Disabled children – register and provision of carseats

There is a legal requirement for all children to use car seats until the age of 12 years old 135cm (whichever comes first).  

With the exclusion of provision made for school transport, does the local authority provide specialist car seats to children with disabilities? 

Generally, car seats are not supplied to families. However, if a child’s needs are complex and therefore they require a specialist car seat i.e. not available from a retail outlet then funding will be considered on an individual basis. 

Again, excluding provision made for school transport, in the financial year 2017/2018 how many specialist car seats were provided by the local authority to children with disabilities?  

Devon County Council does hold this information but as disclosure may identify individuals it may breach the first principle of the Data Protection Act 2018 therefore, this information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 40 (2) Personal Data. 

The Children Act 1989 requires local authorities to keep a register of disabled children in their area.  

Does the local authority have an active register?  

Yes, Education and Families Disability Network

How many disabled children are on that register?  

There are currently 324 children and young people registered. However, this is because a new register was implemented in December 2018 to capture additional commissioning information. The previous register held 1,422 records and can currently still be accessed as ‘read only’ to council officers who commission services.  We have decided not to migrate all of records as the new register requests additional information and as the register is voluntary, we did not want to transfer information without consent from those with parental responsibility.  In addition to this, we have sent communications out across the county for families to re-register and in return benefit from receiving a free ‘MAX Card’ for free or discounted entry to lots of attractions across the country.  

What other sources does the local authority use to count and plan budgets for disabled children? 

The Council maintain a children’s case recording system called Eclipse (formerly used Carefirst). This system holds information for all children known to Social Care, including those known to the Disabled Children’s Service or who qualify as a ‘Child in Need’. Schools record all Education, Health and Care plans in a system called Capita One for children with SEND and all children, young people and families who have had an Early Help assessment and plan are recorded in a system called ‘Right for Children’. All three systems, including the disability register, allow commissioners to extract data from them in various report formats to analyse demographic and geographic information to help inform decision making in relation to service provisions required across the county to meet the needs and demands of our children, young people and families.