The Portage service is registered with the National Portage Association (NPA) (We have maintained a 5 star registration since the star rating system was introduced) and adheres to all their policies and guidelines, as well as the Beacon Hill policies, which can be found at the bottom of this page. The National Portage Association code of practice 2016 is a framework for delivering portage. It was written for registered Home Visiting services and NPA approved early years settings.
Historically Portage was defined as a Home Visiting services underpinned by a key set of Portage Principles. Home Visiting continues to be provided by registered Portage services across the country, however the portage principles can also be applied in Early Years settings and the NPA actively support this approach through the Stamp of Approval Scheme.
Portage Home Visiting is available to families, from their childs birth to the time of entry into a school based nursery. It includes any child who:”Is experiencing significant development impairment or delays, in one or more of the areas of cognitive development, sensory or physical development, communication development, social, behavioural or emotional development” ,or
“Has a condition which has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay”
Portage and preschool provision may include:
* Home visits, usually one per week to two weeks: working with parents to assess the child’s current development, then jointly to plan, demonstrate and review appropriate play activities.
* Signposting to other sources of information/support.
* Introducing families to appropriate group activities. Water Confidence, Music and Movement and LD North East Early Years Project “drop in” play sessions.
* Support to parents when considering their child’s future education options.
* Assessment and written report on nursery/school entry.
* Multi-disciplinary liaison to ensure a co-ordinated response to a child’s identified needs. Supporting the Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Team Around Child/Team Around Family meetings.
* Advice and support to staff in any pre-school setting that a child may attend at 2 or 3 years of age.
* Working in partnership with Speech and Language therapy to deliver Early Bird parent workshops for nursery aged children diagnosed with autism – 3 times yearly.
* Partnership with physiotherapy and LD North East Early Years Project(supported by Children in Need) to run the Music and Movement group.
Other duties include
* Liaison with Specialist Provisions and Additionally Resources Provisions for children with identified additional needs.
* Training and supervision of Portage Home Visitors – twice yearly training workshops offered to early years providers.
* Consultative work with Early Years Service Providers.
* Contribution to sub committee of the governing body of Beacon Hill School.
* Meeting with providers in other Local Authorities.
* Membership of/registration with NPA.
* Responsibility for the Local Early Intervention Support panel (LEAPS) allocating funded support for 2 and 3 year old in settings. You can find more information in This Document
Referrals to the Portage Service can be made:
* By parents.
* By anyone working with the child who has parental permission.
Referred child aged 0-2 years who does not attend any Early Years setting:
* Initial visit following referral
* Allocation of Portage Home Visitor following parent request.
Referred child aged 2-3 years individual consideration of each case:
* Initial visit following referral to determine attendance at nursery, whether nursery has portage trained staff, LEAPS application submitted etc.
* Portage Home Visitor may be allocated to support home and/or nursery setting.
Referred Child aged 3 years+
* Initial visit offered for advice and guidance only.
* Signposting to LD:North East Early Years Project.