Porirua social worker Lizzie Berry shares how a Gateway assessment has achieved a positive outcome for a family she is working with:
*Sam (2) and his sister (9 months) were placed in their grandmother’s care following a family group conference, and when the case was transferred to this site shortly afterwards I referred for Gateway assessments.
At the first appointment it was noted that Sam had some delays with his speech and he was referred for an audiology appointment.
This appointment found that he had some fluid in his middle ear which was causing problems. In order to make sure all aspects had been covered, the paediatrician arranged for Sam to return so that she could carry out a developmental assessment.
This developmental assessment found that Sam has a global development disability, and he has been referred on to wraparound services. This would not normally be picked up in a child that has just turned 2, especially with him having moved home.
His caregiver is really pleased that this has been picked up so early, and is fully engaged with helping him so that he can have every opportunity to help his development.
The family have all been pleased with the service and how the process has worked, especially as the birth parents have been involved in the process and have appreciated this.
Since then the genetic results have come back, and it was found that Sam has a 16p11.2 microdeletion, which is the underlying cause of his speech and developmental delays.
The parents will now have genetic testing to see if they are carriers and able to pass this disorder on to other children.
We now have early intervention, child development, speech and language and NASC involved to provide a wraparound service. This means that he will now get the best possible outcome in life.
I wanted to share this story as it has been such a positive outcome and Sam’s needs would likely have not been picked up until much later in his life without the gateway assessment.
Michael Murphy, Central Regional Implementation Coordinator, is pleased the assessment achieved a positive outcome for the family: “This is a good example of working well with carers, parents and health, and identifying a significant health issue at the earliest opportunity and making sure the right services are in place for this child. It’s also fantastic that the parents have been so involved in the process, and are able to see some real benefits for their son and some direct implications for their own health.”
* Not his real name