Social care advisory service

We provide free specialist advice to professionals on the factors that should be taken into account in any social care assessment of a child with any level of hearing loss and in planning and providing support.

Contact us

You can access the social care advisory service by:

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How we can help

Having a hearing loss of any level can place a child at a significant disadvantage and can also pose a significant risk to their emotional, social and intellectual development and overall wellbeing.

One of the key difficulties many deaf children face is language and communication which lies at the heart of child development. Lack of support from parents in this area for example, such as missed audiology appointments or poor communication, can cause significant harm and could constitute neglect.

Our social care advisory service can provide information and support on a range of queries by various professionals such as:

  • how to involve and communicate with a deaf child in any decisions made about them
  • what factors related to hearing loss need to be considered when undertaking an assessment of the child and when deciding whether a child in need assessment is required or a child protection response
  • what factors related to the child’s hearing loss should be considered when deciding what should be included in any support plans from early help through to looked-after care plans, education support plans, etc.
  • what to consider if a deaf child is missing key developmental milestones
  • access to Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments
  • what information and support foster carers or adoptive parents might require before a deaf child can be placed with them
  • other resources that may be useful.

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Who is this for?

The support is available to any professional working with children with any level of hearing loss. This may include professionals working in:

  • early support and intervention
  • assessment and intake
  • child protection/police protection units
  • children’s disability teams
  • education sensory support teams 
  • looked after teams  
  • fostering and adoption
  • leaving care
  • youth offending services
  • policy and planning services (including Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards/Committees).

Please note that this service is aimed at professionals in those areas where there is not already a specialist social worker/social work team for deaf children whom we would advise you consult with. Whilst we can provide advice, this service should not be seen as a substitute for a specialist assessment from a specialist social worker for deaf children, where needed.

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Background

The social care advisory service is staffed by our social care policy advisor with 20 years of experience as a qualified social worker working with deaf children and young people and their families in social work settings. Advice will normally be available during working hours, Monday to Friday. We will aim to respond to enquiries within 5 days. This will not apply during periods of annual leave/ sickness or other absences where referrers will be directed to our Freephone Helpline 0808 888 8880 who will aim to deal with your inquiry.

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How information will be used

To provide this service we will ask you to provide information including your name, profession, work address and contact details. We will not share this information with any third parties.

We will not ask you for information that identifies any child/young person or their parents/ carers but please provide as much information as you can to help support the advice given, e.g. child’s age, communication profile, additional needs, family structure, significant events etc.

We will keep a record of this information and the nature of your inquiry so that we can monitor the range of issues that are raised and provide internal quality control of the advice that we give.

Our advice will be provided by our social care policy advisor with twenty years’ experience as a qualified social worker working with deaf children and families and who is a HCPC registered social worker in England. The advice will be quality assured by another HCPC registered social worker within the National Deaf Children's Society through internal supervision.

We will respond in writing by email with our advice and guidance within five days. As no personal or sensitive information will be given we do not need to password protect information that is given to you.
Where information given to us by referrers suggests that a child ( or vulnerable adult) is at risk of, or is suffering from harm, we will advise in writing that a referral is made to children’s social care (adult social care) and we will seek confirmation whether or not this has taken place. We will consider whether additional steps such as contacting the professional’s employer are necessary to safeguard any child/children or vulnerable adult.

If you have any queries about this statement please contact our Data Protection Officer at National Deaf Children's Society, Ground Floor South, Castle House, 37 – 45 Paul Street, London EC2A 4LS or email dataprotection@ndcs.org.uk.

We encourage professionals to register free as professionals members of the National Deaf Children’s Society which gives you greater access to information that will be helpful. 

For more information, please read our full disclaimer regarding how we use information.

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