Children's Social Care Team

Most children with disabilities and additional needs will have their needs met in universal services and in the early help provision in the Family Well-being Centres across Sefton. Trained early help staff offer 1:1 and group support to help you to understand the needs of your disabled child.  Many families find help is effective with sleep problems and behaviour management. Contact details and current information


Children with disabilities are encouraged to access Aiming High Short Breaks provision during the school holidays, evenings and weekends. Contact details and current information


How to access the Children with Complex Needs Service at Sefton Children’s Social Care:

The Children with Complex Needs Service undertake assessments with a view of meeting the needs of children and young people with a permanent, severe disability which includes complex behavioural needs and autism where there is also associated severe learning disability. The service works with children regardless of their level of need – from review of a care package to children in need of protection or Cared for Children.

The service consists of two assessment teams of social workers and a Care Package Review Hub. The social work teams complete assessments of need, and retain responsibility for overseeing the plans of children in need of protection, Cared for Children and those children in need who require a social worker for a period of time.

The social work teams carry out assessments of need requested by parents/carers where their child has a disability. Most families who need support will have their needs met through Early Help Services, Aiming High or other services under the Local Offer but, in some cases, a social care assessment of need is requested. This is an in-depth assessment which involves multiple home visits, contact being made with other professionals and agencies who work with or hold information about the child/young person, a multi-agency meeting and, where possible, a family meeting. We will explain this process to families when their first make contact with us through the Integrated Front Door to make sure they fully consent to this process.

The Care Package Review Hub is led by a social work Team Manager who oversees a team of Children’s Social Care Support Workers who hold case responsibility for children and young people who receive a care package. The care package is kept under review by 3 monthly visits by the CSC Support Worker, a 6 monthly review chaired by the Team Manager, and an annual reassessment overseen by the Team Manager. The CSC support worker will also provide support to and signpost families where there is a need but will not deal with safeguarding concerns.

The Service Manager of the Children with Complex Needs Service is Paula Seivewright


Please note that individuals’ email addresses should not be used to raise safeguarding concerns about children. These should be referred through the Integrated Front Door 0345 140 0845. The Children with Complex Needs duty number for children open to the service is 0151 934 3886.

Joanne Dunn is the Team Manager of CwCN Team 1 –

Social workers within Team 1: - Lyndsay Lloyd (Tues- Thurs) , Rachel Traynor, Kenneth Aspinall, Jack Sanderson,  Donna Fearns, Jacqueline Nalwoga and Amber Dickinson. There is one social worker, Paula Peterson, whose role is to provide social care advice to EHC assessments.


Aimiee-Louise Laphan is the Team Manager of CwCN Team 2 (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Social workers within Team 2: - Lesley Robinson, Fungai Fellistas Chikowore, Naomi Aggrey and Charlotte Wright.


Stephen Shaw is the Team Manager of the Care Package Review Hub -

The Children’s Social Care Support Workers in this team are Catherine Blevin, Kayleigh Brannan, Milly Kiyimba and Josephine Kizitso.

All enquiries relating to the Social care feedback contributions to EHC assessments are to be directed to Joanne Dunn TM.

If you wish to contact the service, you can contact the duty Social Worker or your identified key worker within the team via the Duty number.

The CwCN duty number is 0151 934 3886

Reporting a Child or Young Person at Risk:

If you are worried that a child may be suffering significant harm, or if you are concerned that a child has suffered harm, neglect or abuse, please follow the advice below.

Members of the public can:

Call the Integrated Front Door on 0345 140 0845 between 8am and 6pm (minicom 0151 934 4657).

Contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0151 934 3555 for urgent advice outside of office hours (from 5.30pm Mon to Thurs, and 4pm Friday and weekends). If you think a child is in immediate danger call for police assistance via 999.

The Social Care Advice Line

The Social Care Phone Advice Line provides information for parents or professionals about social care assessments and the range of services available. 

The telephone number is 0151 9342196

Voicemails will be responded to by a social worker within 7 days.

Please note that all referrals for social care assessment or concerns about a child should continue to be referred through our Integrated Front Door.

