The following questions were asked by Parent Carers whilst attending the Family Voice Conference in March 2023. Answers have been sought from the appropriate departments/functions within the council.
What is a Short Break?
Short Breaks are organised into three levels of need:
- Universal – Families can access a range of activities and settings that can provide the support needed for their disabled child. They may also be able to access a wider range of services because of specialist equipment, training of staff etc., many of which are funded by Short Breaks. Examples are a hoist in a swimming pool; additional staffing; training for staff in a variety of settings.
- Targeted – Families can access support for a range of settings specifically for disabled children and special groups. Examples include special screenings at the cinema, local activity groups, Sports Zone, and Gateway Youth Clubs.
Specialist – Families need specialist support to enable their disabled child to access activities and settings. It may also include personal care and an overnight short break.
Why was I turned down for a Short Break?
It may be that your child is accessing something which is funded through Short Breaks without you even realising it. For example: Disability Sports Services or additional funding at their nursery. If your child is able to access universal or targeted services, a specialist Short Break is not necessary/appropriate. See attached link for eligibility criteria.
Where do I go to request a Short Break or Direct Payment?
Parent carers can complete a self-referral if a child is over the age of 6 years. The self-referral form is available on the Calderdale website see link below. For children under 6 a referral needs to be made by a professional. https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/sites/default/files/Short-Breaks-Self-Referral-Form.pdf
A Social Worker, Behaviour Nurse, Family Support Worker, or Early Help Professional they may be the best person to help you through the process.
The Short Breaks’ Panel will carefully consider your form and any additional information at their regular Panel meetings. The Panel is made up of a multi-disciplinary group of representatives from across a range of services, and includes a parent carer representative from Family Voice Calderdale. The panel will consider if your child can access universal or targeted support before agreeing specialist services.
What is the Local Offer?
Every council must have a ‘Local Offer,’ this is essentially a website which should capture all support and services available in the local area, (in our case Calderdale), for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and their families. It should be the first port of call for families seeking information on SEND in their local area.
The 4.1 SEND Code of Practice 2014 states: –
‘Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plans. In setting out what they ‘expect to be available,’ local authorities should include provision which they believe will actually be available.’
The Local Offer has two key purposes: –
- To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it.
- To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review.’
For more information about what a Local Offer is you can watch the video below: –
Why is it acceptable for a SENCO to work part-time or cover as a supply when needed, SENCO's need to be SENCO'S full time?
Working part-time can be a feasible option for SENCO’s who have other school related commitments. The decision for a SENCO to work part-time will be made by the leadership and governance team of the school and should be based on the needs of both the school and students. However, this should not compromise the quality and effectiveness of SEND provision and it is important for school leaders to ensure staffing arrangements do not negatively impact the quality of education provided to students. Many schools will also have experienced support staff who are there to enhance the support given to students with SEND.
Why can SENCO's go unqualified for up to 2 years?
As stated in the SEN Code of Practice, Governing bodies of maintained mainstream schools and the proprietors of mainstream academy schools (including free schools) must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as SENCO for the school. A newly appointed SENCO must be a qualified teacher and, where they have not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.
How can we communicate better with schools regarding their responsibilities for supporting children who are struggling to attend?
The Local Authority (LA) regularly remind schools of their obligation to support children and young people who are facing difficulties with school attendance, ensuring an empathetic and inclusive approach is implemented. With developments to the SEND Local Offer, more information and advice will be readily available to schools, parents, and carers. The LA will be working with external agencies and leading professionals in the field of attendance related difficulties, including training sessions for school leaders.
Who can check the Education Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) request before it is submitted?
A request for an Education, Health, and Care Needs assessment (EHCNA) can be checked by the person submitting the request. This may consist of a parent/carer, young person or professional. A request for an EHCNA requires parental/carer consent.
For more information about the EHCP process in Calderdale, please click on the link Education Health and Care Plans | Calderdale Council
Or contact: SEN Team
Telephone 01422 394129
SENDIASS – Can provide information about the ECHP process and explain your rights.
Unique Ways offer a course – SEND Support in Education which is also useful
Why do the inclusion team get things started e.g. a school move, then disappear and take away any support still needed by the parents, child, and setting?
