Disabled children have the same rights as other children. We want to make sure that they grow up with the right support, so that they have the same opportunities as other children to lead fulfilling lives.

local offer logo The Children with Disabilities Service (CWD) is a specialist service which supports families and children who have profound, severe, complex and long-term needs.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Type of support you can get

We provide advice on disability and services in the borough for children and young people aged 0 to 18 years and support young people with the transition to adult services.

The transition pathway from children’s to adult social care is currently under review.

We can also provide support in the form of a care package of services for your child, if they’re eligible following an assessment.

The services provided may include:

  • activities
  • short breaks
  • respite
  • care arrangements
  • a personal budget.

2. What happens when a referral is made?

One of our social workers will contact you if we receive a referral about your child from another agency.

They’ll talk to you about your child's disability and also seek your permission to get information from other professionals involved in your child’s life, such as their GP, teacher or physiotherapist, if appropriate.

If your child is eligible for an assessment from CWD and you give consent, we will carry out a child and family assessment. This will involve contacting people who may know your child such as their teacher, health visitor, consultant and speech and language therapist.

Sometimes it may be necessary to contact other professionals who are involved with your family and adult members of your family to help us get a more complete understanding of your circumstances. You can choose which agencies you want the social worker to talk to.

Working with you

The social worker will come to see you and your family to talk with you about:

  • what you think the difficulties are
  • how children’s social care and other agencies might help you
  • putting a plan in place.

They will work with you to make a plan so you understand what help you will receive.

You and your child will both be fully involved in the assessment and plan and you will receive a copy when it has been completed and agreed by the social worker and their manager.

We will discuss what services are available to support your child to achieve good outcomes, and

After the assessment we will agree on a care plan for your child, if eligible. The care plan states what we will all do to help meet your child’s needs.

There to help

As part of our statutory responsibilities we will always work with you to ensure your child’s welfare is safeguarded and their needs are being met.

If your child is not eligible, we will provide information on other community services that can help you.

3. Criteria for getting an assessment

Assessments will only be carried out if your child meets the CWD eligibility criteria.

There are a series of consultation events happening throughout the year aimed at developing the CWD eligibility criteria.

If a child’s needs do not meet these criteria, we will always offer advice. If we cannot provide support we will tell parents about other organisations that may be able to help.

4. Contact us

Parent and carers can self-refer by calling us on 020 7926 5555 to discuss their child’s disability and seek advice on eligibility and services.

Professionals and voluntary organisations should call the above number if there is an urgent child protection matter, or if they would like advice prior to making a referral for support.

All referrals from professionals or voluntary organisations will need to be made using the Multi-agency referral form and emailed to helpandprotection@lambeth.gov.uk


Feedback on this service

You can provide feedback on CWD, or your experience in relation to another children’s social care service, by filling in the Local Offer feedback form.