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Portage team

The Portage Service

The Portage Service is a term-time home visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs.

The needs of individual children may present as either severe, complex or profound and multiple difficulties. All pre-school children with learning support needs are eligible for the service.

Referral system

The service has an open referral system, so parents/carers or anyone with concerns regarding a child’s development and with the parent/carers permission, can refer a pre-school child. A general guide to referral would be that a child demonstrates significant developmental delay when compared with their peer group or that the child has a recognised medical condition.


Whilst the service is based at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby, all the children are supported in their own homes. Visits are arranged with the parent/carer on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

What we do

The aim of the service is to work in partnership with parents/carers to support young children‟s development through play, using the Portage Checklist, which encompasses the following skill areas:

  • Infant stimulation
  • Socialisation
  • Self-help
  • Cognition
  • Motor and Language.

Support given through Portage is based on the principle that parents are the key figures in the development of their child, and that they bring considerable experience to the partnership with professionals. Portage helps parents to be confident in their role, whatever their child‟s needs may be.

How to access the service

The Portage Service operates an open referral system – which means that any parent with concerns regarding their child’s development, or any professional – with the parent’s permission, may make a direct referral to the service. The Portage Supervisor will make an initial home visit to discuss the service and whether or not it may be appropriate for the child.

Key to success

Portage visits children in their own home. Parents then share with the home visitor their understanding of their child’s individual skills, abilities and support needs. Portage emphasizes the positive and builds on what a child is already doing. Success builds interest and confidence, as children acquire new skills through activities based on play and grounded in everyday situations to make learning fun for all the family.

Contact details


Telephone: 01472 323177

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