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Cornwall Council - Portage Service
Services and organisations that have the Local Offer flash have filled out inclusion information, meaning that they meet the needs of people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

What is the Portage service?

The Portage Service provides a weekly home visiting service for children who meet our criteria.  Portage workers are Early Years practitioners who have a good knowledge of child development and have special needs experience. We are part of Cornwall Council’s Disabled Children and Therapy Service. We provide support & guidance to enable parents to achieve the best outcomes for their child

You can download and view our Portage Service Information Leaflet which has useful information including contact details 

Who is the service for?

Pre-school children aged from 6 months to 3 years who have significant and complex additional needs

Where is the service delivered?

We will visit you and your child at home for a weekly visit of approximately one hour

What should I expect from the Portage Worker?

  • We will work in partnership with you to help your child learn through play-based activities
  • We will support you to observe and record your child’s skills using a developmental journal
  • We will discuss your long term goals for your child and set realistic targets for you to work towards
  • We will support you to set a weekly target  to practice daily with your child
  • We will attend relevant meetings wherever possible,  e.g. Early Support Team Around the Child (TAC’s), Children in Need (CIN) Child in Care (CIC)
  • We will signpost you to any groups that may meet the needs of you and your child (e.g. Portage Playgroup, Small Steps, Oasis, Family Information Service and opportunities at local Family Hubs)

We would like you to:

  • Work in partnership with us and take an active role in helping your child make small steps of progress
  • Be available for a regular weekly visit of at least an hour
  • Practice and record the weekly activity target between Portage visits

How long will the service continue?

  • Until your child has any funded sessions at a childminder, pre-school/nursery setting or attends a child development centre or special school
  • Children may also finish Portage if they make such progress that they no longer meet the criteria

How can my child be referred?

To make a referral to the Portage Service please complete the Early Help Hub referral form.

Who to contact

Contact name
Crin Whelan
Contact position
Early Support and Portage Lead
01872 323329
Parent organisation
Early Help Hub

Where to go

Countywide service

Other details


Age ranges
From 6 months to 3 years
Referral required

Inclusion details

How we make our service inclusive
  • Ensuring staff training is kept up to date
  • Being flexible where possible to fit in with family circumstances
  • Using translators were required
  • Signposting to outside impartial support
  • Liaising with other support services
  • Support in the setting as well as the family home
Staff SEND experience

Portage Workers have significant experience of supporting the education of children with a wide range of additional and complex needs

How our service supports providers / schools / colleges

The Portage Service works with Early Years education providers to:

  • Support transition by sharing developmental journals and targets with parental permission
  • Offer joint visits at home to observe Portage model and good practice
  • Invite prospective settings to become part of the Early Support process (TAC’s) prior to child’s start date at setting
  • Support settings by providing information, for example if the setting needs to apply for additional Place Plus funding
  • Provide a transition pack (All About Me, reports from professionals, Portage record keeping)
  • Liaise with the Early Years Inclusion Service SENCO to ensure a smooth transition from Portage to the EYIS (non-maintained settings) or with the School SENCO (maintained settings)
Other local or national support
  • National Portage Association
  • Early Help Hub
  • Family Information Service
Resolving disagreements, mediation and making complaints
  • Contact the person you are concerned about and try to resolve the difficulties directly
  • Contact the line manager of the person you want to complain about
  • Contact Yvette Yates, manager of the Disabled Children and Therapy Service
  • Follow the Cornwall Council complaints and compliments process

Last updated: 17/11/2016

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