Social care advice

We collect social care advice as part of the statutory needs assessment for an education, health and care plan. It helps us understand the impact of your child’s developmental needs on themselves and their family, at home and in their community.

Understanding your child’s social care needs alongside their special educational and health needs enables us to create a holistic plan tailored to meet your child’s needs.

Once a needs assessment has been agreed, the SEND Service will request social care advice from Children’s Services as follows:

  • If your child is open to social care, the family service or the youth engagement service, we will obtain advice from the professional that supports your child.
  • If your child is not open to any of those services, we will collate social care advice through the Early Help Hub in conversation with yourself and/or your child (aged 16 and above). We'll also ask your child’s lead professional to contribute their understanding of your child’s social care needs and details of any provision made to meet those needs.

Through discussion with the Early Help Hub professional, you may identify that a social care statutory assessment is required. If no safeguarding need is identified then the statutory assessment will be progressed within the Early Help Hub by a designated SEND social worker. 

You may also request separate social care advice from other professionals known to your child, for example a parent support advisor within their school. Please let your SEND case officer know should this be the case. 

Should your child be adopted or under a Special Guardianship Order, the SEND Service will seek advice from Adopt Thames Valley.

Once Children’s Services has been notified of the request for social care advice, the professional involved will inform you and/or your child (aged 16+) that they hold responsibility for collating your child’s social care needs and identifying any provision required. 

Should your child currently not be open to social care, the family service or the youth engagement service, then an appointment will be made for you to meet with a member of the Early Help Hub. This meeting will usually last between 45 minutes and an hour.

The aim of the meeting will be to identify your child’s social care needs which arise from their additional learning needs or disabilities that:

  • present barriers on them accessing their community, or
  • impact on family life, or
  • place additional demands on yourself as their care-giver. 

During the meeting, you and/or your child (aged 16+) may be signposted or offered a referral to targeted services to provide further support to meet your child’s social care needs. 

Regardless of the pathway for identifying your child’s social care needs and provision required, whether that be through social care, the family service, the youth engagement service or the Early Help Hub, you or your child will be given the opportunity to review and consent to the social care advice before it is sent to the SEND service. Social care advice is returned to the SEND service within the statutory timeframe of six weeks.

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