There are many organisations that offer information, support and advice. Some of them will be local and offer services to people in a specific area, others will be national and offer support to all. Some organisations offer support about specific conditions or subjects whereas others may offer general advice and support across a wide range of subjects that affect all families, children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.
Here is a guide to some of the types of organisations you will come across:
Parent/Carer forum or Parent/Carer Representative Groups
Following the closure of SEND Family Voices, we have no parent carer forum in Richmond or in Kingston currently. Contact are a delivery partner for the Department for Education for Parent Participation. Contact plan to work with parents in both boroughs to set up a new Forum/s to represent the views and aspirations of families of disabled children by working in partnership with the Local Authority, Health and other providers to ensure that services are providing the best possible resources for the children and young people to lead happy, active and fulfilling lives.
The purpose of participation in this context is to ensure better outcomes for children with SEND and their families. It is about the involvement of parents with a range of professionals and strategic managers within the Local Authority and Health in the early stages of planning and the subsequent delivery of services. The benefit of actively involving parents in decision-making is an integral part government legislation and plans, and evidence suggests that services are improved when parents are actively involved in shaping them.
Achieving for Children will provide updates on this process on the Local Offer in due course.
These may offer support or advice about a particular condition such as ADHD, Downs Syndrome or visual impairment. They may offer advice or support around a certain subject such as housing, travel, money or a range of issues and not be specific to any conditions but available to all.
Where to find information
You can search for support group or organisations in the: