Aims The Integrated Children’s Centre provides care, treatment and leisure activities for children with disability and their families under one roof. The aim is that health, social care and the voluntary sector work together to ensure disabled children and their families are supported to participate in valued childhood experiences and have access to the same range of opportunities, life experiences, community services and facilities as other children and their families.
Methods A two year qualitative study with a mixed-method design which included focus groups, interviews and questionnaires was undertaken. Data was gathered from parents/carers and multi – professionals to develop an understanding of what difference an integrated model of care makes to the child with disability and their family.
Increasing skills, knowledge, attitude and behaviour
–Information ‘hub’ provides improved access to timely, accurate information across networks
– Families better informed resulting in increased skills and confidence
–Meeting parents needs at earlier stage
– Increased staff skill and understanding to deliver family centred care
• Delivering a holistic approach
– Meeting the needs of the whole family
–Formal and informal support for siblings resulting in positive impact on family life
–Change in culture to staff working practice
–Developing a seamless model of care for all levels of need/disability
• Access to leisure and play
–Increased opportunities for children with a disability to develop, explore and have experiences equal to that of their mainstream peers
–Positive impact on child’s clinical care
–Increased and improved life skills, confidence to attend community groups
• Engagement and Empowerment
–Young people have a say and influence service development
–Parents supporting other parents formally and informally
–Active, engaged and empowered parent groups
Conclusion The need for an integrated model of care for children with disability and their families is evident. The positive and beneficial outcomes seen from children/young people and their families and professionals at the Centre, has led to strategic change for children’s centres locally and service model is seen as a best practice exemplar nationally.
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