The Inclusion team’s primary role is to support schools to implement inclusive practices and ensure that children and young people with SEN receive appropriate support and access to education. They have a key role in ensuring that schools are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and strategies to meet the needs of children with SEN effectively.
With reference to the question, the inclusion team may initially support the school move process by taking a co-ordinating role, e.g. liaisng with the family, current school, and new school, providing guidance, and sharing relevant information about the child’s needs, accommodations, and progress.
Are there any plans for SEN Officers to attend EHC reviews and hold schools accountable for not following the plan, currently it all falls to the parents?
The LA SEN Officers endeavour to attend all EHC reviews, however this is not always feasible. If it is felt the EHCP is not being appropriately followed, it is important for parents/carers to raise this as a concern to both the school and the SEN Officer as soon as possible, either before the Annual Review (if you are aware) or during the Annual Review meeting. The LA is responsible for ensuring that the provision in the EHCP is being implemented and will hold schools to account as required. Again, Unique Ways SEND Support in Education Course might be useful.
Can you provide training for schools in relation to ASD and ADHD?
The LA provide training to SENCO’s related to several Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); these training sessions are also supported by partners in health and external organisations/providers where appropriate. Through developments with the new Calderdale SEND Local Offer, more training and guidance for both schools/settings and parents and carers will be readily available.
Who is responsible for children from Calderdale who attend schools in Kirklees?
If a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), the responsibility to provide provision would be the LA named on the EHCP. Children with SEN who attend schools in Kirklees or other local boroughs would receive SEN support from the designated setting.
Would the SEND team consider holding regular drop-in sessions for parents?
The LA SEN Team would certainly consider holding regular drop-in sessions for parents and carers. The collaborative working relationship with our families is a key priority for the service. The SEN Team will ensure that the SEND Local Offer hosts webinars, online events and dates for drop-in sessions to support parents/carers.
Why are after school clubs not inclusive? Why isn’t provision written in the EHCP to allow them access to these like every other child?
The provision for after-school clubs would not be explicitly written in the EHC Plan, because the plan outlines the educational need and provision required during school hours. However, it is essential for schools to ensure that children and young people, including those with SEND are included in all aspects of school life, including access to extracurricular activities. If there are concerns, these should be raised with the school directly and the SEN Team.
Telephone: 01422 394129
Why do the Inclusion Team not support children from Calderdale who go to school in another authority area?
If a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), the responsibility to provide provision would be the LA named on the EHCP. Children with SEND who attend schools in other local boroughs receive SEN support from the designated setting and support agencies. Any concerns can be raised to the SEN Team
Telephone: 01422 394129
What extra provision are you putting in for those in mainstream settings with SEN?
It is crucial for schools to assess the needs of each child and provide appropriate support and accommodations to facilitate their access to education and promote their overall development. The LA are also actively developing Additional Resource Provisions (ARP’s) for children with SEND who require additional provision to access the mainstream environment.
When are you going to train SENCOs on ND?
The LA provide training to SENCOs via SENCO conferences on several aspects of SEND, including those who are neurodiverse. This is on-going practice and is in line with new research developments and training programmes. Through developments with the new Calderdale SEND Local Offer, more training and guidance for both schools/settings and parents and carers will be readily available.
Why can’t Calderdale adhere to statutory guidelines. My EHCP review was in Nov 2022 yet still no updated plan (8 months later)?
Adhering to statutory guidelines and ensuring timely updates to the EHCP following the Annual Review to EHC plans are a key priority for the SEN Team. For this specific circumstance, please escalate to the – SEN Team Managers – Andrew Lambert and Dawn Dyer
Telephone: 01422 394129
Can there be a single point of contact for personalised benefit, cost of living, grants, and energy support for families with disabled children/young people in Calderdale?
Citizens Advice Calderdale are commissioned by CMBC and other funders to provide access to all Calderdale residents, who present via telephony/e-mail and if required, will be provided with an appointment for additional advocacy or support. Their team are very experienced and will provide assistance on an individual household basis.
Citizens Advice Calderdale see the value in there being a bespoke service with a “one door” approach but are sadly unable to provide a dedicated resource to families with disabled children.
