Getting Support for Children and Young People
Children and Young Adults with Down’s syndrome and their families need different levels of support to achieve the things they wish to in daily life. The first step to getting additional day-to-day support is to ask for a Social Care Assessment from the local authority.
Social care is not necessarily a replacement for a Parent or Carer’s support, but can complement the support they provide and is there to help the person they support. Some social care provision is to support the Parent/Carer in their role by enabling them to continue in their caring role.
What is social care?
Social care support can take different forms. Depending on the Child or Young Person’s needs and family circumstances this could include support with personal care, such as washing, eating or going to the toilet, developing friendships and taking part in leisure activities.
Social care support can be provided as services from a local authority, services from other organisations commissioned by a local authority or as financial payments (direct payments) paid directly to the family so they can buy and manage their own support.
See here for more information about how to request different social care assessments in England and how to get the right level of support.
The name and type of the social care assessment varies according to the age of the person.
Getting support from an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
For Young People under 25 who are in education, it is also possible to ask for a social care assessment as part of the overall assessment process for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or when the EHCP is reviewed. For more information on EHCPs, including how social care fits in, see our Education Rights factsheets https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/for-families-and-carers/education/sen-and-the-law/education-rights-series/
For Adults 18+
An adult social care assessment is known as a ‘Needs Assessment’. It will look at the person’s health and care needs and assess whether they are eligible for support from their local authority. See the social care series for more information about Adult Social Care Assessments in England.
For further information and advice about assessments please call the DSA helpline on 0333 1212 300.