Children's occupational therapy (social care)

The social care occupational therapy service aims to enhance children's abilities and independence at home.

What Occupational Therapy is  

Our Occupational Therapy (OT) promotes health and wellbeing for children and young people. Our aim is to improve children or young people’s independence with daily activities at home. We also provide advice and support to parents and carers in the care of their child.

Our social care OT focuses on the home through assessing the child or young person’s abilities with daily activities. We provide support, equipment or adaptations to increase their independence and reduce risk.

We work closely with the health OT service based at Seaside View at Brighton General. They use play and activities to help children develop skills needed for everyday life at school and home. Find out more about the Health OT service at Seaside View.

We also work alongside other health, social care and educational professionals who know your child or young person’s needs.

Who we see

Our social care OT is for:

  • children aged between 0 and 18.  
  • children and young people living in the Brighton & Hove city boundary.  
  • children and young people with a permanent and substantial disability – this could include physical or learning disabilities and children and young people with autism where there are safety concerns.  

Exclusion Criteria 

We are unable to accept referrals for children and young people where the child’s primary need is related to social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

In this case there are other organisations that specialise in these areas. We recommend considering:

We are unable to accept referrals to support discharge from local hospitals. 

How we help your child 

We will visit you at home to start the OT assessment. We will talk with you about your child or young person’s needs. We observe your child or young person at home. We then consider options to increase their independence with daily life.

This may include:

  • advice about layout of furniture to give better access

  • suggestions for equipment or home adaptations

  • providing information on charities or support groups.

We will consider other family members’ needs and safety in our recommendations.

We may talk with other professionals working with you child or young person. We will also talk with and refer on to other services with your consent.

We may also recommend or provide:

  • loans of specialist or standard equipment to assist daily activities such as specialist beds, toileting equipment, shower seats, bathing seats.
  • a moving and handling assessment, including provision of suitable equipment such as a hoist and slings
  • a moving and handling plan addressing the specific needs of the child or young person.
  • minor adaptations such as grab rails, door widening, ramps and safety measures in and around your home.
  • major adaptations such as stairlifts, through floor lifts, accessible bathrooms, altering existing rooms or providing new rooms such as an accessible bedroom.

We can provide support to access funding through our disabled facilities grant. We can support with rehousing if your home is not suitable to adapt.

We can also advise respite placements on equipment and manual handling needs to support their respite.

How to refer your child

To request an OT referral form send an email to     

Alternatively, you can discuss any issues with a professional already working with you. They can contact and refer to us on your behalf.  

How we use your information 

All our Occupational Therapists work as part of Children, Families and Learning Directorate. They are all registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They follow the code of conduct and ethical guidelines from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

We keep the information you give confidential within our service. We may share it between team members and other staff to help plan the best care for your child.

All information we share is on a 'need to know' basis and everyone will act professionally with the information you give us. We will use some of the information for monitoring purposes. This is to make sure we are offering the right service to meet local needs. In special circumstances we may need to share information with other professionals. This would be in situations to keep a child safe and protected from harm.

Read our childens services privacy notice.

Read our housing adaptations grant application privacy notice.

Useful links  

Disabled Facilities Grants

Adaptations for council properties 

More information on how to adapt your council home.


Amaze provide information, advice, and support to families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including those awaiting diagnosis. Find out more about Amaze.

Fire service home safety visits

We recommend the free home safety visits from the fire service. Find out more about fire service home safety visits.

Living Made Easy

For parents or carers of disabled children, or health professionals looking for ideas, advice and information about daily living equipment. The Disabled Living Foundation do not sell any products but can help you find the people that do. Read more about Living Made Easy.

Contact us

If you want to get in contact you can:

We work Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. We are a small team, currently mainly working from home.  

We welcome comments and complaints as they help us to provide a better service. We'd also like to know if you have had a particularly good service. Give us your feedback