Citizens Advice Calderdale can use the insights from parent carers at the Family Voice Calderdale Conference to try to seek funding. However, obtaining additional funding has become much more difficult over the past few years, exacerbated by the increased pressure on the charitable sector and this has been compounded by what they perceive as a nationwide shortage of qualified advisers.
Unfortunately, this is not something CMBC offers either at present however please follow the link below for Contact, a charity that supports families of Children & Young People with additional needs and gives information of different benefits families can apply for.
The Calderdale Council webpage below also has details and links to information regarding, benefits, grants for adaptations, discounts, holidays, and respite care.
Where can parents go when their housing conditions are unsuitable for their disabled child?
Citizens Advice Calderdale (CAC) would provide information to parents in this situation and would use resources such as Shelter and Fusion Housing to find their bespoke advice. CAC have a relationship with Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre Housing team and where they have the capacity and the circumstances fits their criteria, they will refer the client to them.
If the query is to do with housing adaptations.
There is the Minor Repairs Grant & the Disability Access Grant (see below link for more details)
The Disability Access Grant, the council grant for minor works, and occupational therapy too as it can be used to adapt a house for a child’s needs but won’t cover unsuitable housing conditions due to disrepair.
Who can support us in relation to the Cost of Living Crisis?
Citizens Advice Calderdale try their best to support everyone and always seek to find the information relevant to each client. Contact details are:-
Citizen’s Advice Calderdale
Telephone: 0808 278 7879
Email via our “Contact Us” section on the website www.calderdalecab.org.uk
The council’s website lists a large number of links to services to support families with disabled children.
These include Unique Ways who can support with applying for Disability Living Allowance if eligible.
Family Support Book In /Pop In Sessions
To provide a service that parents of children 0-19 years old (25 with SEND) can access for a wide range of support on a 1:1 basis, including parenting advice, benefits, housing, letter reading and writing.
Contact: Jubilee Children’s Centre 01422 342552
Todmorden Children’s Centre 01706 399976
Family Support – Telephone Advice Line.
Offer support, advice around school issues, parenting support, benefits and debts, behaviour support, signposting to other services
Lower Valley – 01484 386621, appointments Mondays and Fridays
North and East – 01422 251090, appointments Tuesday and Wednesdays
Early Advice and Support Team (EAST) for energy advice, welfare and benefits, Council Tax support, food support.
Email – EAST@calderdale.gov.uk
There is a referral form online, please follow the link below.
This council website is useful too and is updated regularly
Why does CMBC not employ young people via Project Search and prove that its inclusive?
DFN Project Search has been running in our area since September 2017, initially within Calderdale Council as an interim and then in Calderdale Royal Hospital since January 2018. So far over 43 young people with SEND have graduated from DFN Project Search and 19 have gained full time paid work. 17 of those young people are still in full time paid work both in the hospital and in local businesses. Council officers are currently working through a proposal for the council to host its own DFN Project Search programme to run alongside the one at the hospital, with a view to employing some of the graduates in council roles. The proposal is for this to start in September 2024.
Where is our Local Offer in relation to Preparing for Adulthood?
The Calderdale Local Offer is currently undergoing a review and this will hopefully be re-launched later in the year.
Where do parents and young people gain information and support around Preparing For Adulthood?
Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) should be discussed from the Year 9 annual review. A range of services can offer information around PFA including, education, health, social care, careers, 5 day offer and the independent travel team. It is important that the right people are invited to attend the EHCP review by the school/college/SENCO.
There are some resources available to support PFA – What’s Next Brochure, Local Offer Website has a section on PFA and C+K Careers.
Sarah Hodgson (C&K Careers) 01484 213856.
The What’s Next leaflet mentioned phoenix radio, so I contacted them and they never responded?
Calderdale Council cannot comment on how independent providers respond to enquiries – this is a frustrating example and I am sure if you contacted Howard at Phoenix Radio again he would respond. Their contact details are:-
Radio Phoenix, Fletchers Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX
Phone: 01422 365923
Can Unique Ways run a Preparing for Adulthood course that covers benefits and social services, we need something that fully covers what’s next?
Unique Ways have a 4 week Preparing for Adulthood Course starting in November 2023 and this covers social services and some information on benefits. As there is so much variation in entitlement to benefits the course outlines possibilities and signposts to the experts. Unique Ways do not provide benefit related advice and guidance however as stated above can signpost. Developments to the Local Offer will also ensure that information is more widely available to parent carers.
