The questions below have been collected by the Parent Carer Forum who have consulted with families and support groups in the East Riding of Yorkshire area and presented to the Local Authority with the aim to address many of the common questions families and young people have within these uncertain times.
FAQ’s – Children and young people with an EHC plan in East Riding of Yorkshire
Council for Disabled Children - Frequently Asked Questions (pdf 606kb opens in a new window)
Is my Education, Health and Care Officer (EHCCO) or 0-25 team worker currently at work?
East Riding council staff are working from home in line with government guidelines. The majority of staff are working from home although there are some staff who are self-isolating or included in the at risk group due to Covid- 19. Please contact (01482) 394000.
Can I request an EHC assessment for my child at the moment?
Requests for EHC assessments can continue to be sent to the SEN team via firstname.lastname@example.org by post to County Hall, Beverley. The SEN team continue to work on these requests, however it is likely that the assessment and co-producing of EHC plans may take longer than the statutory assessment process of 20 weeks. The Department for Education (DfE) is working on some guidance for local authorities about the statutory timescales during this challenging time.
Are all panels still running?
All panels are still running as part of the continuation of support for families, the outcome of this should be shared with families if relevant (Example; new request for an EHCP, SEN team to share the outcome to those families and professionals involved)
My child has an EHC plan and I am keeping him/her at home (as the government has said), can I claim part of my child’s EHC plan funding?
Unfortunately, this is not possible. The EHC plan funding is committed to schools when children take up a place. It isn't issued on a daily rate depending upon attendance, as schools' outgoings are largely fixed.
Are the Annual Reviews going to be taking place throughout the coronavirus lockdown?
There is an expectation that annual reviews will continue throughout this period, with schools acting as coordinators and facilitating this using various methods including virtually. In the first instance please speak to the SENCO at your child’s school or setting.
I have heard that the 0-25 team are ringing parents who have a child/young person with an EHC plan, but this is only those who the 0-25 team are currently working with, is this the case?
The 0-25 team are ringing those parent carers who they are currently working with to offer support, resources and advice during this difficult time. Those parent carers who are not currently working with a 0-25 staff member can contact the team on tel: (01482) 394000 if they feel they need support regarding their child/young person. The team are working hard to remain in contact with our most vulnerable families and ensure that they are supported.
Parents are struggling to use the secure messaging system?
The Local Authority data protection team has provided clear guidance to the SEN team about emailing documents to parent carers using a password protected system. This is only to be used in exceptional circumstances when parent carers can not access the secure messaging system. Please speak to the SEN team should you have any questions.
FAQ's - School
What is the government saying about whether children should be at home or at school?
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
The schools are closed, but children with EHC plans should continue to go. Is that right?
As above, the government announced that schools will close from Friday 20 March, and they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, which includes children with EHC plans. It doesn’t include children with draft EHC plans or those who are undergoing assessment.
However, if children with EHC plans can be cared for at home during this time, they should be. The focus of schools at the moment is providing care to support key workers to work, and easing the pressure on families with vulnerable children. At this challenging time, it is not about continuing with education.
I don’t want my child with an EHC plan to go to school. Do they have to?
No you don’t have to send your child to school, you have the right to make the decision that you do not want to send your child. Special schools, colleges and local authorities are advised to make case by case basis assessments of the health and safeguarding considerations of pupils and students with an education, health and care (EHC) plan. For some, they will be safer in an education provision. For others, they will be safer at home.
My child is on SEN Support, do they need to go to school?
No, the government’s announcement only includes those children of keyworker staff and vulnerable children. The government’s definition of vulnerable currently only includes those who have a social worker and those with an EHC plan.
My child has an EHC plan and attends an independent school, are they remaining open?
The government guidance details that registered childcare providers, alternative provision, independent special schools, colleges, special post 16 providers are required to offer provision for keyworkers and vulnerable children/young people, as detailed above.
I have more than one child with SEND and am struggling to complete school work. What should I do?
There are particular difficulties for parents where there are two or three children in the family who have SEND. Some parents are finding it very stressful trying to complete work packs provided by schools. The children in these families are usually at different schools so there needs to be some co ordination between schools as to what is expected of a family.
Where a family is receiving work from school and they are struggling to complete this work with a child or young person the family should contact the school directly to share their worries. The expectations on families and children to complete work is a worry for many parents but guidance from the school on what is expected of them should be discussed in the first instance.
