Disability Service & Specialist Autism Team

The Disability Service offers support to children and young people from 0 - 18 years who have a diagnosed severe/profound disability or diagnosed chronic health condition resulting in severe and profound disability.

In order to be eligible for an assessment from the 0 - 18 Disability Service there must be reasonable cause to believe that the disability is:

  1.  Substantial 

    There is significant impairment or loss of function affecting the child’s ability to carry out essential daily living activities. 
  2. Permanent 

    The impairment is deemed to be life long and there may be further deterioration, or the condition is terminal.  

The child will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and will be eligible for a Specialist Educational Provision. An assessment of need will not automatically result in the provision of a social work service if the needs identified can be met through alternative service provision.

The service also has a Specialist Autism Team who support children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism and other associated needs which requires multi-disciplinary intervention and support. The Specialist Autism Team may support young people until their 25th birthday. 

What do we do?

  • if a child or young person meets the criteria of the Disability Service and the Specialist Autism Team, an assessment can be undertaken. This assessment will provide detailed information about the needs of the child and family which will help develop a plan of support for the child/young person.
  • if required, a package of support may be offered which may include Direct Payments. 
  • we provide a statutory safeguarding role for children and assess families where there are safeguarding concerns or where the parents may be struggling.
  • We deliver Social Care Occupational Therapy home assessments and provision of equipment for the home of children with disabilities from 0-18 years old.
  •  We support children, young people and their families preparing for adulthood and through transitions to adult services.
  • We liaise with other agencies such as housing, education, health, and occupational therapy. We contribute to Educational Health Care Plans and Continuing Care assessments.
  • we offer a Short Breaks package to those children aged 0 - 19 who meet the eligibility criteria
  • we provide advice and can direct families to national and local voluntary services

How to access our service?

Families can self-refer to our service or be referred to our service by another agency they are in contact with, such as a GP or health worker. 

Referrals are made via the Barnet Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by completing the MASH online form or by email or calling 020 8359 4066.

All referrals regarding children and young people made by professionals, families and the public must go through this form. This is the only referral route available. It will be screened and filtered to the appropriate service.

Once a referral has been made, the MASH team will then contact us to check if your child is likely to meet our eligibility criteria. You may need to have information that confirms details about your child's disability. This may be recent medical reports or letters from the medical consultants who are responsible for your child's care. We will not see these reports without your consent.

Once we have this information, we will complete an assessment to ascertain your child's needs. This will allow us to make recommendations on support and help for your child and the family

For adults 18-25 referrals are usually made via Barnet Social Care Direct 020 8359 5000 or email

Details of all Short Break services, including eligibility criteria and online application form can be found here.

Children not eligible for social care support through the Disability Service and Specialist Autism Team

Where children have less severe forms of disability, a social care assessment can be completed by one off the other social care teams in Family Services. Referrals can be made via the MASH team as above.

Additionally Barnet's Local Offer gives children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families information about education, health and care services, leisure activities and support groups in their local area.