Keyworkers making a difference for children and young people with a learning disability and/or who are autistic

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s new Keyworking service has supported over 40 children and young people, since it launched in March 2023, reducing the risks of mental health crisis and hospital admission.  

Delivered by Barnardo’s, the service was developed in response to the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan that ‘by 2023/24 children and young people with a learning disability and/or who are autistic with the most complex needs will have a designated keyworker’. 

Keyworkers support children and young people aged 0-25 years, who have been identified as high need on the Dynamic Support Register, which means they are at risk of a mental health inpatient admission or placement breakdown, to ensure the right support is in place and to enable them to stay at home if possible. 

A keyworker will: 

  • work closely with children, young people and their families 
  • take the time to get to know them and understand both the child’s and family’s needs 
  • advocate and ensure their voices are heard, understood and respected 
  • ensure the child and their family have the right support from services at the right time. 

They do not replace any other service that children and young people should receive - they work closely with other services as part of a wider multiagency network and help break down the barriers individuals may face accessing the support and care they need.  

The service does not take direct referrals. Children and young people who could benefit from the service are identified via the Dynamic Support Register. For more information about Keyworking download their leaflet or visit the webpage.

Page last updated 22 January 2024