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6. Specialist Services

Staffordshire County Council Specialist Services

Each of the services in house or commissioned are likely to have eligibility criteria and so we would ask you to check directly with these services to find out what the criteria is.

Aids and Adaptations

You may be living or moving into a property which needs to be altered to provide you with the facilities you need to live independently. For example, you might need to have a level access installed in the bathroom or a stairlift fitted to help you get up and down the stairs.

If your home does need to be adapted you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local district and borough council towards the cost of providing the adaptations and facilities. In order to qualify for a grant the proposed works must be necessary and appropriate to meet your needs, based on an assessment by an Occupational Therapist.

The amount of grant payable depends upon the cost of the work and the average weekly income of the person with the disability. Income is not taken into account for children with a disability who are under 19.

If the adaptations are for a child (under 19) you can arrange for an assessment by contacting Children and Families Services at Staffordshire County Council on 0800 13 13 126 (Monday to Thursday 8.30am-5.00pm and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm) or email firstr@staffordshire.gov.uk.

If the adaptations are for an adult (aged 19 and over) you should contact Staffordshire Cares on 0300 111 8010. Text/SMS (for people with a hearing impairment): 07814 194 111

You can also visit the technology and equipment pages available from Staffordshire County Council.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology can give people more independence by providing equipment to help and support people to live in their own home. There is a large range of equipment available to help you, your family or carer within the home environment, including community alarm systems so that you can get help quickly should you need it. Other equipment automatically detects hazards such as fire, floods, falls and carbon monoxide escapes as well as small devices to help you with tasks such as pouring a kettle or preparing food.

Equipment can be provided if a member of the Independent Futures team has assessed you as eligible for help. For more information contact the County Council’s Customer Contact Centre on 0300 111 8000 or email independent.futures@staffordshire.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can purchase equipment privately so if you want to find out more about what is available the AskSARA site has plenty of useful information.

Staffordshire County Council’s Bilbrook 'AT' House is a service which allows people of all ages in Staffordshire to try out new equipment and technology, in a 'real life' home setting, which could help them stay safe and independent at home.

Billbrook House has been designed to increase awareness of the types of technology available, and also has AT assessment facilities at the same location. This gives people the opportunity to get a real 'hands on' user experience.

The shop at Bilbrook House, Carter Avenue, Bilbrook is open on Fridays between 9am and 1pm.

Support for children and young people with a visual impairment.

The Visual Impairment Team supports children and young people (C&YP) with a visual impairment at home, in early years setting, mainstream and special schools. this support continues throughout school and into further education.

Qualified and experienced Specialist Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Mobility Officers and Communication Support Workers (Specialist Teaching Assistants) work in partnership with parents, teachers and other professionals to provide support to each individual.

Supporting Children with Hearing Impairment

The Hearing Impairment (HI) team provides educational support for children and young people (C & YP) with hearing impairment from diagnosis. The HI team works directly with children and young people, offering advice and support to schools and families.

Our aim is to ensure that pupils with a hearing impairment are given every opportunity to benefit from a mainstream educational experience at their local nursery, primary/secondary school, and collage. We are client driven and therefore, only visit establishments where there are deaf C & YP.

 Autism and Sensory Support in Staffordshire (ASSIST)

ASSIST offers a wide range of support to young people and their families as well as other professionals.

Autism Outreach Team

The Autism Outreach Team (AOT) is available across Staffordshire to support pupils, parents/carers and schools The team works with pupils in mainstream schools, nurseries and pre-schools who have a confirmed diagnosis or medical working diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For more information please see the leaflet below:

Image result for word doc image Autism Outreach team (163kb)

Deaf Children/Young People

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has information for local authorities on specialist education services for deaf children and young people. Further information is available below:

​Educational Psychology Service

Educational Psychologists work with children, young people, parents, carers, school staff and other professionals to help improve things in schools and other learning settings. Further information is available our schools learning net website

Image result for word doc imageEducational Psychology Service working practices (256 kb)

Entrust Education Support Service

Entrust provides education support services to schools, trusts and Local Authorities across the UK. Further information is available on the Entrust website.

Minority Ethnic Achievement Service

The Staffordshire Minority Ethnic Achievement Service (MEAS)  aims to help schools:

  • Support the inclusion of minority ethnic pupils
  • Promote diversity
  • Prevent discriminatory incidents
  • Support New Arrivals with English as an additional language (EAL) to make progress
  • Monitor the attainment of your New Arrivals with EAL
  • Safeguard your New Arrivals with EAL
  • Implement best practice for newly arrived EAL learners

Support for New Arrivals with EAL - Staffordshire LA maintained schools and settings

Our New Arrivals Support Package for LA maintained schools and settings who are not in receipt of EMA grant funding allows you access to the specialist support you may require for pupils with English as an additional language (EAL). If you are not sure if this applies, please get in touch with meas@entrust-ed.co.uk and we will advise you regarding your status.

This package is currently free of charge to LA schools as it is funded by grants, including money from the Schools Forum.

The support package includes:

  • An advisory visit from one of our consultants who will undertake an initial assessment of the pupil
  • A written report on the pupil containing advice and guidance for staff
  • A small grant to use towards buying support for the New Arrival (eg additional resources, TA support)

The following support may also be provided but cannot be guaranteed:

  • Support from a Linguistic and Cultural Mediator at the advisory visit
  • Attendance/support for an admissions meeting by a Linguistic and Cultural Mediator as required - a half-day session
  • Up to three further half-day support sessions from a Linguistic and Cultural Mediator for use at meetings with parents/support in school/dealing with emergencies

You can also purchase additional support if required including interpreting at meetings or translation of letters, documents or reports for your EAL families.

