Disabled children

A disability can make it difficult for a child to join in fully in the community and develop independence. Great pressure can be put on parents and carers because of the care children need. We are there to offer support.

We are two teams of professionals who work with children who have severe and permanent disabilities and/or health conditions. We support families who need extra help to meet their children’s needs.

The teams have social workers and support staff, occupational therapists and a transitions worker. We also work closely with other professionals from health and education to provide an integrated and efficient service.

Contact us

2nd Floor
145 King St
Hammersmith
W6 9XY

020 8753 3321

Social workers

After you first make contact a social worker will contact you within seven days and arrange a time to visit you and your child and carry out an assessment.

When it is completed we’ll discuss the assessment with you and add your comments to the report. This makes sure your point of view is reflected in the records.

On the basis of the assessment a proposed child in need plan will be put together and you may be offered services including:

  • placing your child’s name on the Disabled Children’s Register
  • various types of short breaks (including after-school, day care at weekends and holidays, and overnight care).
  • direct payments – to buy and manage your own support package.

All care packages are designed to help disabled children in meeting the five key outcomes the government has identified for children:

  • Being healthy
  • Staying safe
  • Enjoying and achieving
  • Making a positive contribution
  • Achieving economic wellbeing

Care packages are agreed by our disabled children’s panel, which meets monthly (you are encouraged to attend this if you wish). Your child’s package of care will then be reviewed regularly. If your child has complex needs that need funding from Health or Education an extra assessment will be done.

We keep the needs of children and young people at the centre of everything we do and involve them as much as possible. Our priority is always to support families and keep them together whenever possible.

Guidance for Parents and Carers on Care Packages for Disabled Children (65 kb pdf)

Paediatric occupational therapy

Following an assessment, the occupational therapist (OT) provides specialist equipment for the home that helps children join in everyday activities.

This includes specialist chairs, hoists, bathing and toilet equipment. The OT can also recommend minor alterations (e.g. rails) and structural work to improve access to essential facilities such as a bedroom, toilet and bathroom.

Additionally, the OT can recommend for the family to be re-housed to a more suitable property, in view of the child’s disability.

Transitions workers

The transitions worker helps children and young people aged 14+ to ensure a smooth transfer to adult services.

Respite care for children with disabilities

The Haven – short break residential unit for disabled children

Shared Care Scheme – short break carer scheme

Special educational needs (local offer)

Services for 0-25 year-olds with special educational needs or disabilities

Short break residential unit for disabled children

The Haven

At the Haven we provide a short break service that cares for disabled children and young people in a safe, positive and stimulating environment.

Our service is for children from nine to 18 who have learning and/or physical disabilities and who live in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea.

We provide after-school care, day care at weekends and in school holidays and overnight care.

We are based in a large, two-storey building with spacious living rooms, recreational open space, sensory equipment, computers and an enclosed garden.

We have specialist equipment to cater for disabled children’s needs.

Our staff are experienced in looking after disabled children and the standard of our services is defined by the National Care Standards for Children’s Homes and the Children’s Home Regulations 2001. We are registered with and inspected by OFSTED.

The Haven is in Hammersmith. It’s easy to get here by bus or tube. There is also parking nearby.

How do I find out more?

Contact us:

2nd Floor, 145 King Street, Hammersmith W6 9XY.

020 8753 3321

Short breaks for disabled children

What is the disabled children’s short break carers scheme?

This gives disabled children in Hammersmith and Fulham short breaks in the form of one-to-one support in their own homes and /or in the community. These breaks give parents, carers and siblings a regular break and give the disabled child the chance to try new activities, make friends and have a good time with their carers.

The scheme provides a sessional carer service. The sessional carers are council employees who work in the child’s home or the local community. As employees they provide a range of hours and can be linked to several children.

The team currently consists of two social workers, a sessional carer co-ordinator and the team manager.

Short breaks statement

Who can use the service?

The service is for disabled children from birth to 18 years, who live in Hammersmith & Fulham. The children who use the service have a wide range of physical and learning disabilities and sensory impairments. Some of the children display challenging behaviour as a result of their disability.

How does the scheme work?

Each disabled child or young person is matched with one or more carers as required so that they can get to know each other and develop a relationship. When making this match we look at the skills and experience of the carer, at how much time they can offer and the family’s personal circumstances.

Sessional carers offer care in the family home and the wider community. The scheme also offers activity vouchers for:

  • London Eye
  • London Sea Life Aquarium
  • London Zoo
  • River Red Rover Cruises
  • Bowling and ice skating
  • Vue Cinemas
  • Lyric Theatre
  • Bramley’s Big Adventure and Gambado (indoor play centres)
  • Luncheon vouchers.
Who can become a carer?

We recruit carers from a range of backgrounds to try and increase each child’s chance of getting a good match.

We welcome carers from all races, cultures and religions and of different ages. Carers may be married, living with a partner or single and may or may not have children of their own.

Sessional carers are employed on zero hours contracts. They undergo various checks (including CRB and health checks) and referencing to make sure they are suitable to work with children.

They also have specialist training (including induction/preparation training, safeguarding disabled children, moving & handling, Makaton, ASD, first aid). There’s also support in the form of regular supervision, carer support groups and an annual appraisal.

How do I find out more?

Please contact the disabled children’s short break carers scheme on 020 8753 2311/12.