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.
The service usually takes requests from Health Visitors or other practitioners who have concerns regarding a child’s development. With the parent/carers permission, they can refer children up to 3-years-old. Generally, requests are accepted for children who are demonstrating a significant developmental delay or they have a condition affecting their progress.
Whilst the service is based at the Civic Offices in Cleethorpes, all of the children supported are usually visited 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. Practitioners will use the Portage Checklist, which encompasses the following skill areas:
- Infant stimulation
- Motor and Language
Support given through Portage is based on the principle that parents are key figures in the development of their child and that they bring considerable experience to the partnership with professionals. Portage practitioners help parents to be confident in their role whatever their child’s needs may be.
How to access the service
Practitioners should discuss Portage with the child’s parent/carer and complete a referral form detailing their concerns. A Portage practitioner will usually make an initial home visit to discuss the service and whether or not it may be useful for the child.
Key to success
Portage practitioners visit children in their own home. Parents will be asked to share their understanding of their child’s individual skills, abilities and support needs. The Portage approach emphasizes strengths 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. Portage practitioners make learning fun for all of the family.
Due to an increase in demand, the Educational Psychology Team, Advisory Teachers, and Portage phone lines will only be open from 1pm-2:30pm.