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Blind or Visually Impaired Services

All children and young people who live in London Borough of Waltham Forest who are blind or visually impaired can access support from Joseph Clarke Service for the Visually Impaired (a Certificate of  Vision Impairment is not required).

Click here to find out more about Joseph Clarke Service for the Visually Impaired

Below is a guide to how Social Care Services for Children and Young People who are Blind or Visually Impaired and their families work.

What is meant by Children in Need?

Children who have a visual impairment or who are blind are ‘Children In Need’ under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. 

The Local Authority also has a duty to provide services under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

Parents and people working with children who have been diagnosed by as being SSI (Severely Sight Impaired), previous term used Blind, or SI (Sight Impaired), previous term used visually impaired, can get help in the following ways:- 

- Using Waltham Forest Local Offer website
- Sending Certificate of Vision Impairment to children’s social care
- Sending a Request for Help or Protection Referral to children’s social care 

The Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) formally certifies someone as sight impaired (SI) or severely sight impaired (SSI) (previous terms that were used; ‘partially sighted’ or ‘blind’).

The purpose of the CVI is that the Local Authority can register him or her as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired. Registration is voluntary and access to benefits and services are not dependent on registration.

Click here to find out about the benefits of Registration as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired on RNIB website.

Support and Help Flow Chart

What Should Happen

The Consultant Ophthalmologist who completes the CVI should then send it to:

Waltham Forest Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
221 Hoe Street
Walthamstow
London
E17 9PH 

Phone: 020 8496 2310
Email: MASHrequests@walthamforest.gov.uk

The CVI can also be sent by the child or young person’s parents. All Referrals to Children’s Social Care are first dealt with by the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Click here to find out more about the MASH Team

What Happens Next

The child or young person will be be registered as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired on the Local Authority’s electronic records system by the MASH Team.

The MASH Team will decide on the best way to help the child or young person and their family. They will use the Waltham Forest Children’s Service Early Help and Threshold Criteria for Intervention

Concerns about the child or young person’s welfare then consideration should be made by professionals to complete a Request for Help or Protection Form which also should be sent to the MASH Team. 

Unless there are additional concerns or factors in the child’s circumstances the outcome of a CVI will potentially include:

The CVI should also be sent on by the MASH Team to Joseph Clarke Service for the Visually Impaired.

Whitefield Academy Trust
Macdonald Road
Walthamstow
E17 4AZ

The Joseph Clarke Educational Service delivers advice and support for visually impaired children and young people aged 0 to 19.  They can visit at home, pre-school and school settings, as well as providing information by ‘phone and email

For help with aids and adaptations within the home – the CVI should be passed by the MASH Team to the Waltham Forest Children’s Council Occupational Therapy Team 

Wood Street Health Centre
6 Linford Road
Walthamstow
E17 3LA

Depending on the nature of the equipment or adaptations required a referral may then be made to the Sensory Impairment Team.

Click here to visit Home Adaptations on main Waltham Forest website

Useful Contacts

Useful contacts for Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired people. Click on title of each service to view more information.

Waltham Forest and East London Vision
Local and regional user led support and activity group.
Telephone: 07940 747 133  Email: enquiries@walthamforestvision.org.uk
Regional Telephone: 020 3697 6464 Email: enquiries@eastlondonvision.org.uk

RNIB Sightline Directory
A comprehensive online database of VI services. Enter postcode and it lists services in the area. 
Website: www.sightlinedirectory.org.uk

Healthwatch Waltham Forest
Independent voice for people in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Healthwatch help to shape, challenge and improve local health and social care services.

Waltham Forest Resource Hub
1 Russell Road
Leyton
E10 7ES

Tel: 020 3078 9990 
Website: www.healthwatchwalthamforest.co.uk

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