Home visiting educational service

Covid 19 has produced some challenges for our service; as such we have had to revise how we work with children and families in order to adhere to current Government and Local Authority guidelines. We are currently unable to offer face to face home visits, and our ‘First steps group’ is temporarily closed, until further notice.

As a service we have embraced alternative ways to support children and families, during this time. Portage Visitors are offering regular contact/support to families via various mediums, such as emails, SMS text messages, scheduled telephone calls and virtual home visits via the secure Micro soft teams app.

Salford portage service is a home visiting educational and support service.

It is available for families who reside in Salford and have a child with developmental delay aged from birth and up until they take up their three and four year old funding offer, usually the term after their third birthday.

The portage service aims to:

  • Provide support, advice and guidance
  • Supports parents to acquire the skills necessary to promote their child's development
  • Celebrate the child's achievements
  • Develop strong partnerships with parents and other professionals
  • Signpost families to relevant services and support groups
  • Support the inclusion of children with additional needs into early years provision and school
  • Provide training and support to other early years practitioners

What do portage home visitors do?

Portage home visitors focus on the development of play, communication, relationships and learning. They visit children and their families at home, working in partnership with parents or carers to develop play based activities that support all areas of development. Portage home visitors will use information from parents, observations and appropriate assessment tools to identify goals for future learning. Portage home visitors work closely with other practitioners to ensure a holistic approach to meeting the child's needs. The portage home visitor can also take on the role of lead professional or non-designated key worker when appropriate.

The portage service provides a weekly stay and play session (first steps) for children with additional needs during term time.

Portage referral process

The service is offered to families residing within Salford who have a child under five with Special Educational Needs or Disability

Referrals can only be made online. 

Parents and carers

If you're a parent or carer, please complete the online referral form below. 

Online referral


Practitioners will need to complete an Early Help Assessment - please make sure you have parental consent before submitting a request for support. 

Once the Early Help Assessment has been completed and uploaded to that service, please complete an online referral for Starting Life Well service.  

Starting Life Well will then process the application and notify the professional if the family meet the criteria and what our next steps are.

Comments from parents who have used the service

“Thanks you for everything! Your help, support and encouragement has helped me more than you know. We cannot thank you enough we will miss you R..A…J…and A.”

“Thanks you for all your hard work over the past two years. Has developed a great deal with your support and specialist knowledge.It’s always been a pleasure you coming to visit me and the girls. I hope you continue this good work, and can help other families like mine. Your input has been immense. love N.. S..S.. and H.”

“S.. has helped and encouraged us as parents to adapt to A..needs. A.. development has always progressed even as a surprise to us, but A.. is so shy around people, that first interaction S.. kept her distance until A.. was ready. A.. child play has progressed with portage to let her encourage with other children with S.. visits and help A..is where she needs to be with the effort of S.”

“When K.. first became involved ,R.. was a very quiet boy who had little interest in playing. Now he greets her with excitement and a big smile. His nursery place was sorted through portage also which he loves. He has gone from a boy who now plays with a variety of toys happily and confidently and I cant thank them enough for that. He really enjoys his visits and it’s a shame they have to stop.”

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