We want to make sure parents have access to as much information as possible, so we hope you will find the links on this page useful.
Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25 can be found with this link as well as on the step by step guide on the SEND SYSTEM page on our website:
Guidance on What happens in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment (the education, health care and social care needs of the child or young person) can be found here:
Disability Benefits for children
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a non means tested (your income and savings are not taken into account) benefit. It is available for children under the age of 16 who have extra care or mobility needs. Your child may qualify for one or both of these components and you do not need a diagnosis to apply. If your child is over the age of 16, they may qualify for Personal Independent Payments (PIP). These benefits can be awarded for a set period of time (after which you can re-apply if their circumstances mean that they still have extra care or mobility needs) or can last a lifetime.
Not every carer is eligible for a carer’s allowance. You may be eligible for caring for your child if you meet the following criteria:
1. The person you are caring for gets either the middle or higher rate of DLA or either rate of the daily living component of PIP.
2. You look after the person for at least 35 hours a week (day and/or night).
3. You are over 16.
4. You are not in F/T education.
5. You don’t earn over £128 a week (after deductions) *earnings correct for 2020-2021 benefits.
6. You satisfy residence conditions. >It is often worth getting advice on what benefits you may be entitled to and how to complete the forms. Citizens Advice can often help with this.
SOS!SEN offers a free, friendly, independent and confidential telephone helpline for parents and others looking for information and advice on Special Educational Needs.
SOS!SEN offers advice on:
- getting the right help for your child
- dealing with the school or local authority
- interpreting official letters
- getting a statement for your child
- finding independent expert professional advice
- appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
You can call their term time helpline on 0208 538 3731
IPSEA – INDEPENDENT PARENTAL SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVICE
Offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.
IPSEA gives advice and support on:
- Local Authorities’ legal duties to assess and provide for children with special educational needs
- Exclusions of children with special needs/disabilities
- Action/inaction by Local Authorities and/or schools that discriminate against children and young people with disabilities.
THE NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY
Their Autism Helpline enquiry service provides impartial, confidential information along with advice and support for autistic people and their families and carers.
SPECIAL NEEDS JUNGLE
A non-profit organisation run by parents which provides support and information about all aspects of Special Educational Needs and disability in the UK.
The site is a great source of information and support for parents and carers – in particular for issues around EHC planning and SEND reforms in general.
Special Needs Jungle also provides face-to-face training for parent groups, charities and professionals.
SOPHIE’S MOONBEAMS TRUST
- To enable access to therapeutic care and education, when appropriate services are not otherwise available or affordable
- To aid the child, children or young person(s)’ development and improve their health and/or wellbeing
- To improve the life chances of young people by developing their skills to increase independence
- To provide support for parents/caregivers to improve family life generally including but not limited to funding appropriate training
- To fund therapies that are calming and support behaviour, social and emotional development
CONTACT A FAMILY
Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children. They provide information, advice and support and bring families together so they can support each other. They campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.
CEREBRAL PALSY GUIDANCE
Learning that your baby or child has cerebral palsy can be devastating news. Yet, by educating yourself, including learning about treatment options and how to help manage the disorder, your child can still live a productive life.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service or SENDIASS is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers, children and young people (up to 25 years). The type and range of support offered includes:
- Information regarding the local offer, local policy and SEN/disability law from independently trained staff
- Advice for parent/carers, children and young people on gathering, understanding and interpreting information and applying it to their own situation
- Personalisation of personal budgets
- Information on the local authority’s processes for resolving disagreements, its complaints procedures and means of redress
- Signposting children, young people and parents to alternative and additional sources of local and national information, advice and support
- Individual casework and representation where needed including support in attending meetings, contributing to assessments and reviews and participating in decisions about outcomes for the child or young person.
- Support for parents and young people in managing mediation and appeals to the SEND Tribunal.
SENDIASS services located:
SPECIAL OLYMPICS GREAT BRITAIN
Our host of the Christmas Bash, Jim Carter, is an Ambassador of the Special Olympics – Special Olympics GB is the largest provider of a year-round, all ability, sports programme in Great Britain and supports over 10,000 athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities.
Core Assets Children’s Services has been commissioned by the Council for Disabled Children to deliver Independent Support to young people and their families in partnership with local Information, advice and Support services (IASS), previously known as Parent Partnership Services (PPS), Local Authorities, and Parent Carer Forums (PCF)
For a referral to the support service email: [email protected] or call 0800 028 8455.
Education Advocacy is a specialist legal consultancy, which provides legal support and guidance to parents of children with special educational needs, taking them through the education legal jungle. They provide a professional, affordable legal service. Their experienced case workers understand the responsibility, stress and anguish that having a child with special educational needs places on parents.
A Surrey based parent-led charity for families who have a child on the autism spectrum, or a child with a similar communication difficulty. They help local children and their families to access support and leisure opportunities through activity events, family fun days, an ASD specialist play-scheme in the Easter and summer holidays and member coffee mornings.
PIP – Parents in Partnership – services are available free of charge to parents of children and young people with a special need or disability living in Croydon. They can help you if your child or young person is between 0–25 years old.
Home-Start is one of the leading family support charities in the UK.
Volunteers help families with young children deal with the challenges they face. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.
Across all four nations of the UK 16,000 volunteers support 30,000 families and 60,000 children to transform their lives.
There are 269 local, independent Home-Starts. At the heart of each Home-Start’s work is home visiting volunteer support.
Families struggling with post-natal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and many other issues receive the support of a volunteer who will spend around two hours a week in a family’s home supporting them in the ways they need.
Home-Starts across the UK also support families in groups, hold day trips and Christmas parties and help access local services, as well as lots of other support.
Carers Support Provides Free, Confidential And Impartial Information And Support to Carers in different parts of the UK.
An unpaid carer may be family, a friend, parent or partner caring for someone with additional needs, an illness, frailty, disability or drug or alcohol problem. If you are looking after a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your help, then you are a carer.
The aim of Autism Forward is to enable autistic adults to break free of the barriers they face in the workplace and beyond, to reach their full potential in life. www.autismforward.org.uk
Skylarks is an independent Richmond upon Thames-based charity that provides activities and therapies for children with disabilities and additional needs. They also support and provide therapies, courses and information for whole families.