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Early support for children with complex health needs or disabilities

Brings together services working with children under 5 who have complex health needs or disabilities

Early Support is a way of working to improve the delivery of services for children who have need of support from a range of specialist community services.

How it works in Oxfordshire

For children under 5, we have developed the Single Point of Request for Involvement (SPORFI) to help families access a range of local services in a single referral.  This might include one or more of therapies and support from The Early Years SEN Team who work with families needing specialist support with their child’s development.

Requesting support

If a child requires support from these services a request can be made by parents or professionals working with the family (such as health visitors, early years settings staff and community paediatricians).

All requests are made using a Single Point of Request For Involvement form - SPORFI form (docx format, 589Kb) and should be completed by yourself or a professional in discussion with you. A SPORFI Flowchart (and Guidance) (pdf format, 173Kb) can help parents and professionals decide the best path to seek support for your child.

Parents will need to sign the form to consent to a request for involvement being made and confirm that they understand how their information will be shared and stored.

What happens next?

Representatives from the specialist services meet weekly. All requests for involvement are discussed and a plan agreed for the best way to support a child’s needs. The information is then forwarded to the relevant service(s).

Services who become involved with your child will:

  • listen to you to understand your needs and priorities
  • decide what you would like to happen and liaise with other services to support this
  • assist you in knowing where to go to get information, advice and support
  • follow agreed protocols around, safeguarding and children’s rights
  • act as an initial single point of reference
  • work together with you in a multi-professional way to ensure your child's needs are met.

Early support resources

Early support produces a variety of booklets covering a wide range of different conditions, disabilities and difficulties based on feedback from families.

Developmental Journals have been developed and aim to put the family at the heart of decision making. The journal can help families/carers, teachers and other professionals to record, celebrate and support a child’s progress.