Children & Young People’s Disabilities Team (CYPDT)

Brighter Futures for Children

Children and Young People’s Disability Team (CYPDT)

CYPDT eligibility criteria

Updated - August 2023

About the Children and Young People's Disability Team (CYPDT)

What we do

The CYPDT in Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) is part of Children’s Social Care, and provides services to disabled children and young people aged 0 to 18 who are ordinarily resident in Reading and their parents and carers.

View eligibility criteria document here 

The Legal Framework

In BFfC services for children and young people with a disability are being

developed within the context of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (1970),

Children Act 1989 (2004), the Equality Act 2010, the Children and Families Act (2014),

Every Child Matters and the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and

their Families and have regard to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.


This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Short Breaks Statement click here which it complements and the Local Assessment Protocol.


The basis of BFfC’s approach is that disabled children are regarded as children first and, as children with a disability, second. This leads to an important principle, that disabled children should have the opportunity to access services that all children access, and such mainstream provision should work to make their services as accessible as possible to disabled children. 

Accessing our services

All referrals for requests to access Childrens Social Care will need to be made through Childrens Single Point of Access (CSPoA) and will be allocated to the appropriate team click here

To access specialist services such as the CYPDT, a child must have a “substantial” disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010 under S212(1) which is “permanent”. Children with a disability are not classified by assessment, according to their physical or mental impairment, but assessed according to the impact any impairment has on their quality of life and that of their family. 

Who is eligible?

The majority of children in Reading who require services will receive them through a Level 1 provision (e.g. schools and GPs) within their local community. Many disabled children will also be able to access level 1 provision. Only when it is considered that the impact of the child’s impairment on their life is too great to be addressed by Level 1 provision, should a referral for an assessment be made to BFfC. At this point BFfC will apply its eligibility criteria for CYPDT. In circumstances when a child has a disability but does not meet the eligibility criteria for CYPDT they can access an assessment to consider intervention under S.17 Children Act 1989 (2004) through our Access and Assessment Teams.

It is important to note that some children with a disability may be assessed as needing

specialist services other than or as well as social care, for example a child who needs support from

speech and language therapy, health or education. 

The eligibility criteria for receiving services from the CYPDT within Children’s Social Care are
  1. Children and their families whose main need for services arises out of the

children’s disabilities or intrinsic condition;


  1. These conditions have a substantial or critical impact on the quality of the

child/young persons or/and their families lives;


  1. The needs cannot be met by Universal/Targeted services alone (see below page 6);


  1. The child’s disability is both permanent and substantial.


 Social care and key partner agencies are required to maintain, where possible and

appropriate, the child/young person safely within their family and community.


Preparing for Adulthood (PfA)

With the consent of the young person and/or their family, young people who receive

services from the CYPDT can be referred to Adult Social Care from the

age of 14 or before they turn 16 so that Adult Social Care can assess to see if the young

person is eligible for their services when they become 18. If the young person is eligible,

Adult Social Care will work with the young person, their family and other significant

services involved (e.g. college, health services, etc.) to plan a transition to Adult

Social Care on the young person’s 18th birthday to ensure that this transition happens



Young people who are looked after by BFfC outside of their families (see below

“Children Requiring Local Authority Care”) may be eligible for support from the Leaving

Care Team until they are 25. 

Parent Carers Needs Assessment (PCNA)

In Reading the statutory duty to carry out Parent Carers Needs Assessments (PCNA) has been delegated by BFfC to the Carers Partnership - Reading & West Berkshire

This means that the Carers Partnership can carry out PCNA’s, although if a Parent Carer requests a Whole family assessment and declines a PCNA these will be carried out by BFfC in the most appropriate team depending on the presenting needs of the child for which the parent carer is caring for.

Section 97 of the Children & Families Act 2014 amends the Children Act 1989 (by adding s17ZD to s17ZF) to require local authorities to assess parent carers on the appearance of need or where an assessment is requested by the parent.

If all needs identified through the PCNA can be met by providing advice, information and connecting the Parent Carer to support, the Carers Partnership will provide this support and advice regarding contingency planning.

If the Carers Partnership carries out a PCNA, and recommends that the Parent Carer or the child/ young person would benefit from a package of support as a result of the child/young persons disability and the impact this has on them the PCNA needs to be sent to BFfC as a referral for support under S.17 Children Act 1989. This may include a recommendation for Direct Payments to fund a Personal Assistant or short breaks.

Understanding Eligibility Criteria to Access CYPDT’s Services

Illustrative Need

This document is designed to provide a better understanding of set eligibility criteria for

accessing a service from the CYPDT. It aims to explain the way in which the differing needs of disabled children and young people can be met, so that they may achieve the ‘five outcomes of Every Child Matters (ECM); Be Healthy, Stay Safe, Enjoy & Achieve, Make a Positive Contribution & Achieve Economic Wellbeing.

The thresholds for different levels of need and services in Reading are described in this diagram.  It shows the levels of need and the relationship between them.  It is important to remember that children and young people will move up and down these levels – they are not static.

Level 1: No additional needs:

Children with no identified additional needs will have their health and developmental needs met by universal services. These are children who consistently receive child focussed care-giving from their parents or carers. The majority of children living in Reading receive universal services alone.

Service examples:

  • School
  • GP
  • Health Visitor
  • School nurse
  • Children’s Centre
  • Family Information Service
  • Extended School Services
  • Play Centre


Level 2a: Additional needs:

Some children will have additional needs.  Their health and development may be adversely affected and would benefit from extra help in order to make the best of their life chances. These children require additional targeted support from a single agency to address the concern that has been identified.  

Level 2b: Multiple needs:

Children whose needs are of greater depth and significance and must be met or their health, social development or educational attainment may be significantly impaired, and they may have long-term poor outcomes. Children are vulnerable and may be living with considerable adversity. This is the level at which there is a need for a clear coordinated multi-agency response and a multi-agency Early Help Assessment may be appropriate.

Illustrative Need

  • Occasionally requires more supervision than children of the same age
  •  Limited perception of danger to self and others
  • With supervision can engage in personal care
  • Some behavioural or management difficulties which may require additional advice or guidance
  • General health problems
  • Speech and language problems

 Service examples

  • Accessing Short breaks via the Local Offer
  • Speech & language therapy
  • Community Child Health Service
  • Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Parenting Support


Level 3: Complex needs:

These are children who are unlikely to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of services; or children who are disabled.  They may require longer term intervention from statutory, specialist or integrated targeted services.  This is the threshold for a statutory assessment led by children’s social care under section 17, Children Act 1989.

Decisions are based on the assessment and take particular account of the following:

  1. The impact that caring for a disabled child or young person is having on the family as a whole.
  2. The possibility that the child or young person may require an alternative care arrangement or that there may be concerns as to the child’s safety and/or welfare.
  3. The impact of a child’s disability on their physical and emotional wellbeing and their development.

Key factors in determining needs at this level are:

  1. The impact that trying to meet the additional needs of a disabled child or young person is having on the family as a whole.
  2. Likelihood of family breakdown resulting from the demands of the care, supervision, or behaviour of the child/young person.
  3. The effect of disturbed nights on the carer and their family.
  4. Impact of Moving & Handling has on the wellbeing of the carer
  5. Health of the carer.
  6. Number of children in the household their ages and needs.
  7. Disabled children who have severe challenging behaviours which impact on all aspects of the child/young person’s functioning or pose a risk to self or others.
  8. It is apparent that the family’s own resources and/or Universal and Targeted services are unable to provide the required level of support.
  9. Disabled children who have recently been subject to a child protection plan, and who remain in need of ongoing specialist services.
  10. Disabled children/young people who require support because of their mental health needs.


Children Requiring Local Authority Care

Family breakdown resulting from the additional demands of the care and supervision of

the disabled child/young person.

Illustrative Need

  • No one is available or able to meet the child or young person’s basic needs or safeguard their welfare.
  • Families who require intensive multi-agency support in caring for disabled children including those who have additional health needs, or life-limiting conditions.
  • Disabled children/young people who require a specialist input because of mental health needs, e.g. CAMHS. Therapeutic placements.


Level 4: Acute/Severe needs

Children are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm, abuse and neglect and this is the threshold for child protection enquiries. Children and young people will be referred to children’s social care and dealt with under section 47, 20 or 31 of the Children Act 1989. This will also include children who have been remanded into custody and statutory youth offending services.

Illustrative Need

  • Children suffering or likely to suffer significant harm whether from abuse or neglect.


How do you make a request for a service for children under 18?

The Children's Single Point of Access team can be contacted on 0118 937 3641.

If your child has been assessed by a CYPDT officer and they have told you that your child is not eligible, you may still be able to access some services directly.  The Reading Services Guide provides information on services and provision available in Reading and can be accessed at 

How do you make a request a service for young adults 19-25?

Contact Adult Single Point of Contact 01189373747.

How do I contact CYPDT?

Any enquiries please email: or contact Children's Single Point of Access -

If the young person has been assessed by a CYPDT officer and has told you that the young person is not eligible, you may still be able to access some services directly.  The Reading Services Guide/SEND Local Offer provides information on services and provision available in Reading and can be accessed at or

I would like to find out more about Parent Carers Needs Assessments?

To find out more about more visit the BFfC website (use the link below) 

Guidance on requesting a Parent Carers Needs Assessment 

Related Advice

Parent Carers Needs Assessment & Support SEND - Support in school and further education SEND - Family Finance Transition - Becoming an adult and preparing for the future Transition from Children to Adult Health Services - Ready Steady Go! Direct Payments - Employing a personal assistant for your child using Direct Payments - a guide for parents and carers (BFfC)

Page last reviewed: 21/08/2023

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
Skip back to top of page