Community Children's Occupational Therapy Service

About the Community Children’s Occupational Therapy Service

 Occupational Therapists can help babies, infants and young people grow, learn, have fun, socialise and play so they can develop, thrive and reach their full potential.(Royal College of Occupational Therapists 2018)

 The Community Children’s Occupational Therapy team sees children and young people who have difficulty joining in with the activities they need and want to do every day. We call these activities ‘occupations.’

 Occupations can include:

  • Self care tasks (e.g. dressing, bathing, using cutlery)
  • School based tasks (e.g. handwriting, scissor skills, organising work)
  • Leisure/play activities (e.g. hobbies and sports)

 An Occupational Therapist may suggest alternative ways of doing things; provide advice on learning new approaches and techniques, or making changes to the environment i.e. through using equipment or adaptations.

Who we work with

The Children’s Occupational Therapy team see children from 0 – 18 years, who are finding everyday functional activities difficult.

How do I get my child referred?

Children/young people can be referred by a GP, paediatrician or other health professionals involved in your child’s care such as a physiotherapist.

A referral form/letter is required, giving as much detail as possible about the child’s specific functional difficulties. It should also include information about any programmes or strategies that have already been tried. Referrals are triaged and, if accepted, are prioritised and placed on a waiting list. An appointment letter is sent out to the parent/carer.

Where will you be seen?

Initial appointments will be offered at our clinic at Ellesmere Port Hospital.

If further appointments are required they may be offered at clinics, nurseries, schools and at home, whichever is most appropriate.

What happens at the first appointment?

The first appointment will last approximately 1–2 hours. We aim to make the first session relaxed for your child.

Your child will usually be assessed through observation, conversations with parents/carers and others involved in their life such as teachers or other health professionals.

Information is also gained by asking the child/young person to complete different types of everyday activities.

Your occupational therapist will try to find out about:

  • Practical difficulties in everyday activities such as dressing, eating and self-care
  • School skills, such as handwriting, pencil skills and scissor skills
  • Play skills
  • Fine and gross motor skills affecting movement abilities

After the appointment

After the assessment the following may occur:

A written report will be sent to you and the person who referred you. If the therapist needs to discuss this information with school, nursery or other professionals for the benefit of your child, this will be discussed with you first.

A school visit may be offered.

Some ideas may be suggested which can be tried at home or school.

Occupational therapy individual or group sessions may be offered.

If your child needs special equipment, this will be discussed with you and, if appropriate, your child’s school.


All care and support offered is aimed at achieving specific goals. Once these have been met and there is no further need for occupational therapy support, your child will be discharged. A child can be re-referred by the relevant professionals if additional functional difficulties emerge.

Click on the image below for more information on the role of Occupational Therapy with Children and Young People…

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