Norfolk portage service

Portage is a free home-based visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional needs and their families. It is a recognised world-wide intervention.

Portage is an intensive and sustained therapy. It supports parents/carers to help their children enjoy better outcomes.

'We believe that all children have the right to be happy, healthy and safe; to be loved, valued and respected and to have high aspirations for their future, no matter what their diagnosis or need.'

Norfolk Portage Service offers a holistic approach to your child’s development. They work alongside other professionals involved with your child.  

Who is it for?

  • Families with children aged 0-5, who have a recognised development delay of six months or more, in at least two areas of development. Children cannot be involved in other activities outside the home, for four sessions a week or more
  • Children may have a physical disability, learning or developmental difficulties or another special need

What you can expect

  • Once a referral is received, you will be contacted by a senior home visitor. They will make an appointment to visit you and your child at home
  • The visit will take place within 12 weeks of official referral. The initial assessment visit will last for approximately an hour to an hour and a half. During this time they will gather information about your child’s needs and decide if portage is an appropriate service for you
  • If the service is appropriate, you will be assigned a portage home visitor. They will visit you weekly or fortnightly, for approximately one hour
  • There is often a waiting list. Your child’s name will be placed on that list, until a home visitor becomes available
  • As a parent/carer, you can stop portage at any time if you feel it is not for your family. Visits will begin to reduce in frequency when a child begins to access more sessions out of the home
  • They will look at the skills your child has and build on those skills, to help meet their developmental milestones. They work in partnership with you. They are mindful that parents/carers are the child’s main educators and set achievable long-term goals to work towards
  • The home visitor will ask you to repeat activities during the week until the next visit. This is to develop the identified skill
  • Your home visitor will be an early year’s professional. They will be fully trained in the portage ethos of small steps to learning
  • Your home visits will cover the elements of family focus, child led play and structured teaching. You will have activity and play plans to refer to throughout the week. You will also have diaries to record and evidence progress
  • If your child is going into nursery or pre-school, they have a key role in the smooth transition from home intervention into a setting

How to make a referral

For further information visit Norfolk’s Portage Service website.