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Luton Borough Council

Childcare Disability team


What is the Childcare Disability team (CDt)?

The CDt provides a range of services for disabled children and their families.

They aim to:

  • see all children with disabilities first and foremost as children
  • support parents in caring for their children within their own families
  • provide good quality services as agreed with parents and young people

Who is eligible for an assessment of need from the CDt?

A child with a disability aged between 0 to 18 years, who is substantially affected in their everyday living by one of more of the following:

  • learning disability
  • physical impairment
  • sensory impairment*
  • chronic physical ill health
  • severe communication or language disorder
  • Autistic spectrum disorder

* children with sensory impairments may be allocated to the sensory impairment team.

What is the role of the CDt?

Their role is to:

  • assess the needs of children and families and offer support, advice and information
    plan a programme of care when needed
  • liaise with other agencies such as health to ensure help and support offered to families is coordinated
  • provide short break and respite care for children and young people when needed
  • support access for disabled children and their families to practical help at home, personal care, play schemes, and support groups

What services are available?

Shared care scheme
Shared care is a short breaks respite scheme for families who have a disabled child between 0-18 years. We have a range of carers who offer specialist care to the children and young people they support. A carer is matched against your child’s needs.

You have a meeting with the shared carer, your social worker and shared care coordinator. An official agreement is set up with you which stipulates your child’s needs and how many hours of shared care will be provided. The carer must be trained to meet your child’s needs, for example, be trained in:

  • giving medicines
  • gastrostomy-tube feeding
  • midazolam
  • rectal diazepam

The cost of this training is met by social care. The carer can take your child to their house for a tea visit or take them swimming, to the cinema etc. It should be a fun time for your child and you get a break too.

There is also a service called Shared Care Link that offers longer breaks, including overnight stays if you would like this.

If it’s not possible for your child to stay at the carer’s house because your child, for example, is in a wheelchair and could not get upstairs, needs to sleep in a special bed or needs oxygen, then speak to your social worker and see if the shared carer could babysit in your house instead.

Many school staff and nurses are shared carers. All carers are subjected to a disclosure and barring service (DBS).

Direct payments
Instead of social care providing shared care or home carers, they can make a direct payment to you. Your child’s needs will be assessed and you’ll be allocated a set number of hours per week. Then you can choose your own carer and times for care, and you pay the carer directly.

This direct payment is only to be used to provide care and support for your child. The carer will need to be DBS checked to ensure your child will be safe in their care.

Social care have employed an independent support worker who is based at the Disability Resource Centre. They offer support and advice regarding direct payments.

They can:

  • help you to draw up job descriptions
  • support you with interviewing employees
  • help you to draw up contracts
  • find insurance advice
  • support you with paperwork
  • provide a payroll service

Home carer
If your child needs lots of care because they have significant physical and learning disabilities, or have complex needs, you can ask social care for an assessment for a home carer.

They’re usually provided through an agency and are all DBS checked. You could get half to one hour help in the morning with personal care for your child, such as washing, dressing and feeding your child.

You don’t pay for this care, but there must be a genuine need for it. If your child is very ill or has had a recent operation, social care and/or health will sometimes provide care in the afternoon or evening.

London Road Resource Centre (LRRC) - residential respite
Disabled children/young people aged from 8 to 18 years can be offered short-term respite care at LRRC. This aims to give you a break and provide the young person with opportunities to enhance the quality of their life and develop peer relationships.

LRRC also offer a range of clubs and holiday activities for children, and an outreach service that can support you with caring for your child.

Speak to your social worker if you think you need this type of support for your child. We appreciate that it’s not always easy to be honest about needing support, but we do need to know as this enables us to offer you the right support at the right time.

We can also support you to make sure that your disabled child’s siblings don’t miss out either.

Transition planning
As disabled children get older, it’s important to plan what services they will need as they leave school and become adults. The CDt works closely with young people, their families and other agencies to plan transition into adulthood.

The services your child needs when they leave school will be discussed with you and planned over the last few years of your child’s school life. We have a dedicated Transitions team that sits alongside the Social Work team.

Occupational therapy (OT)
The Childcare Disability team works closely with the Children’s Occupational Therapy service to ensure a child’s holistic needs are met. This service provides equipment and adaptations as necessary following professional assessment of need.

Looked after children
The team can also arrange care for children and young people with disabilities who cannot live with their families. These children may:

  • live with foster families
  • attend a residential school
  • attend other specialist homes that can offer care for children with exceptional needs

If you have an allocated social worker, please speak to them about support for your family. To make a request for a new assessment or service, the contact details you need are below.

Referral and Intervention team
Tel: 01582 546000

For additional information, please see the short break service statement 2017-18 booklet in the download section below.

  1. referral pathway – appendix 1 on page17
  2. eligibility criteria – appendix 2 on page 18
© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