Designated Social Care Officer (DSCO) for SEND 0-25

The Role of the DSCO

  • To improve strategic leadership and engagement with the SEND system among social workers
  • Having a strategic oversight of Social Care services 0-25 for people with SEND
  • Supporting co-production with parents and carers.
  • Promoting the voices of children and young people.
  • Ensuring that Social Care, Health and SEND processes are cohesive and that there is a good level of cooperation and coproduction.
  • Monitoring the services offered and the Local Offer, in relation to the social care offer.
  • Delivering positive outcomes in line with the graduated approach.
  • Monitoring the quality and timeliness of social care advice for EHCPs.
  • Supporting workforce development in relation to SEND and Social Care.
  • Being a point of contact for queries social care may have in relation to children/young people with SEN and Disabilities.
  • Signposting to other services/advice and support, including the Local Offer.


  • Having a commitment and passion for improving the lives and outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families through collaboration, coproduction, oversight and innovation and by improving understanding and knowledge across social care.


Sefton’s Designated Social Care Officer (DSCO) for SEND is Rufus Beer.

If you would like to contact him about a SEND social care matter, please use the following

e-mail address

Rufus Beer

3rd Floor                                                                       

Magdalen House

Trinity Road Bootle

L20 3NJ

Tel: 07805302521

Sefton Universal Services

The majority of families will be able to access universal services and are encouraged to make use of the Sefton Directory, this provides helpful information and advice, and can be accessed by any practitioner, child, young person or family member.

The Sefton CVS Directory is also available.  

These directories provide a detailed list of services that are available in their community, including details of local services and community groups so families can get the advice they need. In addition to build confidence and provide support at an early stage an online digital platform for parents, children, young people and professionals which will provide a front door to families offering a digital one stop shop.

However, sometimes some additional help is needed by families so they can provide consistent and appropriate care for their children. Families can ask for support in finding and getting that help from any practitioner they are involved with. This could be a health visitor, GP, school or voluntary organisation. The support could include, for example, access to a parenting courses or groups.

The process of Assessment:

Disabled Children are deemed “children in need” under section 17 Children Act 1989 and as such are entitled to an Assessment of Need by a Social Worker.  The assessment process is person centred, holistic, involving the child, their family and other professionals and agencies who work with, support, monitor and review the child’s needs in their particular role. When assessing what support a child with a disability and their family may need the following factors will be discussed;

  • The severity of the child’s disability and how it impacts on both the child’s life and the life of their family and parents/carers. This includes any challenges the child’s needs may pose to parents/carers that are considered attributable to their disability.
  • The strengths and resilience of the family within their community
  • The health, education, social and daily care and supervisory needs of the child.
  • The context of a child’s chronological age and functional stage of development.
  • If there is more than one disabled child in the family/household.
  • The number of other children or caring responsibilities the parents/carers may have.
  • If the parent/carer has a health need or disability.
  • The degree of informal support within the child’s family and friend network.
  • The child’s wishes and feelings.
  • Whether there are concerns about a child’s safety and welfare, including whether there are child protection concerns.
  • Dependent on the child’s age, preparation for transition to adult social care services.

Assessments require the consent of the parents. Assessments vary depending on the complexity of a child’s needs and circumstances and number of professionals involved. It should be completed within 45 working days.

The assessment will make recommendations about how a child’s needs can be met and may conclude this can be achieved without the need for more specialist support services.  In this circumstance there will be no further action.

If a child is assessed to have unmet needs, the social worker will work with the family and all the other professionals involved to identify what interventions might be effective and the services that might be useful. A request for a care package or direct payments is made to a resource panel, who may approve or reject the application or request further information. This panel includes a service manager and professionals from social  care and health (if the child is eligible for continuing health care).

If it is thought that a child would benefit from a plan of support overseen by a social worker or Early Help worker this is formalised into a Child in Need Plan or a Early Help Plan where the outcomes to be achieved, and the responsibilities for action are clearly identified.  These plans are reviewed regularly.  The frequency for review is agreed at the review meetings by all present.  The Social Worker will also visit the child at least twice a year including in the family home.

