Maruzaan Hanlon with Indy

A place at The Children's Trust

We receive a significant number of referrals from a variety of different health professionals, private funding bodies and families. Our dedicated Placements Team is on hand to ensure that your referral and subsequent placement is managed efficiently and are available Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm.

If you know a child who may benefit from our services, please get in touch with our Placements Team.

We are committed to making the referral and funding process as quick and simple as possible. We aim to respond to all enquiries within one working day.

For further information, please contact the team on 01737 365080, email or download our specialist services brochure.

Download our specialist services brochure

Admissions criteria

Admissions criteria for rehabilitation and step-down services

Children may have wide ranging physical, cognitive, communication, developmental, and psychological needs which require rehabilitation or a step-down placement from hospital to home, or another suitable environment.

We are able to consider children and young people aged 0-18 who:

  • have a brain injury, neurodisability or complex health needs
  • are medically stable
  • have the potential to benefit from, and the ability to participate in a neuro-rehabilitation programme
  • require a period of stabilisation and preparation as a step-down from hospital before returning to home due to complex needs (including technology dependency; stable Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), tracheostomy or long term ventilation)

Our services are not normally suitable for:

  • children who exhibit aggressive or violent behaviour;
  • children who require acute medical care e.g. intravenous therapy (with the exception of total parenteral nutrition) or are not sufficiently stable to be managed by an on call GP service out of hours
  • those on an active oncology treatment phase which causes frequent neutropenia;
  • children who have pre-existing co-morbidities requiring regular acute medical input;
  • children with unstable diabetes

Admissions criteria for The Children's Trust School

We are able to consider children and young people for long-term placements or requiring an assessment placement (we would expect a minimum placement of one year for those staying with us residentially) who have been diagnosed with one or more of the following:

  • a brain injury or disorder that affects neurological function
  • global delay or profound and multiple learning difficulties
  • severe learning difficulties
  • sensory impairments (visual impairment, hearing impairment, multisensory impairment etc.)
  • degenerative conditions
  • complex health and medical needs
  • tracheostomy
  • assisted ventilation
  • complex medication regimes
  • epilepsy
Finn at a K'z dance session

Our School

Find out more about our School and our admissions policy.

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How do I refer a child?

Most referrals come from a professional who is involved with the child’s care. That can be someone in a hospital, in the community, or a funder. However, anyone with consent to do so can make an initial enquiry to discuss a child’s needs or find out more about a service.

To refer a child to any of our services, please download and complete the relevant referral form. If you aren’t sure which service you are looking for, you can contact the Placements Team on 01737 365 080 or email to talk through what support we may be able to offer.

Download Neurorehabilitation, Short breaks, step-down and community referral form

Download Specialist education and residential care referral form

Our referral commitments

We’re committed to working with those involved in the child’s care and those who make a referral into our services. Our referral commitments for residential and/or outpatient health placements:

  • we will acknowledge receipt of your referral within one working day
  • we aim to arrange and undertake an assessment within 10 working days of receiving a referral - subject to admissions criteria and suitability of our services to meet the child's needs.
  • we aim to provide a comprehensive report and recommendations within 5 working days of assessment.
  • we will work with the relevant funding organisations  to secure the funding to place the child for treatment
  • we will liaise with funders throughout the placement, reporting updates and collaborating on discharge planning.


Who will pay for the placement?

Who will fund a placement at The Children’s Trust depends on what service it is and what the child’s needs are. We have an experienced Placements team who liaise with a variety of different funding bodies, from NHS England and local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), to private funders including international embassies and health insurance companies to pursue funding for each placement. This means that the family and professionals involved in the child’s care can stay focused on the child’s needs.

Whichever authority pays for the cost of the treatment, you can rest assured that this will all happen behind the scenes between the funder and The Children’s Trust, meaning that you can concentrate on being a parent or member of a clinical team and focus on the child and their needs.

Funding - residential rehabilitation 

Where applicable, neurorehabilitation placements are funded in England by NHS England, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and by the respective health authorities for children from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  We are also able to accept private placements and work collaboratively with insurers, lawyers, case managers, and international embassies, offering flexibility that meets the needs of the child, their family and the funder.

The Children’s Trust is the only paediatric rehabilitation provider outside of an acute hospital setting appointed by NHS England to deliver specialist neurorehabilitation to children in England who meet National Specialised Commissioning eligibility criteria for category A rehabilitation (which is the criteria the children with the most severe brain injuries are categorised as).

If a child meets this criteria, funding is automatically available should a place be offered (subject to assessment and availability). You can read more about National Specialist Commissioning criteria here. Children whose needs do not meet this criteria can still benefit from specialist rehabilitation at The Children’s Trust and these placements are typically funded by local health authorities through their clinical commissioning group (CCG) and/or social care. Placements for children from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are funded via their respective health bodies, across all categories of severity.

We will assess any child referred for rehabilitation within 10 working days, during which their needs are reviewed in line with the criteria for specialist rehabilitation. Planning for a child’s return home begins before they even arrive with us and we work with our community counterparts to ensure the transition home is as smooth as possible. We are obliged by NHS England to inform clinical commissioning groups and community teams when a child is offered a funded rehabilitation programme with us which helps to support a comprehensive discharge plan.

Funding – step-down placements, short breaks and specialist health placements

Funding for step-down, residential short breaks and specialist health placements for children with complex health needs or who are technology dependent is often secure via the child’s local CCG and/or social care.

Education and residential care placements 

These placements are often funded in a variety of ways, including via the child’s local authority, their local CCG, via social care, or a combination where commissioners agree to jointly fund.