Early Support Key Workers and Portage

Early Support Key Worker Team

The Early Support Key Workers are part of Salford Early Help Service. Early Support Key Workers are in place to support families with disabled children under five years of age and support with a coordinated response with other professionals working with them.

It was developed by parents, carers and practitioners to ensure families are kept at the heart of decision making about their child.

The aim of early support is to provide:

  • good information for parents
  • a multi-agency approach with families at the centre
  • designated key workers

Working together is the key to providing the best care and support for disabled children. The Early Support Key Workers provides information, resources and support.

The Early Support Key Workers act as a single point of contact and can reduce stress by encouraging everyone who is in contact with a child to work in partnership. The aim is to support better co-ordinated packages of help and advice and to keep parents and carers at the heart of decision making about their child.

To request the support from a Early Support Key Worker you must meet the following criteria:

  • The child is under five years old; and
  • The child has a complex special need or Disability (additional needs); and
  • The Child with additional needs has a complex support package which involves four or more active professionals (please note universal services such as GP or Health visitor are NOT counted for this purpose. Active professional is defined as a professional who has an open case and is regularly seeing the child)  

If you still feel you or a family you are working with would benefit form support, you can make a request for other early help support services.

Making a request for a Early Support Key Worker

Request are preferred from professional working with families, with supporting information such as an Early Help Assessment. However, families can make request for the service in the same way.

Requests are made through the council's Bridge Partnership.

Make a request on the Bridge

Comments from parents for the Early Support Key Workers

“L.. and I want to thank you for all your support over the past few years. Your guidance and encouragement has helped us to bring out the best in L …and has given her a great start in life. At the beginning it was very much a whirl wind but you have made the whole process so much easier and we thanks you so much for that. The support we have received has been priceless. Thank you. V..L..And L”.

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for all you are doing for our family …… You are god sent and truly a rare gem whose worth is priceless! We cannot thank you enough…. We will FOREVER remain grateful to you B…and N”.

“I would firstly like to thank H.. for making us all feel so comfortable as a family with her personality H.. made every meeting easy that we went to together, she supported me and always made me feel confident with myself. She told me to trust my own judgement and instinct which proved invaluable on many occasions. She helped to organise appointments and liaised between myself and health professionals where I struggled. She really will be missed and deemed a friend of the family I wish I could keep H.. with us for longer, it’s a shame for us to lose her, but I know she will be perfect with other families as she was with ours”.

Salford Portage Home Visitors

Portage Home Visitors  are part of Salford Early Help Service, Salford Portage  is a home visiting educational and support offer.

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 or 2 year old funding. Offer, usually the term after their second or third birthday

Salford Portage 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

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/professionals 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.

Salford Portage provides a weekly stay and play session (first steps) for children with additional needs during term time. (These are currently suspended, due to coronavirus restrictions – we will announce here once they are due to re-open)

To request the support of a Portage Home Visitor you must meet the following criteria

  • Child is aged under five: and
  • The child is not accessing funded education provision (i.e. two, three and four-year-old funding in nursery or school): and
  • The child has a special educational need or disability (or has an identified diagnosis that is likely to result in a delay), and is showing a development delay of six months or more in two or more areas

If you still feel you or a family you are working with would benefit form support, you can make a request for other early help support services.

Salford Portage referral process

Salford Portage is offered to families residing within Salford who have a child under five with Special Educational Needs or disability.

Making a request for a Salford Portage Home Visitor

Request are preferred from professional working with families, with supporting information such as an Early Help Assessment. However, families can make request for the service in the same way.

Requests are made through the council's Bridge Partnership.

Make a request on the Bridge

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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