It is recognised that the needs of children with disabilities and their families may change over time. Therefore it is important any support provided is reviewed regularly to account for this and ensure services are meeting needs and achieving agreed outcomes.

What happens if there are safeguarding concerns about a child with a disability?

Worries that a child may be experiencing physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect are taken seriously, including children with disabilities. 

These concerns can come from anyone including other professionals, carers, agencies, members of the public or the child’s own family. Social workers have a duty to investigate any concerns and will do this in consultation with and the consent of whoever has parental responsibility for the child, unless by doing so the child would be considered to be placed at increased risk.

If a disabled child is not known or is no longer open to any social work team, concerns will be referred to the MASH team (Multi Agency Support Hub), who will assess the degree of risk.

If concerns are raised about a disabled child open to the Disabled Children's Team the child’s social worker in consultation with their manager and MASH together to assess the degree of risk.

If the child is felt to be at risk of significant harm social workers, in consultation with their managers, will call a Strategy meeting with other professionals, including the Police, to share information about the child’s needs and any risk and protective factors both past and present. This meeting will decide whether the child is judged as being at risk of or subject to significant harm and whether further investigation is necessary. If this is the case the child’s social worker will complete a section 47 investigation to gather more information that will either abate or substantiate concerns further and will conclude whether the child is judged to be at continued risk of significant harm and request an Initial Child Protection Case Conference. This is a multi-agency meeting that decides whether concerns about a child suffering or who is likely to suffer harm, are significant enough for them to become subject to a Child Protection Plan. This meeting takes place within 15 working days of the Strategy meeting (refer to LSCB threshold document).

Disabled Children's who need accommodation:

In some situations the complexity and challenges of a disabled child’s needs can mean a family is at risk of breakdown and/or there would be safeguarding concerns if specialist support services or full time accommodation were not provided. The child may also be a risk to self or others.  If a child does need to be accommodated or “looked after” full time this decision could only be made based on a comprehensive assessment of need that clearly evidences this plan is in the best interests of the child. Social Workers with other professionals and agencies involved with the child would do this in partnership with the child and their family so this could be achieved voluntarily. In some instances if concerns for the child’s safety and welfare are not shared by those who have parental responsibility for the child it may be necessarily to initiate legal proceedings to ensure the best interests of the child remain paramount.

Children accommodated full time are referred to as “looked after” and subject to statutory social work involvement, reviewing and monitoring of their child’s “looked after” care plan. (See Care planning and placement regulations 2010)

Financial Assessment:

All commissioned services provided by Sefton to children and their families are subject to Sefton’s charging policy. Parents/carers will need to complete a financial assessment form (FIN1) to determine what the charge may be or whether they are exempt. Proof of earnings, tax credits, allowances and benefits are needed as part of this assessment.

Carers Assessments:

As you are a parent you have the right to request a parent carer assessment under the Children and Families Act 2014. The assessment will areas such as consider:

  • Your individual needs as a parent carer
  • What could make looking after your child easier for you
  • Your health and wellbeing as a parent carer
  • The need to safeguard and promote the welfare of you and your child

Following the assessment you will receive a support plan which will detail the areas of support you require. Sefton Carers’ Centre complete the parent carer’s assessments on behalf of Sefton Council. You do not need to have a parent carer assessment to receive support from Sefton Carers Centre. Details of the support for parent carers from Sefton Carers Centre can be found on the following link Parent Carer Support ( or  you can contact Sefton Carers’ Centre on  0151 288 6060 or email

Young Carers

If you have sibling who also provides a care and support role, they can also receive support from Sefton Young Carers Project, please see the following link for more information   Information for Parents ( or speak to your child’s school. Young Carers are also entitled to a Young Carers in Transition Assessment under the Care Act 2014 from the age of 16 onwards. The assessment will review the induvial aspirations of the young carer which leads to the development of a support plan to meet the agreed actions.

Last Updated

Last updated: 30/01/2024

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