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Guide on caring for kids with special needs published

A new guide explaining best practice for dealing with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been released by the Department of Health. 

The 0 to 25 SEND code of practice outlines best practice for helping children with SEND through early years, school and college, to adulthood. 

The guide also expands on needs assessments and disagreements and supports healthcare professionals in:

 - Taking into account the views of children, young people and families.

 - Enabling children, young people and parents to participate in decision-making.

 - Collaborating with partners in education, health and social care to provide support.

 - Identifying children and young people's needs.

 - Making high quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people.

 - Focusing on inclusive practice and removing barriers to learning.

 - Helping children and young people to prepare for adulthood.

A joint statement from Dr Dan Poulter, Health Minister and Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and families reads: “Our vision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all children and young people - that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college and make a good transition to adulthood, to lead contented and fulfilled lives. 

“This hasn't always been the case. The SEND reforms introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 aim t change this, with a focus on two key themes: greater co-operation between education, health and social care and a greater focus on the outcomes which will make a real difference to how a child or young person lives their lives.” 

The foreword adds that health has been the “missing partner” in caring for children with SEND. 

However, the departments hope that the reforms will help to implement a “holistic approach” to supporting children. 

The full guide is available to view online