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Social Care

The Social Care Team works with children and young people up to the age of 18 years with a disability, who are subject to the eligibility criteria. The team comprises of Social Workers and Family Support Workers and provides practical, emotional support, advice and information and undertake social care assessments.

The Team supports Children in Need and their families who have severe or substantial disabilities, specifically:

  • A severe or profound learning disability
  • A severe physical disability e.g. Muscular dystrophy
  • A substantial degree of sensory impairment
  • Complex Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Other complex medical health conditions

The Team works with Children and Young people subject to Child in need (Section 17, Children Act 1989), Child protection procedures (Children Act 1989) and those who are subject to Looked after Children status or Leaving Care procedures.

We aim to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children and young people in St Helens.

To do this:

  • We support disabled children and their families
  • We assess children when they may be in need 
  • We assess situations where children may be suffering abuse or neglect and taking    action that will protect them 
  • We look after children who cannot live with their families
  • We support young people as they leave care and live independently
  • In doing so we aim to:
  • Improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people in St Helens
  • Ensure all children and young people in St Helens are safe and healthy
  • Ensure children achieve their full potential to enjoy and contribute to their local community
  • Support parents to care for their children, where it is safe to do so - recognising that families might need support to function from both children and adult services
  • Work closely with other agencies to provide joined up services by improving communication, information sharing, co-ordination and common ways of working.

Short breaks

The Children with Disabilities Team provides a range of Short Break Services for children and young people who have a disability. The current Short Breaks Policy has been refreshed, remains in draft and will be updated next year in consultation with the children, young people, parents and carers.

What is a short break?

Short breaks are provided once an assessment has been completed and need has been identified subject to the eligibility criteria. Short breaks can be considered for those subject to level 2/3/4 of The St Helens Thresholds of need which is highlighted in the ‘Fairer access procedures’ document.

Short breaks can last from just a few hours to a few days.  They can take place during the day, evening, overnight, weekends and during holidays and will meet the assessed outcomes for the young person.

These can take place in the;

  • Child/Young person’s home
  • Home of an approved short break carer
  • A residential or community setting

These activities provide a positive experience for the child as well as giving parent and carers a break from their caring duties. If your child is already in receipt of short breaks and has a specialist package, the social worker should arrange Children with disabilities short break review. If you require further information, then please contact your social worker on 01744 674196.


Existing short breaks

If your child has never been in receipt of short breaks, you can self-refer by calling our front door service via the contact centre on 01744 676600.

New referrals for short breaks

We have a range of short breaks including agencies that provide domiciliary, play and leisure and behavioural support, personal budgets, play scheme and overnight short breaks.

Fair Access Procedures

This policy has been refreshed and will be updated alongside consultation with parents / carers. It can also be found in the document section below.

Local Safeguarding

If you need information on the safeguarding of children and young people, then please look at the St Helens Local Children's Safeguarding Unit Website for further information.


Children's Disability Service
Atlas House
2 Corporation Street
St Helens

Telephone: 01744 674198

Email: childrensdisabilityservice@sthelens.gov.uk