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Social care support

In Gateshead, children with a disability classed as a 'Child In Need' under Section 17 of the Children's Act 1989 are eligible to receive support via the Council's Special Educational Needs and Disability Team. This team provides emotional and practical support to children aged 0-17 years who have substantial, long-term disabilities which have a profound impact on their lives, to enable them to live ordinary lives as a matter of course. A referral to the team can be made by anyone, including families themselves, a GP or a Health Visitor. All initial enquiries and referrals should be made to the Council's Referral and Assessment Team on 0191 433 2653. 

Social Care support available

Support and services are available for children and young people with disabilities who have been assessed as a Child in Need (CIN), and who may also have an Education, Health and Care Plan. Services provided by the team include:

  • Assessment of eligibility and access to short break services
  • Arrangement of and assistance with personal budgets. More information about personal budgets and direct payments is available on the KIDS website (opens new window)
  • Support to enable a disabled child access leisure activities in the community
  • Support in the home with the care of a disabled child
  • Support to be assessed for and access to adaptations in the home and special equipment
  • Provision of information, advice and support and signposting/referral to appropriate support organisations and services

The support received is reviewed by the child's social worker every six months, which should be timed to coincide with the child's annual review if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

In addition, if a child is looked after by the LA (Section 32 of the Children and Families Act 2014), they will have a Care Plan which includes a Personal Education Plan (PEP). The Care Plan statutory reviews will be timed wherever possible to take place at the same time as their Education, Health and Care Plan annual review.

Support for carers

As the carer of a child with a disability you may be entitled to support yourself, for example, to help you get back into work, take part in leisure activities and improve your health. To find out what support you may be entitled to, a  will be carried out which looks at what things could make your role as a carer easier. This could include making sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, as well as information on short breaks, and practical and emotional support available to you in Gateshead. To find out if you may be eligible for support as a carer, view our carers webpages or contact Gateshead Council's Adult Social Care on 0191 433 7033 or email

In addition, if you are unexpectedly unable to care for your child, Gateshead's Carer's Emergency Support Service (PDF) [342KB] (opens new window) may be able to help by providing up to 48 hours of emergency support.

Information on the Transforming Care approach

Transforming care is a national programme led by NHS England which is all about improving health and care services so that more people with learning disabilities and/or autism can live in the community, with the right support, close to home and have the same opportunities as anyone else

The programme of work will ensure that families are:

  • getting the support they need to live long and healthy lives
  • being treated with the same dignity and respect
  • having a home within their community
  • being able to develop and maintain relationships and
  • getting the support they need for to have a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.

New ways of working are being established to help families get the right help at the right time.  One example of this is a greater focus on the Care-Co-ordination role to help families access and understand the offers of support available to them across health and social care systems. More details about the programme are set out on the NHS website (opens new window).

Education and Health Care Plans

Health, education and social care systems are working hard to work together to share pathways and processes that work together and are easier to understand.  An Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) will help families work with professionals based on an assessment of individual need.  More details about EHCPs are available on the website (opens new window).

Care Education and Treatment Reviews

Where children or young people are at risk of a hospital admission a Care Education and Treatment Review (CETR) may be called by the family or professional. When a CETR is called this means that the family and professionals all get together to review the needs and requirements of the young person and decide on the best next steps by working together.  A clinical expert and a family member who has had similar experiences from another area will be present to help planning with fresh eyes. A tool to help planning and understanding of the process is available on the NHS England website.

The full toolkit on CETRs is also available on the NHS England website (opens new window).

Contact us

Special Educational Needs and Disability Team
Gateshead Council

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For further help and information visit the Learning Disability Matters website (opens new window)