London Borough of Croydon

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), social care team provides a specialist service for children and young people with disabilities, aged 0-18, and their families who require support over and above what is available through universal and community services. They work closely with other services such as health, education and community organisations.

Eligibility - Children and young people aged 0-18 with a permanent and substantial physical and/or learning disability. This includes profound multiple disabilities, disabilities associated with complex health problems,severe sensory impairments.

How to get an assessment - A referral for an assessment for a child or young person aged 17 or under can be made by a parent/carer  by telephone via the Contact Centre (0208 726 6400). Professionals are asked to make a referral (having obtained parental consent) by using the online form here:

What happens at an assessment? - To understand how we may be able to help an assessment is undertaken to identify the needs of the family - this can take up to 45 working days. The assessment of your family and child's needs will be undertaken by a social worker from the children with disabilities service. This will give you and your child the opportunity to explore and explain the support you need. The assessment will take into account the views of the child and their parent; the development needs of the child; the capacity of the parent/carer to meet those needs; the impact of the home environment and support networks on the parent's ability to support their child.

Following the assessment a recommendation will be presented to the resource allocation panel which will use the assessment to make a decision on whether specialist services may be provided. You will be informed of the panel decision as soon as possible.


There are a range of short breaks allocated after an assessment and a panel decision. Please see below Croydon’s Short Breaks Statement for further details.

  • One-to-one support - individual support is provided in the community or the family home to support the child/young person with their personal care, play, leisure activities, independence skills etc. It helps a child to socialise or take part in a community activity such as swimming, sports and leisure activities and give the parent a break.
  • Direct payments - are cash payments made to an individual directly, giving a person the choice to buy and arrange their own social care services. The services that you buy are the ones that would otherwise be provided directly by Social Services. The levels of your direct payments will be reviewed regularly in line with your care needs and may be subject to change.
  • Calleydown short break unit provides specialist overnight and day care for disabled children.
  • Saturday schemes, youth clubs, sports activities and Summer and half term schemes during school holidays - For more details see the Short Breaks Statement which can be read and downloaded at the foot of the page. Alternatively please see activities, events and opportunities under the what’s new and useful information page.

Equipment and adaptations can be organised if a child has a substantial and permanent disability that requires aid equipment or adaptations to your home. You can contact the occupational therapist at:

47 St James Road, Croydon, CR0 2UR.
020 8274 6850

Please see the 'Equipment toys and adaptations' leaflet below for more information.


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