There is confusion about the accessibility of free school meals. Is it possible to have a voucher system for all families.
Some schools are choosing to provide takeaway meals for students eligible for free school meals whilst others issuing voucher schemes, this is expected to be managed by each school and in line with the below guidance.
This link will take you directly to the guidance for pupils eligible for Free School Meals.
As stipulated in the guidance each school should manage how they want to manage this element of support. Those identified as suitable to receive free school meals and where the school is only supporting key worker children or closed, the expectation is that the schools should contact those parents of children eligible to notify them of how they intend to continue and support these families, this may include a voucher system emailed to parents and managed by the schools.
Parents are therefore asked to contact their schools in the first instance if they receive free school meals and not heard from their child’s school.
FAQ's - Emotional and Behaviour Support
Can parent carers contact the Educational Psychology Service if they have concerns about their child's learning and or social/emotional wellbeing?
We advise parent carers to discuss any issues they have about their child's learning and social/emotional wellbeing with the school in the first instance as the school will have a detailed understanding of the most appropriate approaches and strategies to support each individual child or young person. Schools have staff with the knowledge and skills to offer support to parents carers- including the SENCO, ELSA and, in some schools, an emotional wellbeing worker and parent support worker.
The Educational Psychology Service has produced a resource guide to help families support the emotional and psychological wellbeing of their child during this really difficult emotional time we are experiencing because of the Coronavirus pandemic. There is also a resource guide for schools which can be found on this page.
The Service is in the process of writing a resource guide specifically to support children and young people with social communication and interaction needs (including those with a diagnosis of Autism) and this will be available on the Local Offer sometime next week.
Parent carers whose child is known to the Educational Psychology Service can speak with the Educational Psychologist involved in supporting their child by contacting (01482) 394000 (option 4 then option 2). It is also possible for parent carers to speak with the Inclusion Practitioner involved with their child and this can be arranged through discussion with the appropriate Educational Psychologist.
What support is available for families who are waiting for their child to have a possible diagnoses of Autism?
Any child with an EHCP who they feel requires additional support can request help from the 0-25 Team (01482 394000 option 5 then 2).
Further support surrounding autism can be accessed by families via national support organisations (found on the Local Offer support pages)
Is the Healios on line Autism diagnostic services still operating? If so could the capacity in that service be increased? Is the Autism diagnostic assessment process continuing? What is the current waiting list?
Healios in the East Riding this has been offered to all on the waiting list .The only families that would be offered are now the new referrals. The actual face to face assessments for autism diagnosis have ceased as a result of school closures as assessment in school is part of the assessment. We are unable to provide accurate numbers on the waiting list at the moment due to staff in the admin services being redeployed.
If a care package has recently been agreed with additional hours can it be assumed that they can be used in the absence of any documentation?
Please speak to your social worker/0-25 family co-ordinator for all questions relating to your families support package.
FAQ’s – Health
What is the direct number to ring for CAMHS. Is it operated every day?
East Riding CAMHS and Hull CAMHS have been brought together into one team to work across the whole geographical footprint. The Team is based at Walker Street, Hull, HU3 2HE.
East Riding parents can still make self-referrals through the usual routes:
- Primary and Junior school children via EHaSH tel: (01482) 395500
- Secondary school young people through the Contact point tel: (01482) 303810
Professionals, the preferred referral route is on line via web: www.CAMHS.hmber.nhs.uk. or web: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/EastRidingContactPoint/.
How can parents stay in touch with their Paediatrician particularly when their child’s medical situation is not stable?
The paediatrician service have staff in place to triage and take calls and follow up correspondence will be made if necessary, therefore parents/carers are asked to contact the service using the same telephone numbers if they need paediatric support.
Paediatrics Services Update
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (HUTH) are currently able to well maintain the standard timescale of 6 weeks for all EHC requests as we are implementing the new service protocol, have adequate staff and clinic capacity, and are up to date with follow up appointments for the entire inherited caseload.
For follow up appointments we are offering telephone consultation. The only delay from standard protocol is for new referrals to the Neurodevelopment service (some of these children will have a SEND need but not an urgent health that warrants an immediate face to face consultation). It is only for this group we would utilise the new guidance “act as soon as reasonably practicable” and hope to start face to face consultation in the next 6-8 weeks dependent upon how the transition plan evolves and how we manage the social distancing arrangements within clinics. Once we are in a stable position from a follow up perspective, after actively restarting face to face consultations, we would look to change the clinic structure to allow more new slots and reduce the number of follow up slots (allowing a catch up).