Support for EAL Pupils Causing Concern - Staffordshire LA maintained schools and settings (including EMA grant funded schools)

If you have an EAL pupil who is causing concern, we can support you by offering you:

  • An advisory visit from one of our consultants who will undertake an initial assessment of the pupil
  • A written report on the pupil containing advice and guidance for staff

This package is currently free of charge to all LA schools as it is funded by grants, including money from the Schools Forum.

Where appropriate, the advisor will be supported by an LCM in carrying our first language assessments of newly arrived pupils or any EAL pupil causing concerns.

For further details of our New Arrivals/Pupil Causing Concern packages, please contact MEAS at meas@entrust-ed.co.uk

Support for New Arrivals with EAL - Academies

Our support package allows you to access to the specialist support you may require for pupils with English as an additional language.

The support package includes:

  • An advisory visit from one of our consultants who will undertake an initial assessment of the pupil
  • A written report on the pupil containing advice and guidance for staff

Support for EAL Pupils Causing Concern - Academies

If you have an EAL pupil who is causing concern, we can support you by offering you:

  • An advisory visit from one of our consultants who will undertake an initial assessment of the pupil
  • A written report on the pupil containing advice and guidance for staff

For further details of our New Arrivals/Pupil Causing Concern packages for academies, please contact MEAS at meas@entrust-ed.co.uk

You want to develop and extend cultural understanding in school?

Our team of LCMs can assist you with bespoke packages/exhibitions to underpin cultural and linguistic diversity. Please get in touch for more details at meas@entrust-ed.co.uk 

Families First

The Families First Service ensures that the needs of children, young people and families across Staffordshire are identified early, the right help is put in place and problems are stopped from getting worse. For more information please visit the Staffordshire County Council website.

Local Support Teams are available to work with children and young people with a disability or additional need and their families.  Contact details for the Local Support Teams are also available on the Staffordshire County Council website.

Independent Futures

The Independent Futures Service helps disabled people of all ages achieve an independent, active and enjoyable life for as long as possible.

Mental Capacity Act

The Act introduces a new form of Power of Attorney which allows people over the age of 18 to formally appoint one or more people to look after their health, welfare and finances/property, if at some time in the future they lack capacity to make those decisions.

For a person who wants to be a tenant and enter into a tenancy agreement, he or she must have the capacity to understand the contract. The essential requirement for understanding is the occupation of your own accommodation, the payment of rent and looking after the home. The Mental Capacity Act states that a person should be considered capable unless proved otherwise. In order to make a decision about whether a person has capacity to understand, sign and terminate tenancy agreements a capacity assessment will need to be undertaken by the Independent Futures Team.

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) are a statutory safeguard for people who lack capacity to make some important decisions. This includes decisions about where the person lives and serious medical treatment when the person does not have family or friends who can represent them. Further information about IMCA is available from Asist.

Physical Disability Support Service (PDSS)

The PDSS supports pupils with a range of physical and medical needs and associated learning and sensory impairments. Guidance is available on physical access, access to the curriculum and social and emotional inclusion of pupils with a physical disability plus much more. Further information is available below.

pdfPhysical Disability Support Service Leaflet (188 KB)

pdf PDSS Referral Form (130 KB)

School Improvement Team

The School Improvement Team works with schools and settings to secure the very best outcomes for children and young people in Staffordshire. 

SENIS (Special Educational Needs Inclusion Services) are commissioned via Entrust

Within SENIS are the following teams:

  • SENSS (Special Educational Needs Support Services)
  • Inclusion Officers
  • Primary Behaviour Support
  • Secondary Behaviour Consultants
  • Elective Home Education(EHE).  Further guidance is also available on the Staffordshire Learning Net
  • Early Years SENCO's (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators)
  • Minority Ethnic Achievements Service (MEAS)

Call 0300 111 8030 or email enquiries@entrust-ed.co.uk to find out
more about our range of services.

Short Breaks for Children and Young People with Disabilities

Short breaks provide fun activities outside of the school day where disabled children and young people can try new things and develop confidence independently from their families or as part of a family experience.

Short breaks may also enable parents and carers to have a break from caring, which may allow them to have a rest, catch up on day to day activities, spend time with other family members or take up other interests. For more information please visit the Staffordshire County Council website.

Specialist Support Service

The Specialist Support Service (SSS) is a County Council education service resource which serves the whole of Staffordshire. It aims to help children and young people with sensory impairments and / or ASD, to ensure they will get every opportunity to enjoy an inclusive educational experience. 

Further information can be found on the Staffordshire Learning Net Website.

Youth Offending Service

Staffordshire Youth Offending Service works with young people, aged 10 to 17, who have offended or are at risk of offending. The service is made up of several teams who work together to prevent re-offending and promote positive outcomes for young people in Staffordshire. Our three Youth Offending Teams deliver interventions to young people who have offended. The Prevention Team engages with young people at risk of entering the Criminal Justice System.

The Youth Offending Service incorporates representatives from a wide range of agencies, including Police Officers, Probation staff, Education Training and Employment Officers and Health Workers. This means we can respond to the needs of young offenders in a holistic way. We identify the needs of each young offender with a nationally used assessment. This identifies the specific problems that contribute to the young person offending as well as measuring the risk they pose to others. It enables us to identify suitable programmes to address the needs of the young person with the intention of preventing further offending. For more information please visit the Staffordshire Youth Offending Service website.

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