Can we have more life skills training for young people?
The need for more life skills training is a priority for Calderdale and this will be discussed further due to developments within the PFA framework developments. Calderdale Adult Learning offers courses for people aged 19 and over, the majority of the courses are delivered at Heath Campus. There are a variety of courses that might come under the category of “Life Skills”. See flyer here.
Can we have the Local Offer Live back in Calderdale?
The LA are currently undergoing new developments to the Local Offer online system. In line with this, we will ensure Local Offer ‘live’ events are also held.
What is the Brew Project?
The Brew Project is a wellbeing support agency for a child or young person (aged 5-17), where they can access confidential and non-judgmental one-to-one support session via telephone, video call, face to face or walk-and-talk sessions. More information can be found here: https://www.invictuswellbeing.com/brewproject
Why is Project Search so limited?
Project Search, is a work-based route sited at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax. This is an intensive supported internship programme which fully prepares young people to move into paid employment and apprenticeships. It is expected that a young person would have an Education and Health Care Plan in place in order to enrol on for these courses.
DFN Project Search is a supported internship programme for young people who want to find full time employment. It is therefore inevitable that there will be people who it is not appropriate for. At present, we do not have enough alternative employment options for people in Calderdale and this is something that we are working on.
Why do Calderdale not have any aspirations for our Young People?
Calderdale has a clear strategic ambition that all our children at age 15 have hope and aspiration. We listened to young people who said this was their priority. During 2023 we have worked with ‘Ideas Alliance’ and talked to children across the Borough through a trusted adult. They have told us:
Our young people want to connect. Being able to socialise with friends, meet new people, build relationships and simply just being able to be around other people was the top priority for many. Schools, colleges, youth and support groups were mentioned as essential providers of this. Our young people want general outdoor public spaces to safely gather as well as enjoy the natural beauty in the area.
They want to achieve: obtain qualifications, learn new skills, build confidence and gain experience. Young people talked about the careers they wanted to have, as well as having great friends and relationships and some starting a family. There are educational hopes such as finishing school, going to University or getting an apprenticeship.
Our young people want to look after themselves and others – wellbeing is important to our children, adopting personal qualities like hard work, determination and belief in themselves. They want to give back, are interested in public services and getting a good night’s sleep.
There is a partnership approach to opportunities for our children when they reach 16. This is called the Post 16 strategy: The Calderdale post 16 learning, employment and skills strategy. Some of the aims are:
- To design a confidence in Calderdale campaign, to ensure children and young people meet their aspirations within the Borough;
- Identify employers who are prepared to support young people, in settings other than universities, to gain degrees in a different way;
- To look at how we engage employers in discussions with parents, and to focus on the strengths of employers in the area;
- Ongoing involvement with young people, peers, skills champions and youth groups.
- Spreading the word that Calderdale is a placed where young people can achieve anything they want; there is everything here to take them into a promising adulthood.
Calderdale is an inclusive place and looks to meet the needs of all young people in the local community, providing them with opportunities to develop and thrive. The “Five Day Offer” is a supportive framework which focuses on young people aged 18+ (with a learning disability) who are leaving full time education. It helps them to develop links around further learning, independent living skills, volunteering, paid work and leisure activities in their local community.
Evidence shows that young people who are well connected with and access their local community have more positive transition experiences; moving more successfully from school based provision into adulthood. It also shows that they have better chances of forming longer term and secure friendships and relationships.
Why do SEN officers not attend the Preparing for Adulthood EHC annual reviews?
The LA have experienced an unprecedented increase in EHCP’s, and this has placed greater demand on SEN Officer capacity and availability. Although, SEN Officers endeavour to attend all annual reviews for children and young people, this is not always feasible. However, a priority of the SEND Team Manager is to ensure that Officers are available to attend Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) Annual Reviews to support appropriate transition.
Why has CAMHS changed its name to Open Minds?
Following a review of CAMHS services approx. 10 years ago, a group of young people involved in the review proposed a name change for the service. They felt this would be beneficial in order to reflect the new structure of CAMHS in Calderdale i.e. a network of services providing the right service at the right time by the right person. They also felt it would be helpful to try to move away from some of the negative feelings associated with CAMHS and to promote a more person-centred approach.
What’s the difference between CAMHS and Open Minds?
CAMHS is now known as Open Minds (CAMHS) and work as part of the Open Minds Partnership.
What is Northpoint?
Northpoint are a mental health charity working in Leeds and Calderdale working with adults and young people.
What do all the different tiers mean?
Open Minds (CAMHS) no longer work to a tiered model, but have a wide range of skills and knowledge across the Open Minds (CAMHS)services. The First Point of Contact (FPOC) will work with referrers, families and Open Minds services to ascertain the best service at that time.
What’s the referral process?
Open Minds (CAMHS) no longer accept postal referrals however anyone can make a referral to them via their website. There are options for self, parent or professional referrals https://calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/education-and-learning/schools/services/a-z/child-adolescent-mental-health-service#referring
How long is the waiting list?
Open Minds (CAMHS) don’t carry a waiting list as such. Young people are typically booked into a choice appointment within 8 weeks of referral (you will be booked in at the point of triage) and then an intervention is usually offered within a month if required.
Open Minds are unable to comment on specific waiting times for ND assessment as these are dealt with separately. There are now a number of private providers used (Neurodevelopmental Right to Choose) who are completing assessments, therefore there are variable waiting times for assessment depending on the provider. Using a variety of Providers is having a positive impact on waiting times.
Is there any support available whilst waiting for an assessment?
Open Minds (CAMHS) have a range of signposting and advice for young people whilst they are waiting for an ND assessment and run support workshops for parents (available through our website). We will also refer to other providers within the wider Calderdale Open Minds Partnership.
If a young person has a presenting mental health problem we would offer support depending on need.
Whilst a young person waits for their appointment, we offer and refer them to on-line resources such as Kooth and those available on the Open Minds website.
Are there any interventions and support available for parents?
Open Minds (CAMHS) run parenting workshops and do direct work with parents of younger children. We also refer to Family Support and other partners within the wider Calderdale Open Minds Partnership when specific needs have been identified.
Open Minds (CAMHS) is now able to offer access to free on-line support for young people, parents and carers. SilverCloud is a digital form of mental health support that is recommended by NICE-National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Northpoint has worked with Silvercloud and young people from Calderdale to develop digital programmes which are clinically designed to help young people and parents/carers to understand and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and low mood. We now offer two programmes of support for managing ADHD in children and young people.
Are Open Minds (CAMHS) looking at creating support groups as parents are passed between services?
Calderdale Open Minds (CAMHS) is a partnership of organisations who are commissioned to deliver signposting, advice, and mental health interventions for children and young people aged 5 to 18 and their families.
Delivery partners in Calderdale Open Minds (CAMHS) are Northpoint Wellbeing, South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust (SWYFT), and Kooth. You can find out more about the different organisations that provide Open Minds (CAMHS) on the FAQ page on our website.
We work alongside other organisations, including children’s social care, schools, school nurses, and other community-based organisations.
The Open Minds (CAMHS) partnership’s approach is based on a person’s individual need. It focusses on making help and support accessible through organisations working together to provide emotional health and wellbeing services.
Partner organisations work closely and share knowledge so a young person should only tell their story once, before being signposted to the right place for support, advice or treatment.
Within Open Minds (CAMHS), Northpoint operate a First Point of Contact which is the single point of access for referrals (including Autism and ADHD) in Calderdale. We also offer consultation, support, advice, training, and referral guidance to parents/carers, young people and professionals.
We aim to deliver the right support, at the right time with the right organisation which means there is some movement between services.
Our website provides advice, information, support and signposting on local and national emotional health and wellbeing services that help children, young people and families who are going through a difficult time.
As far as we are aware, at this point in time, the only organisation offering Peer Support Group and training courses is the local charity Unique Ways, their courses are specifically for Parent Carers and are focussed on helping Parent Carers build their skills and resilience and to help them understand the world of disability/additional needs as a Parent Carer.
Who do we appeal to when other services act as gate keepers to the support we need from Open Minds (CAMHS)?
