The Specialist Health Visitor for Children with Special Needs aims to establish a professional relationship with families in order to support and empower them to meet the additional health challenges presented by a child with additional needs.
This includes close collaborative working with mainstream services, specialist provision and acute facilities within all agencies.
The role requires intensive working with families to address particular obstacles when they arise and to ensure the child has access to mainstream services at other times.
The Specialist Health Visitor for Children with Special Needs provides:
- Guidance and support for parents and carers through the process of diagnosis, planning care and treatment offered by healthcare services, if requested provide addition support at end of life and during bereavement.
- 1:1 clinics and home visits to meet with parents and address the issues, emotional and otherwise, that arise from the additional needs of the child care for.
- Assistance in the assessment and diagnosis of autism for children under 5 years.
- Guidance in collaboration with the education authority, other relevant agencies and families to enable a smooth transition into educational establishments.
- Health care plans for children with identified health needs (e.g. epilepsy), that may impact on their wellbeing when receiving services.
- Liaison between family and services - early support and CAF (Common Assessment Framework) and Pre School Panel.
- Training sessions for various agencies, families and establishments to inform and educate attendees of the health needs of the children they care for (including epilepsy, toileting, disabilities, syndromes and some behaviours that challenge.
- Attendance at steering groups and panels which focus on children with additional needs, as a health representative.
During transition to adulthood, the Specialist Health Visitor for Children with Special Needs will also give assistance, where necessary, when a young person’s health may require additional intervention by specialist adult services.