Early Support and Portage

Early Support and Portage are free services for families who have a child aged zero to five years old with additional needs or disabilities. 

The Early Support service aims to co-ordinate care for children who receive four or more services from health, education, social care or the voluntary sector and to provide families with a single and consistent point of contact.

Families using the Early Support service in Brent are given a key worker who acts as the main contact between you and the different professionals working with your child.

Your key worker will:

  • Provide you and other family members with practical and emotional support so you can better understand your child’s disability or additional needs
  • Help you to work with professionals and ensure you are at the heart of the decision-making process
  • Ensure that different services working with your family are focused on the needs of you and your child.

A referral for Early Support can be made by a parent or any professional working with a child by telephoning 020 8937 4300 or emailing family.frontdoor@brent.gov.uk. A member of the team will then carry out an assessment of your family’s needs to see how you can best be supported. 

Portage 

Portage is a free home visiting service for pre-school children with a disability or additional needs from birth to four years old.

The service also supports children who have developmental delay. This is when a child is not progressing as expected in his or her understanding, thinking or physical development.

A trained portage worker will visit you at home to offer support and advice, generally on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The aim of each visit is to identify fun activities for your family, which you can enjoy together to help build your child's confidence. Parents are encouraged to share information about their child's abilities and support needs with their portage worker.

Your worker will help you to develop your child's communication, physical and social skills and improve their learning and development. You will also be given information about portage support groups held at local children’s centres where you can meet other parents and take part in activities.

If your child does not receive portage and you think it would help please contact us by emailing family.frontdoor@brent.gov.uk or calling 0208 937 4300. A member of the team will then carry out an assessment of your needs.  Professionals such as doctors, health visitors and nursery workers can also refer a child to the service using the contact details, above.