Children with disabilities service

The Children with Disabilities Service (CWD) is a specialist service that supports families and children who have profound, severe, complex and long-term needs.

What support can CWD offer?

CWD give advice on disability and services for children and young people aged from to 18 years. They also support young people with the transition to adult services. The pathway from children’s to adult social care is being reviewed.

CWD can also provide a care package of services for children and young people who are assessed as needing one. This means services like:

  • activities
  • short breaks
  • respite
  • care arrangements
  • a personal budget

What does a referral mean?

If someone working with a child with a disability thinks they need extra help, after talking with the parents or carer, they can tell CWD about the child. 

When a referral is made by a professional, like a school SENDCO or a health professional, a social worker then contacts their parents or carer. They talk to them about the child's disability and ask permission to get information from other professionals like GPs, teachers or other health workers.

Parent and carers can self-refer by calling CWD on 020 7926 5555 to talk about their child’s disability and get advice on services and assessments. 

Anyone working with a child with a disability can also call that number if they are worried about a child or to get advice prior to making a referral for support. To make a referral, people working with the child should use the Multi-agency referral form 

What is a CWD assessment?

If CWD agrees the needs meet the criteria, and the parent or carer agrees, a child and family assessment will happen. Read the CWD eligibility criteria here. 

If the needs don’t meet the criteria, CWD will always offer advice. They will tell parents and carers about other organisations in the local community that can help.

A child and family assessment involves contacting people who work with the child or young person, like their teacher, health visitor, doctor or speech and language therapist.

Sometimes CWD will also contact other professionals who work with other children, young people or adults in a family. This is to make sure they fully understand the needs and how they might be met. They will ask permission first.

What happens after the assessment?

The social worker will talk with the child or young person’s family about:

  • what they think the difficulties are
  • how children’s social care, and other agencies, might help 
  • putting a plan in place

Their job is to make sure there is a clear care plan everyone understands. It will make clear what services are available and what everyone involved will all do to help meet the child or young person’s needs.


You can call the CWD team on 020 7926 5555