Portage

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

Portage is an intensive and sustained therapy that 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.

We offer a holistic approach to your child’s development and work alongside other professionals involved with your child.  Portage visits continue until four sessions are accessed outside the home.

Who is it for?

  • Families with children aged 0-5 who have a recognised development delay of 6 months or more in at least two areas of development, providing the child does not receive four or more sessions outside the home
  • Children may have a physical disability, learning or developmental difficulties or another special need

How do you get it?

  • Referrals can be made by any professional working with the child
  • Parents can self-refer by calling Norfolk Portage Service on 01603 704049 or email portage.service@norfolk.gov.uk

What can you expect?

  • Once the referral is received by our office you will be contacted by a senior home visitor, who 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 which time we will gather information about your child’s needs and collaboratively decide if Portage is an appropriate service for you
  • If the service is appropriate, a Portage Home Visitor will be assigned and visit you weekly or fortnightly for approximately 1 hour
  • There are often periods when we experience a waiting list and 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 and visits will begin to reduce in frequency when a child begins to access more sessions out of the home
  • Together, we will look at the skills your child has and build on those skills to help meet their developmental milestones.  We work in partnership; 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 to develop the identified skill
  • Your home visitor will be an early year’s professional and 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 and diaries to record and evidence progress.
  • If your child is going into nursery or pre-school, we have a key role in the smooth transition from home intervention into a setting

More information on Norfolk’s Portage Service can be found at Home-based education for pre-school children.