Introduction to Social Care

What is Social Care?

Local authorities have a legal duty to support children with a disability and their families. Social services are responsible for arranging this support which can include:

  • Practical assistance in the home (help with things such as shopping, cooking and cleaning).
  • Care in the home (day/night)
  • Support to access recreational facilities outside of the home
  • Day centres, school holiday or weekend provision (short breaks)
  • Overnight respite services (short breaks)
  • Travel and other assistance.
  • Home adaptations and facilities.

To access support a needs assessment will need to be requested and completed by social services. Depending on your child’s needs this will either be carried out by a social worker in the Disabled Children’s Team (DCT) or the Locality Social Work Team.

Who Funds these Services?

Under the Children Act 1989 and the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, Local authorities have the power to charge for services they provide.

Each local authority will have its own charging policy and it is usually your income and savings as a parent that are taken into account. Your child’s Disability Living Allowance shouldn’t be taken into account, and you should not be asked to pay more than you can afford.

When a child transfers to adult services, it is their own ability to pay that is taken into account, not yours. (link to Introduction to Adult Social Care)

If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit (paid at a rate above the family element) Income Support or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, you should not be charged for services. You should also not be charged for advice, information and counselling services, regardless of your financial situation.

The same charging rules apply to services for Carers of disabled children.

In Kensington and Chelsea there are two social services teams, Disabled Children’s Team/ Locality Social Work Team a worker from one of these teams will be allocated to your child after a referral. You can be referred either by a relevant professional or via self- referral by calling the Duty Social Worker line on 0207 598 4921.

Full of Life’s family support service and St Quintin’s keyworker service can also offer advice and support.