The Portage Service is a teaching service for pre-school children with additional needs, helping children and their families to learn together and play together. It aims to help families to feel included in their local community. It involves an intervention of up to a year, involving weekly sessions at home, and it is aimed at children with the most complex needs. Criteria for Portage is that a child will have developmental delays of at least half their chronological age in at least 2 areas of their development. Early Intervention is at the heart of portage and, therefore, referrals for children under 3 are prioritised.
PERSCEY is a similar intervention for children with autism or social and communication needs, who do not present with difficulties in other areas of their development. It offers bespoke support to a child and family to support communication and provides strategies and resources which help the child to manage their emotional and sensory needs. It is a shorter intervention of nine weeks and involves two visits to the child’s EY setting.
In addition to the one to one home visiting service, Portage groups are now in development and children referred to portage/PERSCEY may be considered for either individual home visiting or the group intervention.
A referral to Portage/PERSCEY will be discussed at the MAISEY meeting and a multi-professional decision on its appropriateness will be made prior to accepting the referral. Practitioners should ensure that families understand that a referral to Portage does not necessarily mean that this service will be offered.
There is likely to be a waiting list, so it may be some time after the referral is agreed before Portage/PERSCEY can start.
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.
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.
Please use the drop-down menu to select “Portage & PERSCEY”.
Email address: InclusionSENSupportServices@somerset.gov.uk