Service Specification:

Portage is a service for pre-school children with special educational needs.  Portage supports families to develop their child’s learning through play, develop their confidence, and enables them to feel included in the community.

We offer both home visits and targeted focus groups of about an hour which involve activities to support your child’s development.

Alongside the individual home visits and targeted focus groups, we offer 5 ‘Stay and Play’ sessions across the county for those receiving or waiting for Portage.  These sessions are a great opportunity for families to meet and chat in a safe and relaxed environment.  Information regarding these groups is sent out to families once their child’s referral is accepted.

There are four teams of Home Visitors across the county, these teams are managed but two Senior Portage Workers and are all supervised half termly by an Educational Psychologist.

How to access:

Referrals are usually made by a professional involved with the family, this is done using an Early Help Assessment (EHA). New Referrals are discussed at a multi-agency meeting called MAISEY, these take place half termly across all areas of Somerset. If the child is not already known to MAISEY, a referral to MAISEY needs to take place at the same time using the EHA. 

Service Criteria to include in the EHA:

Criteria to access this service, should be referred to and can be found below and/or on the Support Services for Education website.

The below information is required in addition to the information already requested in the EHA.

Section 7:

Please include information on the extent of the child’s delay (e.g. Schedule of Growing Skills or Developmental Journal level) and the number of sessions that the child attends an EY setting.  Without this information it will not be clear whether the child fits the criteria for this intervention.

Section 9:

Please use the drop-down menu to select “Portage”.

  • A request for support to MAISEY must be completed prior or at the same time as submitting a request to Portage.

Contact Details:

Email address: InclusionSENRequests@somerset.gov.uk

As from the 1st April 2020, the email address’s quoted within the drop-down menus of the “Early Help Assessment (EHA)Request Form” used for requests into the Inclusion SEND Advisory Services has changed. The new email address will be: InclusionSENRequests@somerset.gov.uk.

This means that the EHA will be received initially by Somerset Direct, who will check that the EHA is completed correctly and is accompanied by any Service specific Check Lists/Additional Information Forms/SEN Support Plans.  Somerset Direct will return the EHA to the “Referrer” if the EHA  is missing mandatory information or if not accompanied by any Service specific additional documentation.  If the EHA is completed correctly and is accompanied with all relevant additional information, Somerset Direct will forward to the relevant Inclusion SEND Service for their consideration.

Both the EHA document (accessed via the professional Choices Website) and the Website itself has been up-dated.  Please continue to access the EHA document via the website to ensure you are always using the up-to-date version.