You can self-refer to Open Minds so no other service should be gatekeeping. If you are not getting the right service, you can use the complaints process in Northpoint. https://northpoint.org.uk/compliments-concerns-complaints/
Why is there no post diagnosis support?
The support available is limited and this offer is being looked at by commissioners as part of a wider service review. However, there are a range of online and digital resources available. http://www.openmindscalderdale.org.uk/
Northpoint is not commissioned to provide post diagnosis support in Calderdale.
Why do we need to get to crisis point in order access support from Open Minds (CAMHS)?
Open Minds (CAMHS) have a range of low intensity interventions available, intended to prevent people reaching crisis such as Silvercloud (a digital CBT programme), online resources and work with schools and other services to try to prevent young people’s mental health escalating in the first place.
How can school staff be trained on Mental Health and Neurodiversity issues?
There are Mental Health Support Teams in around 40 schools across Calderdale and also a Schools Co-ordinator and a Schools Practitioner who deliver training and support schools around mental health and neurodiversity.
Why are TA’s not trained on Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH)?
It is the responsibility of School/Education providers to ensure the appropriate continuing professional development (CPD) and training for their members of staff, including Teachers, Teaching Assistants and other support staff.
The LA will further support schools/settings with training and guidance through the SEND Local Offer.
Why is Mental Health support not being given in schools?
Mental health support is available in a number of schools through The Mental Health Support Team (in approximately 40 schools). Most schools also have their own mental health support structures in place and wherever possible young people are supported and advised to use these. Open Minds (CAMHS) is commissioned to deliver services in community venues which we do across Calderdale. A small proportion of the work of the Mental Health Support Teams is delivered in schools however they do not have the capacity to work in every school.
Are Open Minds going to train education staff in ASD, ADHD etc?
Training is available in schools however the focus is on mental health presentations such as anxiety and low mood. The Open Minds ASD Practitioner delivered some training in schools however the post is currently vacant.
What are Open Minds doing to provide early intervention for eating disorders?
Open Minds (CAMHS) offer early interventions for any early concerns around disordered eating and this work is informed by the ED team. They are also looking at available training for practitioners to upskill them in this area.
What are Open Minds doing to tackle child to parent violence?
Open Minds (CAMHS) don’t directly work with child to parent violence (CPV) however they would address the underlying issues such as anxiety and low mood. If there were concerns around violence in the home, they would endeavour to work with other services such as Social Care to ensure they offered a streamlined approach.
How do I access a Carers assessment and support in Calderdale?
- Carers of adults (aged 18+) can access a Carers Needs Assessment here: Apply for a carer’s assessment | Calderdale Council https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/health-and-social-care/carers/carers-assessment/apply-carers-assessment
- There is also a Parent Carers Needs Assessment for those who care for under 18s which is used when applying for Short Breaks for the child and might lead to more Short Breaks hours Short breaks for children | Calderdale Council Short breaks for children | Calderdale Council
- Unique Ways provides support to Parent Carers through a range of 8 services (all free, you need to be a member of Unique Ways to access their support) uniqueways.org.uk
- Carers and parent carers can access support through the Carers Wellbeing Service: Carers Wellbeing Service (Calderdale) | Calderdale Council Carers Wellbeing Service (Calderdale) | Calderdale Council
I was contacted a while ago and offered £15 to spend on myself due to being a carer, I never heard anything else about it?
This sounds like a Carers Personal Budget which carers of adults (18+) may be entitled to following a Carers Needs Assessment.
Please contact Dawn.Collins@Calderdale.gov.uk
Telephone: 01422 393966
What’s out there for carers to support well-being such as Yoga etc.?
The Carers Wellbeing Service runs activities to support carers including walking & exercise groups, craft activities, women’s circle, wellbeing course, snooker club for male carers, more details here: Carers Wellbeing Service Newsletter April 2023
Where’s the health and well-being support for those caring for young children with SEND?
- Unique Ways offer peer support through coffee mornings and afternoon teas.
- The Carers Wellbeing Service is open to all carers including parent carers.
- Calderdale NAS (local branch of the National Autistic Society run by volunteers) have an active Facebook page for parent support and put on activities for families and for autistic children and young people, they also have a new Parent Carer Group (see Facebook page for details)
Holiday clubs don’t support with SEND children, how are we as carers meant to work or get a break?
