Free advice service for social workers launched
8 May 2017
The National Deaf Children’s Society has launched a free information and advice service for social care professionals who work with children with any level of hearing loss.
The charity has provided this informally for some time and, in light of positive feedback, launched it as a formal service today (8 May 2017).
Permanent hearing loss can have significant implications for a child’s development - but because it only affects 2 in 1,000, many social care teams rarely work directly with deaf children.
The service will be staffed by a specialist adviser with 20 years’ experience as a social worker, who can offer guidance on assessing and meeting the social care needs of deaf children.
Examples of queries that can now be discussed through this service include:
- How to communicate with a deaf child and involve them in decisions
- How foster carers or adoptive parents can support a deaf child
- What to consider if a deaf child is missing key developmental milestones
- What to consider when making decisions about whether a deaf child is in need of support or protection
- What to consider when contributing to a deaf child’s Education, Health and Care Plan or preparing their Looked After Care Plan, Child Protection Plan, Leaving Care Plan etc.
Brian Gale, the charity’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, commented: “Given the right support, right from the start, deaf children can make very good progress – but without that support, their social, emotional and educational progress is at risk.
“Social care staff can play a vital role in ensuring deaf children and families get the right support, but social workers with expertise in deafness have been on the decline for many years. Therefore we are delighted to launch this new service and help improve outcomes for deaf children.”
Notes to Editors
• The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families.
• There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. The National Deaf Children’s Society helps deaf children and young people thrive by providing impartial, practical and emotional support to them and their families, and by challenging governments and society to meet their needs.
• The National Deaf Children’s Society believes that every deaf child should be valued and included by society and have the same opportunities as any other child.
• For more information visit www.ndcs.org.uk. For further support, parents can contact the National Deaf Children’s Society Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat online at www.ndcs.org.uk/livechat.