Visual Impairment Good Practice Guide No. 4: Children and Young People.
This is one of a series of guides produced by the Project Team, as part of the study led by the Improvement and Governance team of the Welsh Local Government Association.
The guides are:
Further information from the Association at:
Local Government House, Drake Walk, Cardiff, CF10 4LG
Tel: 029 2046 8600.
ADSS, LEAs, WCB, LHBs, RNIB Cymru, WAG, SSIW, NHS Health Trusts, Local voluntary organisations.
Children with visual impairment (VI) often do not receive appropriate or the best services because of the traditional lack of specialist VI expertise within education and related services. Even where children’s service departments deal with the service user, a lack of specialist knowledge of VI issues and services can mean that an unsatisfactory level of care is provided. A clearer role for VI specialists within Social Services, and better collaborative arrangements between children focused services within local authorities and among partners is vital if young users are to receive the levels of service to which they are eligible, and which will help them optimise their educational and wider life chances.
CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS.
Children with visual impairment receive specialist assessment within sensory or VI team of local authority.
Education and Social Services work effectively together in planning and delivering services for children with identified visual impairment.
Contact and Referral;
Specialist Assessment and the Child Plan.
CURRENT ADVICE ON TARGETS.
There are currently no national targets or guidance on performance.
Important attention has been drawn to the service in the document ‘Progress in Sight’ (ADSS, RNIB and Guide Dogs, October 2003).
RECOMMENDED PERFORMANCE MEASURES.
Percentage of children registered as blind or partially sighted who have received VI rehabilitation from a specialist worker within the past year.
Number of specialist VI assessments conducted on children per annum.
Number of specialist VI assessments conducted on behalf of non-registered children with a VI.
Percentage of children who have undergone specialist VI
assessment who have a written Service Delivery Plan.
|Key Activity||Minimum Standard||Good Practice||Better Practice|
|1. Contact and Referral||Protocols are agreed between Social Services, Education, Health and other partners specifying agreed practices for working collaboratively on VI children’s referrals.|
|Local authority has designated first point/s of contact for VI enquiries involving children, located in Social Services. Contact is aware of the range of VI services for children available in the area||Named worker receiving initial contact from child/family/carer has a broad knowledge of issues relating to VI in children||Named worker is a VI specialist based in children’s services|
|The first point/s of contact in Social Services have completed initial VI awareness training.||Regular programme of VI awareness training is provided for all front line staff in Social Services.||Regular programme of VI awareness training is provided for all front line staff in related service areas, especially Education|
|Where service user has complex / multiple needs e.g. learning disabilites or deafblind, first point of contact makes referral to VI services within Social Services.|
|Consistent screening processes are in place and adhered to.|
|Where contact does not result in referral, family and carers of child concerned are provided with advice and guidance on useful contacts for support and assistance.||Where initial contact results in a referral, a named worker responsible for the initial assessment makes contact with child/family/carers.|
|2. Initial Assessment.||Initial assessment is carried out in accordance with ‘National Framework for Assessment of Children and Families in Need’.||Assessment is conducted by a worker with relevant experience in children’s services and VI and with an understanding of the needs of children with VI.||Collaborative reviews are arranged with other partners e.g. Education, Health, voluntary sector, at agreed intervals.|
|Assessment is coordinated by Social Services and adheres to an agreed protocol between Social Services, other local authority departments, and Health and voluntary sectors as appropriate.|
|Eligibility criteria and relevant timescales are specified and made available to the families and carers of the child concerned and other parties.||Eligibility criteria and relevant timescales are specified and made available to the families and carers of the child concerned and other parties in accessible format.||Eligibility criteria and relevant timescales are specified and made available to families and carers of the child concerned and other parties in accessible and preferred format/s on request.|
|Assessment is undertaken in accordance with appropriate legislation on the use of personal information.|
|Assessment process includes consideration of child’s expressed wishes and feelings (dependant on age, ability etc.).|
|Social Services arrange dissemination of assessment information (e.g. the needs assessment or summary) to families and carers of the child concerned and others as appropriate.||Social services arrange dissemination of assessment information (e.g. the needs assessment or summary) to families and carers of the child concerned and others as appropriate in accessible format.||Social services arrange dissemination of assessment information (e.g. the needs assessment or summary) to families and carers of the child concerned and others as appropriate in accessible and preferred format/s.|
|Initial assessment is completed within 7 working days of initial contact.|
|3. Specialist Assessment and the Child Plan||Where initial assessment identifies special and / or complex needs, multi-agency core assessment is completed within 35 working days.|
|Where initial (and, where appropriate core or specialist) assessment identifies a support need, a Child Plan is drawn up in consultation with the service user. Advice is provided on review dates, and who to contact in the event of the child’s circumstances changing.|
|Multi agency approach is in place for drawing up Child Plan involving Social Services, Education, Health and other specialist agencies as appropriate.|
|Child Plan specifies additional responsive care elements e.g. counselling, emotional support, low vision support, mobility, use of IT, and training, in school and in the home etc.|
|Child Plan clearly allocates responsibility between agencies for providing specific elements of support contained in the Child Plan, and sets out commissioning and delivery arrangements.|
|Collaborative review of Child Plan takes place at regular intervals.|
|Social Services are involved in transition planning for existing service users.||Social Care attend Year 9 statementing review of all existing service users.||Social Care attend Year 9 statementing review of all children with VI.|
|Transition worker in post to assist young people with VI.|