploring.
Early Help & Social Care Support
Social Care Support
If you contact Gloucestershire County Council for support professionals at the Children and Families Front Door will speak to you to understand the severity and complexity of your situation. You will then be allocated either to the Early Help Service (Level 3 – Targeted Intervention) or if there are complex disability issues or safeguarding concerns to the Social Work Assessment Team (Level 4 Specialist Support). The Social Work Assessment Teams work with a wide range of children including those with disabilities.
Once you have been allocated to Early Help or the Social Work Assessment Team your family will have an assessment. An 'assessment' is when a professional talk with you about your child's and family’s strengths and supports, and any concerns you have, or gaps in your support. All disabled children are entitled to an assessment of their social care needs, leading to a support plan to meet any assessed needs. Any agreed need for short breaks or Personal Assistant (PA) time will be included in your assessment and plan. It should be noted that two children with the same disability may require different services as it also depends on their environmental and family circumstances.
When an assessment has been completed for a child with additional needs those with complex and severe disabilities, complex health issues or severe learning disabilities will be transferred to the Disabled Children and Young People’s Service (DCYPS) within Gloucestershire County Council. Those children who have additional needs but are functioning at a higher level are supported within the locality teams outside of DCYPS. The Social Workers in these teams have the skills to be able to respond best to these families and can offer them the right support. Support from all of our services is intended to enable disabled children to have the same range of opportunities as non-disabled children, and with their families to be able to experience the 'ordinary' things of life that others take for granted.
If you want to ask for an assessment, contact the Children and Families Front Door on
- Telephone: 01452 426565
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Children and Families Front Door is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Short breaks are available for some Children and Young People with disabilities, and enable them to try out activities, spend time with their friends and enjoy themselves! Short breaks also offer Parents the opportunity to have a ‘break’ from their caring responsibilities and allow them to rest or spend more time with other children.
All disabled children are entitled to an assessment of their social care needs, leading to a support plan to meet any assessed needs. Any agreed need for short breaks or Personal Assistant (PA) time will be included in your assessment and plan.
If you want to ask for an assessment, contact the children's help desk on 01452 426565. For more details on Gloucestershire’s short breaks offer, please follow the links below:
You can view Gloucestershires Short Break Statement 2023-24 which sets out how Gloucestershire will provide Short Breaks for disabled and autistic children and young people and their families.