SERVICES FOR CHILDREN
WITH DISABILITIES AND
THEIR FAMILIES IN HIGHLAND
THE BIG PICTURE
Provision of services for children and young people with disabilities and their
families were boosted by the integration of the Highland Council and NHS
Highland into the Children’s Health and Social Care Service in 2012.
This built on existing multi-disciplinary practice in particular with Allied Health
Professionals in child health including occupational therapists, physiotherapists,
speech and language therapists and dieticians. They joined the Council along
with the children’s community learning disability nurses who were already
integrated into the Children’s Disability Service in central Highland.
Such momentum in improved provision was further enhanced by the merging
of Health and Social Care and Education Services into Care and Learning in
2014, including the creation of new Family Teams in October 2014, based
around Associated School Groups.
How does this ensure we get it right for every child, including children,
young people and families affected by disability?
Family Teams deliver universal and additional public health services, as well as
social care and child protection services for children in the context of the
Highland Practice Model. Teams are multi-disciplinary with an ethos of
collaborative practice – within the team and with children, young people,
parents and carers. The teams work in communities with partner services from
the associated school group, the area and from across Highland.
Practice Leads (for early years, for school years and for care & protection
services) work together within the team to provide a local integrated service to
children & families. Practice Leads collaborate to support the work of the team,
providing leadership and supervision to distinct but complementary areas of
All children with disabilities are considered children first and their needs
assessed in the context of their family, school and community in this way.
The Child Health and Disability Teams, who are an integrated and distinct part
of the Family Teams network, deliver targeted services where the situation
and/or the disabilities are more complex.
Further information about the disability teams can be found on the Council’s
BUILDING CAPACITY IN FAMILIES, SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES
Children and young people with disability need to be included in and nurtured
by their families, their schools and their communities.
The Self-Directed Support (S-DS) legislation, enacted by the Scottish
Government in 2014 has given the Council and NHS Highland a further means to
support this and improve outcomes for children and young people with disabilities.
S-DS implementation in Highland is shifting resource to children, young people
and families affected by disability who are eligible for Health and Social Care
Services so that they have more control and choice about how to meet their needs.
Following 18 months of piloting Self-Directed Support, in partnership with families,
the Council began processing assessments of all new requests for service and
review of existing packages utilising the new S-DS process, from July 2014.
Some families may choose to use the resources allocated in different, new and
creative ways. Others may wish to take a more measured approach and
continue to make use of existing services. Others might have a mixture the two.
Families and services are on a journey together, learning to ensure that the
resources available add value to what is already working well for families.
The Highland Council SDS Pamphlet for Children and Families provides
We are a team of Educational Psychologists and Pre-School Home
WHAT WE DO
Educational Psychologists help to find solutions to improve the learning,
social and emotional wellbeing and environment for all children and
The Pre-School Home Teaching Service is offered to the family of any child
with additional support needs which may affect their development, learning
or behaviour. We work to support your child within the home and early years
settings. We work in collaboration with families and other agencies to identify
goals and demonstrate play and learning strategies to ensure a holistic
approach to continued learning.
Read the information leaflets on the Highland Council website about the
Educational Psychology and Pre School Home Visiting Service.
Our Psychological Service is solution focused and works for positive change.
We strive to form attuned relationships with others through collaborative and
inclusive working. We are child centred and seek to be evidenced based,
reflective practitioners with a commitment to on-going innovative practice.
REQUEST FOR INVOLVEMENT
Following the staged approach, requests for involvement typically come
through the Child’s Plan. We can provide informal consultation at stage 2
of the Highland Practice model. However, more direct involvement is
negotiated with the Educational Psychologist in a Solution Focused
Meeting or Child’s Plan Meeting.
A request for involvement to an educational psychologist does not always
need to be from the school but can be anyone who knows the child or young
person well, including the child or young person themselves. If you have any
concerns about a child's development, learning or behaviour, please contact
us. Please note that consent must be obtained from a parent or carer before
discussing any child under the age of 16 with a psychologist.