How is the Therapy service (SALT, OT, and Physio) operating at the moment? How are CYP Termly plans going to be updated to inform the ongoing therapy for next term? Are resources going to be made available from the service?
•Children who were receiving active treatment or have recently had a referral into our service have been sent a letter regarding the changes to routine face to face appointments. This has also provided families with a landline number, which they can call for any queries/concerns that arise.
•All routine triage (assessment) appointments are being undertaken by phone consultation with “what’s app” video being used where appropriate.
•Face to face appointments will only be arranged where there is an urgent clinical need and cannot be undertaken via the phone/video call.
•The physio team are undertaking phone/video calls with parents/carers to provide support and answer queries. They have been resending physical management programmes where required and suggesting alternate activities/exercises where appropriate linked to the child’s health needs. The frequency of calls is linked to the child’s individual health needs.
•Children who access the orthotic service through our team are able to contact us regarding any issue with their current prescription and we are closely liaising with the orthotist. All queries regarding orthotics are shared with the orthotist who will determine if the child requires a phone consultation or if essential a face to face appointment. (Please note this does not cover those children who live in the Goole area who have accessed the orthotic service through NLAG as it is a separate provider).
Tel: (01482) 336774
Children’s OT services
In answer to the questions from parents/carers from an OT perspective as follows;
• All families on the current caseload and on the waiting list have been sent a letter advising them of changes to the service.
• Face to face visits will be carried out based on clinical need where deemed essential.
• All parents/carers have been advised to contact the service with any queries.
• Video calling via WhatsApp is available as an alternative to face to face visits. This will also help inform whether a face to face visit is required or not.
• Telephone reviews will be carried out where required, particularly for children and young people's who have an EHCP. Support and advice regarding OT outcomes will be offered to families and other professionals involved.
• OT reports for EHCPs can still be provided on request
East Riding Community Hospital – tel: (01482) 478898
Walker Street – tel: (01482) 692929 option 4
Goole – tel: (01405) 608233 or 608225
Speech and Language Therapy services
• All staff have IT equipment required to be able to work remotely from home
• Skeleton staff are available at Walker Street to coordinate adapted service delivery and review priority referrals
• All families currently receiving an episode of care have been contacted – if clinically required a telephone or video consultation has been offered
• Triage screening appointments have gone ahead via telephone consultations
• Face to face visits will be carried out based on clinical need where deemed essential – for children with dysphagia as risk of aspiration
• The central telephone contact number is manned each day
• EHC reports will be completed ensuring that it is clear that the information has been obtained from review of record, information from parents and from telephone or video consultations
• Resources/homework pack have been sent to parents as appropriate
Contact tel: (01482) 692929
Are School nurses available for advice. If so is there a direct contact number to ring?
If a parent or young person would like to speak to a member of the 0-19 (25) ISPHN service (including School Nurses) they can access this via:
The duty phone line to their local team 9am -5pm on week days. Contact numbers are split into locality areas :
Bridlington (01262) 400565
Goole (01405) 752931
Haltemprice (01482) 355010
North Holderness (01482) 677618
South Holderness (01482) 344455
West Holderness (01759) 448366
web: http://www.humberisphn.nhs.uk which has a language translation facility and has contact details and relevant information on plus an up to date Covid-19 page.
•Through our Chathealth- text messaging service for young people aged 11-19 or 25 with SEND
•We have a Face book page, Twitter and Instagram site which are updated daily so how ever families want to access the service it should be easy.
We have nursery nurses who are on call to support with behaviour issues and are offering support to foster carers via identified need from the LAC nurses.
FAQ's - Social Care
Will the 0-25 team be able to carry out ‘well-being” checks on families during the coming weeks?
The 0-25 team have made contact with those families they are currently working with following the government's message to stay at home to make contact and provide support to families. The local authority, including all specialist services is working hard to support our most vulnerable families during this challenging and difficult time. To provide some continuity for families all contact details for the SEN team, 0-25 team and other teams in specialist services remain the same and are staffed during office hours.
