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Social care support for children with disabilities

The Children with Disabilities Team (CWDT) provides emotional and practical social care support to meet the needs of children who have substantial, long-term disabilities which have a profound impact on their lives. Our vision is for families with disabled children to have the support they need to live ordinary lives as a matter of course.

The services we can provide to families of children and young people with disabilities assessed as a 'child in need' include:

  • short breaks - during the day or overnight
  • support to enable a disabled child to access community-based leisure activities
  • support in the home with the care of a disabled child
  • support to access adaptations and special equipment

The team works closely with other services for disabled children to ensure families experience a joined up service.

For more information please see the Children with Disabilities Team: Eligibility Criteria

Referral to the team

A referral to the team can be made by anyone, including the families, a GP or a Health Visitor. All initial enquiries and referrals should be made to the Integrated Referral Team on 0191 433 2653 and ask to speak to the duty social worker.  All enquires related to open cases should be directed to your allocated social worker. 

When a referral to the team is received, a Social Worker will be allocated to undertake the Assessment of Need. Following this Assessment, a decision will be made as to whether the child or young adult is eligible to receive a service from the Team.

To ensure that our services are targeting the appropriate children and young adults, we apply an Eligibility Criteria following an Assessment. The intention of these criteria is to ensure that we do not simply consider the diagnosis that a child or young adult may have; we will also look at the effects their disability has on their day to day life.

To be eligible for a children's service from the CWDT, children and young adults must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be aged between 0 and 18 and be ordinarily resident in Gateshead.
  2. Have complex needs (in addition to any behavioural problems that may be present), or have a serious or life threatening illness.
  3. There must be evidence that the child or young adult's additional needs impact significantly on their ability to enjoy ordinary day to day activities.
  4. The child or young adult must require a much greater level of day to day care to meet their needs than would usually be required for a person of that age.
  5. They must require a significantly higher level of support in at least three of the following areas than would usually be required for their age: 
    a) Personal care and supervision
    b) Education or employment
    c) Access to social activities
    d) Communication
    e) The physical environment
    f) Condition management 
  6. The child or young adult's condition is life limiting, or expected to last 6 months or more.

For more information please see the Children with Disabilities Team: Eligibility Criteria

If your child has Special Educational Needs but they are not deemed eligible to receive social care support, there is still a lot of support available in Gateshead. You can find out more by looking at Special Educational Needs.


Contact us

Integrated Referral and Assessment Team (IRAT)
Civic Centre

0191 433 2653