The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:
Where there is an EHC needs assessment, it should be an holistic assessment of the child or young person’s education, health and social care needs. EHC needs assessments should be combined with social care assessments under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 where appropriate. (10.18)
In seeking advice and information, the local authority should consider with professionals what advice they can contribute to ensure the assessment covers all the relevant education, health and care needs of the child or young person. (9.49)
This means that as part of an EHC needs assessment, the family services team will seek advice from social care about their previous involvement and assessments for your child.
If their response is 'not known to service' - you might want discuss with your family services co-ordinator, or ask social care, to carry out an assessment (or re-assessment) of care needs.
The EHC plan
Section H1 within an EHC plan includes:
Any social care provision which must be made for a child or young person under 18 resulting from Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA), such as:
- practical assistance in the home
- clubs and activities outside the home
- assistance in travelling or helping your child to take part in activities
- equipment or adaptations to the home
- non-residential short breaks
- any identified provision for parent carers of disabled children
Section H2 of an EHC plan includes any other provision related to your child or young person's SEN that isn't covered within section H1, for example residential short breaks or support with finding employment or housing.
Read more detail about the sections of an EHC plan
Preparing for adulthood
For children and young people in or beyond Year 9 with EHC plans, local authorities have a legal duty to include provision to assist in preparing for adulthood in the EHC plan review. (SEND Code of Practice 2015: 1.40)
This means that from year 9 onwards Annual Reviews of an EHC plan need to consider wider support needs for example; preparation for employment and independent living.
Packages of support across 5 days:
The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:
Section 58 of the Care Act 2014 says ; Where young people have EHC plans, local authorities should consider the need to provide a full package of provision and support across education, health and care that covers five days a week, where that is appropriate to meet the young person’s needs. (8.39)
It can also include health and care related activities such as physiotherapy. Full-time packages of provision and support set out in the EHC plan should include any time young people need to access support for their health and social care needs. (8.40)
places a duty on local authorities to carry out an assessment of a child's needs where this would be of 'significant benefit' to the child, and if it is likely they will have care and support needs when they turn 18.
The local authority has to provide support to enable you to plan ahead as your child approaches their 18th Birthday, so there are no gaps in services.
You, or your young person, may request an assessment at any time ahead of their 18th Birthday. However, the local authority can be flexible with the timing of the assessment, and they decide whether and when there is 'significant benefit' to assessing needs.
If your child has an EHC plan, it is expected that preparation for adulthood begins from year 9 as part of their Annual Review.
Where a young person has Autism, they have a right to a community care assessment and their parents a right to a carer’s assessment.
The duty lies with the SENCO (or in college with the named SEN person) to build this into 'preparing for adulthood' reviews.
The Local Authority have a legal duty within section 47 of the Children Act 1989 to investigate if they suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
Anyone can make a referral to Children's Services, including a parent, wider family member, friend, doctor, teacher or health visitor if they are concerned about a child.
For support or guidance around safeguarding contact the Safeguarding hub.
Following a referral the Local Authority will then decide whether there should be any action taken to safeguard your child’s welfare.
Read more about the Slough process for 'keeping children safe'.
If someone has raised concerns about your child by contacting social care, you may find it useful to read through the guidance from Child Law Advice, which explains what happens and how to prepare for questions you and your child will be asked.
Safeguarding - collaborative working across Children, young people's and Adult services (opens PDF)
Social Care pages on the Local Offer
Slough Borough Council 'meeting the needs' and their threshold guidance for children with a disability
Working Together to Safeguard Children (government guidance)
Raising Concerns about Social Care Services Concerns
If you are unhappy about how you have been treated, or with the assessment process or outcome you may complain to the local authority
If you have followed the local authority complaints procedure and are still unsatisfied, you could complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
If you believe the local authority have acted unlawfully you may consider Judicial Review, though as this is a formal legal route, it is strongly advisable to seek legal representation if you are considering this option.
Read more about this within our raising concerns page.
Disagreement resolution services around the EHC process
If you have a concern about the social care needs assessment or provision as part of the EHC process you can request disagreement resolution services. In Slough these are provided by Global Mediation.
Download the Global Mediation leaflet (PDF)
You can request mediation about the social care needs or provision in an EHC plan. This will take place within 30 days, and arranged by Anglia Care Trust.
Appealing an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
If you are 'Appealing to the SEND Tribunal' about the education sections of a plan, you may now also include the sections relating to health or social care needs or provision.
Though the tribunal will not be able to make legally binding orders on health and social care, it is expected that their recommendations will generally be followed.
Read the full guidance about the trial, including the duties of health commissioners and local authorities.
Local authority services & policy:
Activities Unlimited (short breaks and leisure activities) or call 01753------
Children and young peoples services portal or call
Local offer - Early help, social care and disabled children & young people services
Meeting the needs and threshold guidance
Safeguarding - reporting a child at risk of harm
Safeguarding - collaborative working across Children, young people's and Adult services
Legislation & statutory guidance:
Autism Act 2009
Care Act 2014
Children Act 1989
Children & families Act 2014
Chronically Sick & Disabled Person's Act (CDSPA) 1970
'Mental health and behaviour in schools' guidance
SEND Code of Practice
Working together to safeguard children guidance
Carers UK factsheet (page 17 to 22 are about assessments for disabled children and their families)
Child Law Advice
Contact (for families with disabled children)
Services and support from your local authority (Contact information booklet)
Council for Disabled Children (CDC)
Local Government Association - Integrated commissioning across health and social care
Preparing for adulthood website
Preparing for adulthood factsheet
Tribunals extended powers to make recommendations about health and social care