Special educational needs and disability (SEND)

Family Hubs support families with children up to the age of 19, but many extend their support up to the age of 25 where a child has special educational needs or disability. 

In terms of the early years, paediatric provision is often closely integrated with other services, to address associated social care, mental health, and educational needs.

Support services provision for those with SEND and their families at Family Hubs is bespoke and diverse. Please find below an example of good practice from Doncaster. 

Family Hubs (Doncaster) – Denise Beevers 

What do you offer for SEND children and their families? 

  • Doncaster Family Hubs are the ‘go to’ place and many families call in for advice, information and guidance where they can be signposted to professionals who can support.   
  • We support families to identify any early signs if there has not been a diagnosis and then support families to access the correct pathways   
  • We are inclusive within any groups and activities to enable SEND children to attend universal sessions if appropriate. All buildings are DDA compliant.   
  • Family Hubs are used by a range of other professionals and organisations to meet with SEND families both individually and in groups   
  • The Early Year’s SEND team and portage (a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families) teams work very closely with Family Hubs many based in Hubs and attend team meetings.   
  • As part of the Early Help pathway and with any families we may be working with directly we work with a wide range of partners to offer the most appropriate support   

How does working through the Family Hub model enable you to provide better support? 

I think our biggest strength is our partnership working that has developed over time.  This has been enhanced more recently as more partners have joined a Locality Model (mirroring the way Family Hubs were initially developed).  In addition to working with a wide range of partners, Family Hubs have developed trusting relationships with families and are aware of place-based issues with a wealth of local intelligence.