Could the LA organise a ‘bank’ of support workers eg PA’s or TA’s ( DBS checked) to support families of their worker is not available?
Those families who have a worker who is not available to support them due to the worker having to self-isolate, should contact the agency direct (if the worker is an agency staff member) to discuss alternative arrangements, or the 0-25 team if the worker is employer directly by the family.
What support is available for families with a child at SEN support. Also for all families what emotional and sociable support is available?
We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for all families particularly those who have a child/young with SEND. We would encourage families who have a child/young person at SEN support level to contact their school or setting for resources/support etc. The Local Offer "Corona Virus" page includes lots of resource documents, website links and useful information. The KOOTH website has recently launched in the East Riding. This is a free online mental health and well-being support service for children and young people please visit www.kooth.com
Will there be a respite system introduced for families to enable them to have some time off to go shopping etc?.
Where a family has a child with a package of support from children's social care, the family can request those workers to provide the short break they may need to access shops etc. Those without this support should in the first instance request further help from the Community Hub to support them. Example; to attend the shops on the families behalf.
FAQ’s – PPE
Do people working with children need to wear PPE and how can they obtain PPE?
If the child has symptoms of COVID-19, then the risk of transmission should be minimised through safe working procedures. As with staff in home care services, personal assistants and other care staff should use PPE when caring for someone with symptoms for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids. Plastic aprons, fluid resistant surgical masks, eye protection and gloves are recommended. New PPE must be used for each episode of care.
PPE Guidance (pdf 1.130kb opens in a new window)
COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) (external Government website)
People receiving direct payments that normally purchase their own PPE from their preferred supplier, should continue to do so.
If families are having difficulty in obtaining the required PPE, they should approach their key worker responsible for their Direct Payment/Personal Budget and ask for assistance.
What is the situation for carers entering a family home regarding PPE? Equally what protection is there for parents if they allow a Carer to enter their home?
The request for PPE equipment from families for those carers entering a family home to deliver short break or direct payment services should contact their 0-25 Team worker or Social Worker in the first instance.
FAQ’s – Short Breaks
Will Endorphins activity programmes start as planned on 4 April 2020 (Endorphins are the new activity provider in the East Riding of Yorkshire) this was previously delivered by Barnardo’s all stars groups?
Endorphins and the local authority has decided to postpone the start date of these activities in order to comply with government directives regarding social distancing and staying at home wherever possible. Further information will follow. Endorphins will be posting activities on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EndorphinsGroup
What will happen to Freedom Activity Support Payment (FASP) applications?
Please continue to send your applications for the freedom activity support payment to email: email@example.com or telephone (01482) 394000 options 5 then 2. For further information please visit the local offer website at: http://eastridinglocaloffer.org.uk/money-matters/freedom-activity-support-payment/ All applications will be processed as usual. Due to the current lockdown, we are considering extending the deadline for applications to ensure all eligible families have the opportunity to apply.
Could the FASP system be accelerated to enable families to use some of the money now?
The Local Authority is following the government guidelines which is that people should stay at home, as families in the East Riding area are doing. Therefore, the FASP system, which is to support families to access social and leisure activities, will not be accelerated any sooner as most activity providers are closed and families should stay at home. If families require additional support during the current situation, they should contact the 0-25 SEND Team to discuss their concerns.
FAQ's - Direct Payments
What will happen with my direct payments (personal budget) payments?
The local authority will not be making any changes to the current direct payments (personal budget) currently made to families. We are awaiting further guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) about how we continue to support families who receive these payments. If you have any questions, please speak to your social worker or 0-25 family co-ordinator in the first instance.
There is some conflicting information being given to parents and carers regarding direct payments. Is it still the case that parents should contact their 0-25 keyworker for advice?
Parents should contact their DP key worker - this could be the 0-25 team, social worker, or futures+ social worker.
FAQ's - Contacting Services
How can I contact the SEN team, 0-25 team and other teams within children and young people’s specialist services?
Telephone numbers and team email addresses remain the same, and are staffed during office hours. The telephone number to access all teams in Specialist Services is (01482) 394000.
How can I contact home to school transport?
The contact details for Passenger Services remain the same: (01482) 395588/395501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are contacting Passenger Services out of office hours please use the email address.
Where can I find information about other East Riding council services?
Please visit the website at : https://emergencies.erycdigitalservices.com/coronavirus-covid-19