Children's Occupational Therapy Service

We help children and young people with physical difficulties do the things that they want and need to be able to do.  We will support children and young people to achieve their goals so they can join in everyday activities such as dressing, holding a pencil and accessing their environments.  We take into consideration the Person, their Environment and their Occupations (everyday activities) which all impact on each other.


The video below gives a brief introduction to our service and some ideas of how you can implement simple strategies into education environments.


Does my child need an Occupational Therapy Assessment?  If they:

  • Are 0 to 18 years old (or 19 if still in full time education)
  • Have a GP in Cumbria
  • Are having difficulty participating in activities that they want and need to do due to a physical difficulty such as dressing, play activities, accessing learning activities? 

Have a look at the advice sheets on the interactive tiles below and our video, Creating Positive Learning Environments, above and have a go at the relevant suggestions. We ask you to try these first before contacting the service or while you are waiting for your child or young person to be seen as you may identify actions you can take straight away to help. If the young person is still having difficulties then please use our referral form [WORD 567KB] or if you are not sure and would like to discuss this further then please contact your local therapy team [PDF 125KB].


The referral should be made by the person who knows the child/young person the best and what it is that they are having difficulty with. This is often a parent or teacher but could also be another health or social care professional or the young person themselves. 

We are not able to accept referrals requesting specific assessments where there is no indication of any physical difficulty taking part in occupations, for example sensory assessments. However, you can find a wide range of information about sensory processing on the Supporting Children with Sensory Processing Needs webpage. Here you can find videos, resources and strategies that can be trailed and an explanation of how children’s sensory processing needs can be supported in Cumbria.

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How does the service work?

The Children's Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists are all part of one county wide integrated therapy team, managed in 3 county locations; the East, West and South. We are an NHS service but have a ‘one child, one OT’ approach allowing us to be holistic by taking into consideration the child’s health, education and social care needs in the most appropriate environment for the child.

We offer a tiered service which means we can offer the right support for you and your child at the right time.  This might include:

  • helping you find and use advice online
  • supporting you to adapt activities to help your child take part
  • advising school or nursery staff to support your child
  • seeing your child for a block of group or 1:1 sessions
  • advising on equipment or adaptations to help them take part in activities at school or home. 

We will work together to set child centred goals so that they are more able to participate in activities of their choosing.  Once your child’s goals have been achieved they will be discharged from the Occupational Therapy Service but can be easily re-referred if their needs or goals change in the future. If you would like to make a new or re-referral please use our referral form [WORD 567KB] or if you are not sure and would like to discuss this further then please contact your local therapy team [PDF 125KB]

Page last reviewed: 23/10/2023

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