Message from WBC Children with Disabilities Team

25th January 2021

The Children with Disabilities Service is very aware of thepressures that families have been under, especially as we find ourselves inanother National Lockdown. As aservice, we continue to work hard to ensure that ongoing support can beprovided to Wokingham's most vulnerable disabled children.

Over the past year wehave continued to offer Social Work and Occupational Therapy interventions, andsupport with short breaks via the Short Break and Early Help Team, BridgesResource Centre and Saturday Club. We worked closely with Thumbs Up Club andAddington School to ensure the availability of summer holiday provision andcontinue to consider the alternative use of direct payments for items that willhelp support children / keep them entertained if their usual short breakprovision is temporarily unavailable. We have also provided guidance (availableon the Local Offer) to ensure that Personal Assistants (employed via a directpayment or agency) are able to continue to support children in a Covid secureway, through appropriate use of PPE. In addition, support from both the ASSISTand FIRST teams has continued online, with ASSIST running a full programme ofevents and FIRST developing workshops and courses on support with sleep andbehaviour.

Although given thecurrent Covid context, it is difficult to provide clear timescales and makedefinitive plans moving forward, we will continue to bring back online as muchprovision as is feasibly possible, in line with Government guidelines. In theinterim, we will continue to deliver the services set out above and workcreatively with families and providers to ensure that appropriate support is inplace.

Should you findyourself with particular challenges or difficulties, please get in touch and wewill be happy to see what we can do to support you and your child/ren throughthese difficult times. A list of useful contact numbers has been attached foryour reference.

I would also like toreassure families that we are working closely with our Education & Healthcolleagues to ensure a continuity of service to those children who areadditionally vulnerable due to their multiple and complex needs.

The Children withDisabilities Service are committed to ensuring the delivery of safe andeffective provisions and will continue to provide you with updates as changesoccur.

KelliScott, Interim Service Manager, CWD and Early Help

If your child isregistered with the Children with Disabilities Service or is in receipt of ashort break payment, you can contact your child's social worker or the Childrenwith Disabilities main email/telephone on: or0118 974 6890 for more help and information.

Message from WBC SEND Team

28th January 2021

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Service are workinghard during this challenging time to ensure that we are able to providerelevant support and guidance to our service users whilst continuing to meetour statutory obligations with particular focus on requests for Education,Health and Care Needs Assessments (EHCNA), decisions to issue draft EHCP'sAnnual Reviews and Phased Transfers.

We are maintaining “business as usual" and working hard toreduce the impact on our statutory processes and timescales that are beingeffected by the unprecedented situation nationally around COVID-19. We continueto hold weekly SEND panels virtually to consider statutory requests, areattending annual reviews, working on the phased transfers with a particular focuson improving communication and ensuring that are families, children and youngpeople feel supported. It is important to note that a large number of partnersacross education, health and social care are severely impacted by the currentsituation and we are working with them to reduce disruptions to the SENDservice delivery wherever possible.

We continue to monitor the changing situation and as a serviceare reviewing our activity on a daily basis to ensure alignment with Governmentand Public Health advice and are committed to ensuring the delivery ofservices. If you have any queries, please do feel free to make contact withyour allocated SEND Officer or email

Wokingham Borough Council takes the safety and wellbeing of allof its staff and service users incredibly seriously and thus during this timewant to limit the amount of contact in order to reduce the risk of potentialtransmission of the Coronavirus and ensure that our delivery activity is inline with governmental guidance.

We thank you for your support and understanding during thesedifficult and exceptional times.

Sonia Aulak, Interim SEND Strategic Lead

To contact the SEND Team email: