Portage Service - Reading

Brighter Futures for Children

What is Portage?

The portage model is a structured teaching programme which values parents as children’s first educators; it focuses on working in partnership with parents to support their child’s developmental needs via a small step learning approach. We work with parents to teach, support and empower them to take the lead in their child’s education and development. Portage helps families to recognise their child’s progress and celebrate their success. Together, the family and the Portage Home Visitor find ways to encourage a child’s development.

Portage is available for children under the age of 5 who have been recognised as needing additional support with their development due to a significant delay in two or more areas of development, or those who have been diagnosed with a condition with which developmental delay is associated.


How do I refer to Portage?

Referrals for Portage support can be by parents or professionals and can be made via the Children’s Single Point of Access.

What does Portage support look like?

Portage is delivered in the home, in a group or a combination of both. The offer of support is made up of 3 different interventions families may be offered one, two or all of the interventions:

Portage First Steps Group

The Portage First Steps group is offered to families when they are initially referred to the service (when a space becomes available) and families will continue to be invited to the group on a termly basis until they are assigned a Portage Home Visitor to support them at home or it is felt they meet one of the other indicators on our exit criteria. This group introduces parents and children to the different elements of the portage model, the small steps approach to learning, supports development and socialisation as well as offering parents the chance to ask for specific advice for their child’s individual needs.  We also hope this group will offer parents an opportunity to create peer networks

Portage at Home

Portage at home begins with a holistic developmental assessment. Following the initial assessment long-term developmental goals (LTG) are set in conjunction with parents and a home-based educational programme is carried out. Parents are supported to carry out educational activities with their child as guided by their Portage Home Visitor both during home visits with the PHV and regularly in-between home visits to support their child’s development and progress towards their long-term goals. Portage visits include all 3 elements of the Portage model structured teaching, child lead play and family focus.

Portage support at home is regularly reviewed, when it is agreed both parents and child are confident in using the Portage model to support development, Portage at home will cease and you will be invited to attend our Portage Next Steps group to receive ongoing support.

Portage Next Steps group

The Portage Next Steps group will offer ongoing support to children and families, the group will continue to build on the progress made during Portage at home and offer an opportunity for children to continue to learn in a group format supported by a small steps approach. Portage Home Visitors will be available for parents to ask individual questions to and to support parents with next steps for their child. We will also have guest speakers on occasions to talk about their role in supporting children or provide advice for families regarding relevant topics.

If you would like any further information on Portage and the support we can offer please see contact details below. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Jessica Kenward
Contact Position
Senior Portage Home Visitor
07773 197126 07773 197126
Brighter Futures for Children ~ Early Help ~ Support we offer
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Age Ranges
6 months - 3 years
Referral required
Referral Details

Requests for our involvement may come directly from parents and carers or professionals (with parental consent) through the Children's Single Point of Access. Please complete a referral form. Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) ~ Children's Single Point of Access (CSPoA)

Age Range: 6+ months- entry into a maintained nursery or school

Portage is suitable if:

The child is of Pre-school age and at least two terms before entering school.

The child has a significant delay in at least two areas of their development.

Local Offer

Contact Name
Jessica Kenward
Contact Telephone
07773 197126
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
Early Years (0-4 years)
SEN Provision Type


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This information has been collected from third party providers therefore the Reading Services Guide, Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of this information and recommends that parents, carers, young people, residents and professionals check with providers regarding DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) and OFSTED registrations and CQC registrations. Information collected by Reading Service Guide; is used solely to implement and supply the Family Information Service (FIS), Special Educational Needs & Disabilities - Reading's Local Offer, Adults & Carers Support Group and Reading Youth.


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Last Updated

Last updated:

Contact the Team

Family Information Service

fis@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer

localoffer@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support

CSAAdvice.Signposting@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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