The Multi Agency Assessment Group (MAAG) involves a range of different professionals assessing a child’s developmental, social and communication needs and then drawing up a plan to support and meet the child’s identified needs.
The MAAG group takes place at Upton Hospital in Slough and is led by the Community Consultant Paediatrician, together with Speech and Language Therapists, Family Workers from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Children and Young People Disability Service and a Nursery Nurse.
Children referred to the MAAG are usually of pre school age, and are first seen in clinic by a paediatrician. A referral to the paediatrician may be made by the family GP, health visitor, speech and language therapist, professionals in early years settings or any relevant professional involved with the child.
If paediatric assessment suggests that a multiagency group assessment is needed, the child then attends the MAAG, usually for 3 morning sessions. The MAAG is run by a Nursery Nurse, who aims to do a home visit prior to the group in order to explain to parents how the group runs.
Parents attend with their children. During the 3 sessions in the playroom, the parents are able to observe alongside the professionals who are carrying out their observations and assessments. The sessions consist of initial free playtime, following which children have a drink and snack, with more structured activities such as singing, during which parents have a cup of tea themselves. Children often come to the group with concerns about possible Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and so when appropriate, formal assessment for ASD is undertaken.
After the assessment sessions, a family support meeting is held with parents and professionals who have seen the child in the MAAG as well as any invited professionals. Observations and assessments are shared, and any formal diagnosis discussed. A plan is put together, which may include a referral to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Children and Young People Disability Service. Alternatively, the child’s needs might be able to be met through services detailed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Local Offer. In addition, some children need ongoing support, such as speech and language therapy, or further medical investigations.
Following the MAAG and the Family Support Meeting, the child is usually followed up by the Paediatrician, who will help to ensure that the appropriate input is in place for the child.