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Community Inclusive Trust

Artsmark Silver

Community Inclusive Trust


What is Portage

Portage is a home visiting educational service for pre school children with additional support needs and their families. The aim of Portage is to work in partnership with parents/carers in supporting the key areas of a young child’s development. Portage works closely alongside other relevant agencies involved with the child and family in sharing ideas, setting targets and reviewing progress.

How Portage Works

Portage is a partnership between parent, child, and Portage worker. It offers a framework of support, which respects each family and their own individual priorities. It is a model that adapts flexibly to individual children and family needs. For Portage to be effective, parents must be committed to carrying out agreed activities and/ or strategies consistently and on a regular basis.

Families are visited weekly or fortnightly at home by their trained Portage Worker. Parents/carers share with the Portage Worker their own understanding of their child’s individual strengths, abilities and support needs. Profiles or developmental checklists may help with the process of identifying what the child can do and planning goals for future learning.

The emphasis is on the positive, finding out and building on what a child can do. Parents are empowered to take the lead in planning their goals ensuring that Portage support is relevant to the needs of their child and the family.

Goals may focus on developing movement, learning, play, communication and participation in the activities of everyday living.

The aim of each home visit is to decide on an activity which the family can practice and enjoy together. The activities are based on play, grounded in everyday situations to provide fun and success for the child. Each activity may represent a small step towards one of the family’s planned goals and families accessing Portage are encouraged to practice the activities between the visits. Parents may use charts or diaries as a reminder of the activity and as a record of what happens between visits. In this way the family can build a shared record of their child’s involvement with Portage.

Portage supports the child’s transition from home to the Early Years setting and from the Early Years setting into school.

Portage supports the child in the Early Years setting to help facilitate further progress through shared planning and agreed targets.

Fundamental to the Portage approach involves:

  • Partnership with parents, carers and other professionals with a commitment to inclusion
  • Empowering parents to build on their child’s strengths using a positive approach
  • Using small steps to support learning
  • Learning through play and having fun
  • Working together and celebrating achievements with the child and family

Referral to Portage

Requests for Portage involvement are received from parents/carers, and with parental consent, from a range of health professionals and Early Years providers. Please click here to download our referal form.

Criteria for Referral – Request for Portage support:

Referral is considered for children from birth to school age, whose development is delayed by approximately one third of its age in at least two different skill areas or a diagnosis or recognised syndrome which is likely to lead to a delay in their learning such as their understanding, self help or physical skills.

Please note:  Children who are in receipt of their 15 hours allocated Early Years funding may not be eligible to receive Portage involvement, however all referrals would be considered on an individual basis at the discretion of the Portage team

Initial visit

Families are initially offered 6 planned visits. Further 6 week cycle of visits to be discussed on a Plan, Do, Review cycle in agreement between the parents/carers and Portage team.

To ensure commitment to the service - if a family fail to engage in the service eg were not available for 3 consecutive planned visits, the relevant Portage team to write to the family to explain and if agreed within the team, the family would go back onto the waiting list.

Contact Details for Lincolnshire County Service Local Team:

Boston & District Team, Victoria Gross and Sarah Grayson - Portage EY SEND Practitioners

Ashlawn Drive, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 9PX

Tel: 07502970926