Many children and young people with SEND will also require support from the health service and social care.
If the child or young person has an EHC Plan, this may cover their health needs relating to their SEN and social care needs relating to their SEN or to a disability.
For all children, access to timely health and social care services is paramount to theirs and their families wellbeing.
If you require support from the health services (including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)), the starting point is likely to be a referral via an Early Help form completed between you and school. This is especially true for CAMHS and to be considered for the ASD pathway for assessment. In some cases, where school can't or are unable to help, you can make an appointment with your GP and seek a referral that way.
In Bolton, we don't currently have any sensory OT therapists, so a referral to this service isn't doable. However, if your child has significant levels of sensory need and this is impacting severely on their ability to function day to day, you can ask the CCG to make a request for funding for you to get an assessment. This is called an Individual Funding Request (IFR). The form for this is on our downloads page, and needs to be completed by someone with clinical expertise who backs your request.
Social care can provide a wide range of support such as practical assistance in the home, short breaks, home adaptations, travel and other assistance. If you require support from social care, you can ask the local authority to assess the child or young person’s social care needs. There is a template letter for this from CONTACTS website, here.
As well as assessed short breaks via a social worker core assessment, the LA also commissions several groups and charities to provide targeted short breaks for them. These don't require a social worker to assess you- you can simply call them or visit for more information. They are targeted as they specialise in supporting children with SEND. The staff usually have lots of experience and training.
In order to help you understand what groups might be appropriate for your child, you can ask for a visit from the councils Parent Information Worker, Elaine Nuttall. Elaine can be contacted on Elaine.Nuttall@bolton.gov.uk