We accept holiday support in Calderdale is currently limited and are working to make it more inclusive but see list below of options to at least have a small break
- The Healthy Holidays Schemes are open to SEND children who would benefit: Healthy Holidays Calderdale | Calderdale Council. Provision may depend on your child’s needs and we’d encourage parents to be open with providers about the extra support their child may need.
- ‘Jam Packed Summer’ is a SEND holiday scheme that runs in the school summer holidays at Ravenscliffe School for around 5 hours a week and is for 8-19 year olds: ‘Jam Packed Summer’ | Calderdale Sports and Fitness Again provision may depend on your child’s needs
- Some SEND children and young people are eligible for Short Breaks Short breaks for children | Calderdale Council
- SEND children and young people can access Disability Sports: Activities and classes (calderdale.gov.uk) Again provision may depend on your child’s needs
- All employees have the right to request flexible working e.g. term time only: Requesting flexible working | Carers UK
Why is all the support directed at deprived areas, we are parent carers too?
Healthy Holidays schemes were initially aimed at children on free school meals, so they are more likely to be held in areas where there are a higher proportion of these families. In addition, statistically those caring for a child with a disability tend to be poorer and therefore live in deprived areas with cheaper rents and more social housing making it a general focus for council and government support.
What is Occupational Therapy (OT)/What does an Occupational Therapist cover?
The Occupational Therapy Team work with children who have a physical, functional or coordination difficulty that impacts on their activities of daily living at home or at school (for example dressing, writing, playing, eating).
They enable the child to reach their maximum developmental potential and gain independence in performing daily living activities by linking closely with families and other professionals. OT’s can also make house adaptation referrals. See link below
Why can’t school refer to Occupational Therapy (OT)?
Schools should be able to refer to OT. They accept referrals from anybody including the Inclusion Team and parent carers too. You can call 01422 261340 to make a referral.
Why do you not assess and diagnose Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
There is no sensory service available currently so we are not able to diagnose SDP in Calderdale.
Why do Calderdale not have a Sensory Occupational Therapist (OT)?
The commissioners are aware about the need for a sensory OT in Calderdale and are working on this.
How do you get a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) assessment?
You need to go to your GP or child’s paediatrician and explain. They can apply for exceptional funding from the Integrated Care Board (ICB) previously known as the Clinical Commissioning Group. As SPD Assessment is not a service they have in Calderdale they have to buy in. They may call it as Sensory Processing Difficulties as don’t recognise currently as a stand alone condition.
Why is there no support in schools for ADHD but there is for ASD?
In terms of support for children in schools with ADHD, we are a need’s led service so if a child has a functional difficulty OT will see them. Children don’t need a diagnosis, if a child has difficulties with their daily activities such as getting dressed, feeding themselves, writing, using scissors etc we will see them.
Why is there no support after diagnosis for ADHD?
Again, in terms of support for children with ADHD after diagnosis, we are a need’s led service so if a child has a functional difficulty OT will see them. Children don’t need a diagnosis, if a child has difficulties with their daily activities such as getting dressed, feeding themselves, writing, using scissors etc we will see them. There is no ADHD team in Calderdale unlike the ASD Support Team which isn’t linked to therapies.
How do you get a Dyscalculia diagnosis?
Dyscalculia can be diagnosed but is quite difficult to diagnose and not a condition Children’s Therapy Services would diagnose. Some Dyslexia clinics will diagnose for Dyscalculia too. See the attached links Dyscalculia – British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)
How can you get an assessment for dyscalculia and/or maths learning difficulties? – British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk) https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/dyscalculia/assessment-and-support/how-can-we-get-an-assessment-for-dyscalculia-and-or-maths-learning-difficulties
Who can help with sleep walking?
Your GP may be able to help with this, you can explain why sleep walking is a risk to your child and want it to be investigated. Your GP will refer to a sleep clinic in neighbouring areas or may refer to a specialist paediatrician first.
What is happening with behaviour support for those suffering child to parent violence (CPV)?
At the moment there is no clear pathway. You can also contact the Multi Agency Screening Team (MAST) If you have concerns
or speak to your Local Sure Start Centre to arrange a Family Support Worker.