Framework for the Assessment of Children
in need and their families
Many referrals come after discussion with families with the Special Needs Health Visitors, who are usually in contact with children with disabilities and their families in the early years. Families can contact the local team directly - see below.
The teams work with children with severe disabilities and for children who have less severe disabilities it is sometimes only possible to offer links to other services, which may be useful.
Cardiff and the Vale Local Authorities in common with all other Local Authorities are responsible for implementing the National Framework for Assessment of children in need and their families.
There is not a separate Framework for children with disabilities. There are guidelines to ensure that there is an effective account of the particular needs of children with disabilities and their families in the assessment process. The intention is that the assessment should provide a clear foundation for an accurate analysis of each child's situation and lead to a regular review and update of an effective plan for each child. Assessment covers the child's needs, parents and carers capacities to respond to these needs and family and environmental situations.
The assessment record is inter-disciplinary - specialist assessments for example from health and education are included. It should record the key professionals from each agency involved with the child. The aim is for the assessment to use plain language and record information accurately so that there are not repeated requests to families for the same information. The intention is that an assessment is a way to ensure effective planning for the child with the family and that appropriate services are in place.
It is crucial that gaps in services are identified in the plans and regularly collected so this information can inform service development and get children and families the services they need. Parents should play an active role in ensuring that their views and knowledge of the child are taken into account. Many parents find this difficult yet know their child best.