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Children's disability services

Children's disability services are for children and young people up to 18 years.

Talk to your GP or public health nurse (PHN). They can refer you to the service your child needs.

Your child's needs may be met at your local health centre. For example, if they have a speech delay your local speech and language therapist can often give you the help you need.

But in some cases you may need a Children’s Disability Network Team who work closely together.

This team will include health and social care professionals, experienced in delivering services for children with disabilities. Each team member offers expertise in a particular aspect of child development.

Who you see, and how often you see them, will depend on your child's individual needs. The team will discuss this with you.

How the Children’s Disability Network Team works

Members of a Children’s Disability Network Team work closely together to provide a wide range of services and supports for your child and your family. They start by finding out what your main concerns and priorities are for your child. This helps you to work with the team towards agreed goals.

These priorities and goals will change over time and you can regularly talk over what’s important with the team. For example starting pre-school or school are very important steps in a child’s life. The team will plan with you to make this time as smooth as possible for you and your child.

The team often brings groups of children together to learn new skills and mix with each other. Parents and other family members learn how to support their child’s development and can share their experiences with others.

Individual Family Supports Plan

To ensure that families and the team work well together they agree and share a plan. Each child and family has different needs so they have their own individual plan.

The team finds out about the important issues or priorities from the family’s view. The family knows their child best and the team has expertise and experience with children who have disabilities. The family and the team work out how they are going to achieve their goals.

Putting together a plan of what to do, how to do it and who does it, is a key part of the team and family working together. It ensures the team is focusing on what will make a difference for this child and their family.

Some examples of services that the children's disability team may offer:

  • Groups for children such as play for babies and toddlers, making friends, getting ready for school, gym groups, learning to cycle
  • Finding the equipment that some children need to help them take part in their school and community
  • Advice on feeding
  • Courses and talks for families on topics like how to support language development or ways you can manage your child’s behaviour
  • Parent and carer support groups
  • Groups for teenagers

Translated children's disability network information

page last reviewed: 10/05/2019
next review due: 10/05/2022