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Children with disabilities and complex needs

We work with families who have a child aged 0–18 years with a diagnosed disability.

We provide a professional source of help and support to families with a disabled child by:

  • assessing the needs of children and carers
  • providing information and advise on a range of issues
  • giving ongoing support through our social work and other teams
  • helping families to access local and national services.

Other services available include:

  • advice and information on local and national services working for disabled children and their families

  • referrals to agencies who can give help and advice on benefit and grant applications

  • assessment of the needs of the child and the carer 

  • liaison with other agencies such as housing, education, health and occupational therapy

  • arranging family support services.

How to access the service

Referrals for a social care assessment may come from:

  • a school
  • another council
  • a health visitor or other health professional
  • a parent or carer.

To make a referral:

Urgent referrals

  • For urgent child protection referrals, contact the MASH on 020 8314 9181. 
  • If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999 or contact your local police on 101.

After you refer a child

We will check whether the child or young person meets the children with disabilities eligibility criteria. If they do, a social work manager will decide whether or not to allocate the case to a social worker.


  • If the case is allocated to a social worker, the social care assessment must take place within 45 days of allocation. 
  • Assessments will generally happen between 35 and 45 days after allocation. 

If there are safeguarding concerns, the assessment will be within 10 days of allocation. 


Following the social care assessment of the needs of the child or young person, the social worker will make one of the following decisions:

  • The child or young person does not need a service.
  • The child or young person is entitled to receive a service which will be delivered by universal services.
  • The child or young person needs support through a care plan.

Care plan

The social worker will draft the care plan if the child needs one. The care plan will identify all the services needed for supporting the child or young person.

All packages of care will be discussed with a manager and then presented to the Care Package Panel for agreement. 


Children with Complex Needs Service

Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre, 32 Rushey Green, London, SE6 4JF

Services for children and young people with SEND

This page is part of the 'local offer' for children and young people with special educational needs

Explore the local offer