Children who need additional support

I COUNT card

What is I COUNT? Eligibility and Benefits?

I COUNT is a Register of Disabled Children and Young People who live in the area. The Children Act 1989 required all local authorities to establish a register of children and young people with a disability to assist service planning to meet the needs of children and young people with disabilities and their families. When a child or young person is registered or considered registerable they can access the services offered by the Children with Disabilities team. Other advantages include:

  • children and young people get an I COUNT card which many organisations accept as proof of disability, enabling concessions, fast-tracking and assistance to be obtained more easily.
  • agencies like Health, Education and Social Services have much better information about the needs of disabled children and young people in their area. This helps them to fund and develop the best possible services.

The eligibility for registration to I COUNT is:

  • diagnosis of a disability that is permanent and substantial
  • child/young person must be resident in Sutton area
  • child/young person is aged 18 years or younger

Please view the I COUNT eligibility criteria for more information. 

Please complete the Children's First Contact Service form and return to

I COUNT and Disabled Children's Support Panel (DCSP) guidelines

  • A child/young person is identified as potentially meeting threshold if a child/young person has a disability and is eligible to receive short breaks
  • I COUNT application information can be found here. If the child/young person is likely to meet the threshold an application should be completed and sent for a decision about inclusion on the I COUNT register
  • I COUNT application is considered at the I COUNT panel which is held monthly. If registered, an I COUNT card is sent out to the family/carer and the child/young person is considered as eligible for Short Breaks. If families/carers do not wish to have an I COUNT card they will need to supply information that will inform a decision about whether a child/young person is registerable as a child/young person with a disability
  • Once a child/young person is I COUNT registered or registerable, and you wish to apply for Short Breaks, an Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT) should be completed by a professional that knows your child/young person. The EHAT form should  be completed by a professional who knows the child/young person best; usually school staff in co-operation with parents/carers. Parents/carers are required to sign the form for it to be submitted.  More information about Early Help can be found here 
  • Once completed it should be submitted to the DCSP. 
  • Parents/carers and relevant providers are notified by letter of the decision made by the DCSP. If services have been agreed, details of how these will commence and who to contact will be included in the decision letter
  • Services are reviewed either 6 monthly or annually. We will notify you when the review is due and what action is required. Reviews are generally alternated between a Short Breaks Assessment, completed by school one year, and the Self Assessment, completed by parents/carers the next. If review documents are not received promptly this will delay any decision by the DCSP to continue services and may result in a delay in the continuation of funding from the Disabled Children's Service or may, in some cases, mean that the services stop, so it is important to return these forms quickly