Brain Injury Community Service

The Children's Trust is the UK's leading charity for children with brain injury and neurodisability. We deliver rehabilitation, education and community services through skilled teams who work with children and young people aged 0-18 and their families. The Children's Trust Brain Injury Community Service provides specialist goal-orientated neurorehabilitation delivered in the child/young person's environment. Delivered by specialists from a range of clinical backgrounds we work with the child and their family focusing on the needs which result from an acquired brain injury. These needs may be:
  • Social
  • emotional
  • cognitive
  • communicative
  • behavioural

Our ultimate goal is to maximise the child/young person's participation in everyday life.
We provide a range of support centred around the child or young person. We offer clinical screening, advice and onward referral, as well as community-based multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation. A long term register is also in place to monitor the needs of the child or young person at key stages of development and offer support if new needs arise. In addition, the service also works to raise awareness of acquired brain injury and provide clinical training to those working in the field. This service is underpinned by research.

Who we support

The things that come naturally to typically developing children, like learning to get organised for school, completing tasks at school and at home or simply fitting in with a peer group can present real challenges for a child or young person with acquired brain injury.

Children with acquired brain injury can face difficulties with:

  • learning new information
  • concentration and memory
  • understanding and using language effectively
  • developing independence skills appropriate for their age
  • making and keeping friends
  • staying safe
  • controlling emotions and impulses
  • managing fatigue
  • getting enough sleep.

The Brain Injury Community Service supports children and young people who:

  • have a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of an acquired brain injury, either recently or some years ago
  • are medically stable
  • are 18 years and under at the time of referral
  • are registered with a UK GP.
These children and young people no longer require intensive therapy but would benefit from some level of therapeutic support. They may have cognitive and/or communication difficulties and may present with behavioural issues or find social situations, including school, difficult.

Clinical screening

We offer clinical screening, advice and onward referral to all children and young people across the UK with a confirmed or suspected acquired brain injury.  This may include children with a concussion. This voluntary funded service provides the initial support needed when a child is discharged from hospital to home. The service also provides this support to children who may be referred sometime after their initial injury or illness, in some cases many years later. This may be because the effects of the injury may not be obvious for some time. A referral can be made by anybody involved in the child’s care or interested in their well-being – GP, consultant, therapist, teacher or parent. For a child with a newly acquired brain injury, contact will be made with the family approximately six weeks after hospital discharge. For an older injury or a re-referral, this will take place within two weeks of referral.

This support will involve

  • a clinical screening conducted initially via telephone to determine the child’s needs and the support required
  • telephone calls to other professionals involved in the child’s care to gather further information to support identification of needs
  • provision of advice where appropriate
  • up to two visits, either in the child’s home or at school, or a mixture of the two, to provide specific brain injury education and advice, and develop an action plan
  • onward referral into local community services, or our specialist multidisciplinary team.
Our clinical specialists work collaboratively with the family, school, local teams and other agencies. The clinical screen may be sufficient to meet a child’s needs however they could be re-referred at any time if new needs arise.

Community-based neurorehabilitation skills package

If the child has needs that would benefit from specialist multidisciplinary input and this is not available via local services, we are able to offer, subject to funding, neurorehabilitation packages delivered in the community
by our multidisciplinary team. This includes at home, in school, or a combination of both settings. The child is able to access either a comprehensive interdisciplinary assessment and consultation package, or skills packages (see ‘How the service works’ for further information) to target specific areas of need. The clinical specialist will recommend the most appropriate support package. Integral to each skills package are baseline assessments, outcome measures and goal setting with the child and family.

Long-term register

Left unsupported, the difficulties children and young people with acquired brain injury face can have a long-term impact on the child’s academic, social and personal development. Children and young people can have particular difficulties at key transition stages, such as starting school, moving to secondary school or college. Our long-term register provides systematic monitoring at these key stages. Contact is made by telephone to carry out a clinical screen and determine if new needs have arisen that require support. Joining the register is optional.

How to refer

Anybody can refer a child into our Brain Injury Community Service, including clinicians, GPs, case managers, teachers, community-based healthcare professionals and parents.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact one of our team!

Send us an email
Give us a call 01737 365 864 To find out more about acquired brain injury, visit our brain injury hub.

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