About us

The children’s occupational therapy service offers a child and family-centred approach to support children and young people with their independence in all aspects of daily living, such as self-feeding, dressing and participating in play and school activities. The service is available to children and families across Hertfordshire.

We offer a 3-tiered model of service delivery which includes universal, targeted and specialist support. Many children’s needs can be met through universal and targeted support. The most effect way to make a difference in your child’s participation is to practise the skill in context of the activity in their everyday life/routine.

We work in partnership with parents/carers and other colleagues to promote positive outcomes for children by using a range of approaches that are individually tailored to each child and family. This may include the provision of an activity plan, specialist equipment, treatment sessions or training to parents, carers and school staff. This is achieved through individual assessments, treatment, advice and multi-agency working.

The children’s occupational therapy service in Hertfordshire is integrated across health and social care, which means in addition to the support above the service can also provide assessment and advice on adaptations to your home or child’s school environments to meet their specific needs.

Please use the links on this site to find out more about us and how to contact the children’s occupational therapy service.

More detailed information about the children and young people’s therapies service, including how the service is delivered, referrals and how we work with children and their families.


How the service is provided

The children’s occupational therapy team work with children and young people in the most appropriate setting to promote functional skills. We work closely with families, education staff and all members of the team around a child or young person. For those children and young people with an identified need an episode of care will be recommended. If required, the occupational therapist will work through an interpreter should a child, young person or their family have difficulty communicating in English.

We offer support in different ways:

  • Universal – something for all children, for example: raising awareness and increasing understanding of sensory difficulties and difficulties with daily living tasks.
  • Targeted – something for some children, for example: working with families and settings to help identify and overcome barriers faced by children and young people with difficulties which impact on their functioning and daily living.
  • Specialist – something for children with a defined clinical need, for example: where our input can make a significant contribution to a child or young person’s health and wellbeing. Not all children and young people will require specialist support, as advice and support can be accessed through our targeted and universal offer.

Who is eligible for the service

The children’s occupational therapy service support children and young people who live in Hertfordshire from birth to 18-years-old. We also support young people aged 18-25 years old who have a Hertfordshire Education Health and Care Plan, within the Hertfordshire educational setting.

Children and young people aged 0-18 years of age who live in Hertfordshire with a long-term disability of chronic illness that significantly affects their access to their home environment can be referred for assessment for equipment and adaptations within their home.

What will happen at your appointment

During the appointment you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s development of functional skills.

The occupational therapist will assess what your child is able to do through observation of play and activities, they might also use a standardised assessment which will help them measure your child’s performance against national age norms, and they will then decide if your child has a need for further occupational therapy (OT) involvement.

After the initial assessment the occupational therapist may decide to do one or more of the following:

  • provide advice and treatment. Treatment can be an activity programme for home and school practice, individual therapy sessions with the therapist or therapy assistant, or group sessions with other children with similar difficulties and needs
  • recommend specialist equipment for use at home, in school or nursery
  • offer advice on adaptations to support your child’s independence or care needs at home and/or in school
  • offer training to parents, carers and education staff on how best to support your child with functional activities, this advice is usually delivered via workshops and presentations
  • write a report to provide information or access to other services

We offer a flexible service supporting children in the most appropriate environment, whether that is a clinic, at nursery or school or at home.  We work closely with parents, teachers and pre-school staff and all members of the team around the child or young person to achieve this.

If required, the occupational therapist will work through an interpreter should a child or their family have difficulty communicating in English.

Clinic guide videos

More clinic guide videos to follow

Useful information

The children’s ocupational therapy service has provided some resources for parents and people who work with children.

This is general advice to help overcome some common difficulties in everyday activities including dressing, ball skills, using a pencil.

Please read the general principles for completing activities information first.



Please click here to read an information sheet about equipment at home, to enable your child to participate in daily tasks such as sitting at a table for play or eating, getting in and out of bed or the bath and sitting on the toilet/


Have you heard of the Local Offer?  If you are a young person with, or have a child with special educational needs and disabilities, (SEND) the Local Offer is Hertfordshire’s central source of information for SEND services and support. Visit www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer for an easily accessible one stop shop.

Making a referral

Making a referral

All referrals sent to the service are triaged by a therapist based on the information provided to decide whether an assessment appointment will be offered. 

All referrals are to be made via the CYP occupational therapy referral form. HCT do not accept paper referrals. GPs can continue to refer into children and young people (CYP) therapies service using either the Digital Referral form, Ardens or DXS.

If you have any queries or experience any issues when making a referral, please contact the children's referral hub:
01923 470680 Option 2 or hct.cypspecialistservices@nhs.net.

Click here for referral guidelines

Pre-school children

Should you have concerns regarding your child’s independence in aspects of daily living such as self-feeding, dressing and participating in play activities please speak to your health visitor or local family centre. They will often be able to provide you with advice on ways to support your child at home. Health visitors and other health professionals, such as your GP, can refer a child to the service.

School-aged children

If your child is in full-time school you should discuss any concerns you may have with your child’s teacher. Some children can be supported in their school without requiring a referral to the service. Special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and other education professionals can refer a child to the service.

Referrals for home equipment and adaptations

Referrals relating to home environmental issues can be made by parents and carers, as well as anyone involved with your child.

Children's occupational therapy housing hub - Information for parents and carers

Directory for Housing Association

Directory for Housing Association (East & North Herts)

Patient experience

If you would like to share your story, please contact the patient experience team on 01707 388036 or email hct.patientexperienceteam@nhs.net

We would also love to hear about your experience on our service, please complete a survey by clicking here.