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Guide: Getting an assessment and accessing support from the Disabled Children's Service

How do I get an assessment?

If you think that your child is eligible for an assessment from our Disabled Children’s Service, then you or a professional who knows your child (such as a teacher or someone at your child’s nursery, a health visitor, your GP or a support worker) should complete the ‘Request for Services’ form and return it either:

  • by email to
  • by post to:
    Children and Family Health Devon
    Single Point of Access Team
    1a Capital Court
    Bittern Road
    Sowton Industrial Estate
    EX2 7FW

If you need help to complete the form or would like to discuss anything, please telephone the Single Point of Access (SPA) Team on 0330 0245 321 (8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday).

What happens next?

The SPA Team will talk to other professionals who know your child to gather information to support your referral. This process should take no more than 48 hours.

A qualified social work manager will review the information provided on the form to understand the needs that your child and family have. They will decide whether an assessment by our Disabled Children’s Service is required or will signpost you to other available services.

The assessment process

If your child meets the eligibility criteria for an assessment by our Disabled Children’s Service, this will be completed by a social worker or community care worker depending on our initial screening decision.

During the assessment, we will contact you (as parent carers) other professionals and (wherever possible and appropriate) your child to gather as much information as possible to help us understand your child’s needs and whether our Disabled Children’s Service is able to support them.

When we look at what support your child needs as a part of the assessment, we also consider the impact on the rest of the family. An assessment is broken down into three parts:

  • Strengths and needs of your disabled child or young person.
  • Your strengths and needs as their parent/ carer(s).
  • Strengths and needs of your wider family, including your disabled child or young person’s siblings.

Your child’s allocated worker will use the information gathered during your assessment to determine the most appropriate services to support your family.

There are three possible outcomes following the assessment: