Which local services can offer support?

SCT - Waiting for Assessment - Which local services can offer support? - Introduction
You can continue to access additional support in your local area while you wait for your child’s assessment. Services which can help include:
Health Visitors
For children under 5, your health visitor is a valuable source of support. If you do not have contact details for your child’s health visitor, you can find out how to contact the Islington team here.
Islington Family Information Service (FIS)
If your child is not yet in nursery, and you would like to start the application process, The Family Information Service can help you with this. You can find out more about them by clicking here.
Nurseries or schools
If your child is already in a nursery or school, we encourage you to talk with your child’s teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The SENCO is responsible for ensuring children with additional needs are supported appropriately. Any young person with additional needs, with or without a diagnosis, has the right to access support at school. The SENCO can work with you to think about target areas that you would like your child to be supported in, for example, their communication, behaviour or play with other children. You can talk to them about an SEN Support plan, or a Communication Passport. Children do not need an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) or 1-1 support in school to have their needs regularly evaluated, short-term and long-term goals outlined, and support to access the curriculum.
If your child’s needs go above and beyond what the nursery or school says they can provide, they will need to evidence this and apply to the council for additional support and funding. If your SENCO is unsure about these processes, they can access support from the Area SENCO Team.  If you want further information about this or need help in liaising with your child’s school or nursery you can contact Islington SEND Community Support Service (Islington SENDias) for further advice.
Bright Start Islington
Bright Start Islington offer a range of services for children aged 0 to 5 and their families. This includes a programme of activities face to face and online, a telephone support surgery and stay and play sessions. Information about their timetable of activities can be found here.
You can sign up for their newsletter which provides tips and ideas on how to support early health and development as well as information and links about their services. You can sign up for this here.
Parents/carers can also attend an online Parent Workshop on Building Joint Attention and Interaction run by the Bright Start Speech and Language Therapy team. To book a place, parent/carer needs to email with your full name, contact number, email address and name and date of birth of your child.
Bright Start Islington offer a range of different types of support which is worth exploring on their website. A few specific activities that may be particularly relevant to your child include:
  • Extra Boost which is a specialist group activity for children under 5 with additional needs, who benefit from a quieter space where their individual needs can be met.
  • SENDsory adventures If your child is not yet school age, they can be referred to SENDsory Adventures. This is a specialist group, run by Bright Start staff, for children who have been referred to the Social Communication Team. The group supports children to develop their communication skills through play, exploration, and circle time activities. Parents cannot self-refer for this group, but any health, education or Bright Start professional can make the referral. The professional who referred your child to the Social Communication team can also make this referral.

Through Bright Start you can also request support from a Family Engagement Worker by booking a telephone or face to face appointment. They work in local children’s centres and can advise you which groups or activities may be most useful to you and your child.
If you feel your family may need more intensive support, you may be eligible for an Early Help Assessment and support from a Family Support Worker. You can find out more about how to access that here, or you could talk to a Family Engagement Worker, your GP, your health visitor or your child’s teacher or SENCO for further information about this. They may be able to make a referral for you.
Last updated14 Feb 2024
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