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Our principles

Camden aims to make sure disabled children and young people in the borough receive the most suitable social care services and support according to the level of their needs.

  • We will work in partnership with children, young people and their parents and carers to maximise the child or young person’s potential so that they can make the most of their opportunities in the context of their disability.
  • We will ensure that all children and young people are able to take an active part in deciding on services and support to the extent that they are able and we will assess their capacity to make decisions as required by law.
  • Young people will be enabled to experience as much personal freedom as is possible given the nature and extent of their disabilities and this will only be restricted as is necessary to safeguard the child or young person’s welfare. 

Eligibility for services

The diagram below shows how services for children in Camden are organised.

  • Most children’s needs can be met at level 1 through universal services such as health and education, but disabled children and their families may need extra services and support to help them overcome any difficulties they face because of their disability and allow them to lead as normal a life as possible.
  • Children with more complex disabilities at level 3 will meet the threshold for a statutory social care service from the Children and Young People Disability Service.

    When deciding on what level of need the child or young person has, Camden uses the Functional Needs Assessment. This gives a scoring on the level of need and children and young people who score at least 2 moderate or 1 severe or profound needs as identified by a health professional will b eligible for a service.

    Social care services for disabled children and young people are designed to meet their needs that arise from their disability and to support their parents and carers and is not an indication that social workers think parents are not caring for their child.

    However, if social workers do have any concerns about the standard of care the child or young person receives or believe that they may be at risk of harm, neglect or abuse, the Children and Young People Disability Service may take action under our safeguarding and child protection procedures.

Preparing for adult life

  • At 14, young people who receive a service from the Preparing for adult life team will have a transitions assessment to plan what services and support they may need when they reach 18 or until they finish education. More details can be found on the Preparing for adult life page.

Short Breaks

Short Breaks are available through universal services and through MOSAIC for targeted and specialist short breaks services.

Short Breaks are fun activities provided after-school, at the weekend and during school holidays which allow children and young people the opportunity to do something they enjoy, independently from their parents. They also give parent and carers a break from their caring role.

To find out more about short breaks as well as support for siblings of disabled children, click here.

Looked after children

Some children who have very complex needs may need a residential placement that can meet their education, health and social care needs. Details of this can be found on the Education page.

Most children will be placed for 38 weeks during term time and will return home for the holidays. If the child lives away from home at a residential placement for 52 weeks of the year and does not return home they will need to become looked after by Camden. This means they will have a care plan that sets out how Camden will ensure that they are well cared for whilst living at their placement.

Sometimes children may be looked after because there are concerns about the standard of care they receive at home. Please see the information in the safeguarding and child protection section for full details.

Moving from children's services to adult services - Preparing for adult life

At 14, young people who receive a service from the Children and Young People Disability Service will have a transitions assessment to plan what services and support they may need when they reach 18 or until they finish education. More details can be found on the Preparing for adult life page.

To search for information, advice and for services from adult social care, you can visit Camden Care Choice.

If you would like to speak to someone, you can contact the Access and Response team or the Camden Learning Disability Service.

Carer's assessment

  • A carers assessment is for someone who provides care and support. This can be to a disabled child, an adult family member or friend.
  • For carers of children with a disability, a carers assessment will be done during the child and family assessment or during a transition assessment in order to see if any additional support is required. A carers assessment can also be requested.

Young carers

Who is a young carer?

  • Children and young people under 18 who have caring responsibilities
  • They provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.
  • The term does not apply to the everyday and occasional help around the home that may often be expected of or given by children in families.

What rights do young carers have?

  • Children aged under 18 who are providing care have rights to be assessed for care and support.
  • The Children and Families Act gives carers under the age of 18 the right to an assessment on the appearance of need, they do not have to request one.
  • The Care Act gives young carers the right to an assessment as they approach 18 years of age. It is called a Young Carers Assessment

What is the assessment process for a young carer?

  • The assessment itself must look at whether or not the young carer wishes to continue caring, and whether it is appropriate for them to continue caring.
  • When doing this they have to take into account any education, training, work or recreational activities the young carer is or wishes to participate in.
  • Where a young carer’s eligible needs are identified as requiring support, local councils will have to:
    • provide support directly to the young carer or
    • demonstrate that the ‘cared for person’s’ assessment has provided adequate care and support to prevent inappropriate care being required from the young carer.


Further Help and Support

Family Action Islington and Camden Young Carers Service

  • Offer information and advice to parents, young people and professionals
  • Work with the whole family to look at ways of supporting the young carer and the person who needs care
  • To find out more, you can call them on 020 7272 6933.

Camden Carers Service

  • Provides help, support and assistance for young carers aged 18-25 years.
  • To find out more you can visit their website or call them on 020 7428 8950.

Elfrida Rathbone Camden

  • Offers advocacy for young carers and their families - for example, between school and family, family and housing or hospital services.
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