All the funding for the core provision of the Integrated Therapy Service for Children and Young People is provided through the NHS. Our service is commissioned by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG) which means that they provide the funding and we have a service specification for what we should provide which has been mutually agreed and is monitored. This is called our core offer.
The expectation of our commissioners is that children with long-term difficulties move in and out of our service at different points in their lives as their needs change. Our aim is for those in the child’s everyday lives to be empowered to meet their needs rather than be dependent on our service. We therefore take a variety of factors into account when deciding if a child needs to access our service at a particular time. These include asking ourselves the following questions:
Are the child’s skills falling within the normal range?
Is this a problem which can be improved through therapy?
Is there another service which would be more appropriate for the difficulty identified?
Is there general advice which can be given which will help the child so specific advice is not indicated? This is often the case when a child seems to be developing skills in a normal pattern but is taking longer to reach milestones than their peers
What is already in place to support the child and is anything further needed?
If we are involved in supporting a child or young person then we also need a clear outcome of our intervention which we can measure to see if we achieve what we are intending to. We do not have the capacity to review children’s progress just to check they are continuing to improve.
A few children will need to remain on our caseload for a longer period of time but many will receive a period of intervention then be discharged. Some will have an assessment and advice but then be discharged following this assessment
Some children may have therapy needs that are identified in a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan as being necessary for their education. If these needs are over and above what is available from our core service or are not needs that our therapists have assessed and advised on then they are not the responsibility of the Integrated Therapy Service. In these cases parents and schools should discuss these with the child’s allocated Casework Officer from the Local Authority SEN department.