Disability

This page provides an overview of the disability practice triggers designed to support and strengthen social work practice.The disability practice triggers are designed for use by all social work staff.

Every social worker including youth justice, care and protection, adoptions and residential will have worked with a disabled child at some point in their career. The disability practice triggers focus on two key areas: services and supports for disabled children, and the importance of communication with disabled children in order to establish their views. The disability practice triggers are an enhancement to the practice frameworks and work in conjunction with the perspectives and principles.

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Overview

A set of disability practice triggers and corresponding key informations have been developed to strengthen social work knowledge and skills in relation to disability. The triggers are essentially a prompt to staff of the services and processes required when working with disabled children and young people. The triggers and key informations have been developed from both from practice experience and literature reviews on communicating with disabled children and respite care for disabled children.

Overall purpose

  • To strengthen social work knowledge and skills in relation to working with disabled children and young people and their families
  • To enhance the quality of services and supports provided to disabled children, young people and their families
  • To enhance the participation of disabled children and young people in decisions relating to them.

Disability practice triggers

Services

  • Assess needs early – obtain a diagnosis to inform and access services
  • Mobilise cross-sectoral services to ensure appropriate supports are in place
  • Plan transition to adult services early – don't leave it until the last minute.

Communication

  • Disabled children can communicate – look for ways to seek their views
  • Keep language straightforward and avoid jargon
  • Speak directly to the child
  • Consider information that may be generated through gestures, facial expressions and behaviours.

Disability resources