Who to contact for advice and guidance
If you think your child has special educational needs, speak to the professionals already working with your child, such as your child’s teacher or GP.
There are local SEND support groups listed on Pinpoint Devon, online groups, training and events to help parents of children and young people with SEND.
All local authorities must, by law, provide an information, advice and support service for SEND. This is an impartial, confidential and free service for parents, children and young people, which provides advice about all aspects of SEND support. In Devon, this services is called DIAS.
- Devon Information, Advice and Support for SEND (DIAS)
What is DIAS?
Our dedicated team offer legally based and easily accessible impartial information and advice, to support children and young people aged 0 – 25 years, with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents and carers.
We can support you with areas such as;
- Preparing for meetings
- Expressing your views
- Understanding paperwork
- Resolving issues
- Where to find more information
How do I contact DIAS?
Phone: 01392 383080
- Devon Parent Carers' Voice (DPCV)
What is DPCV?
DPCV is Devon’s Parent Carer Forum. Parent Carer Forums are representative local groups of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities. They work alongside local authorities, education, health and other service providers to ensure the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families.
If you want to have a say in improving services for children with additional needs and their families, contact DPCV.
How do I contact DPCV?
Phone: 07975 506069
- Local Support Groups
Pinpoint Devon gives you access to thousands of services and community groups across Devon, including SEND services and support groups, in a single search.
Signpost Plus gives you information about local and national services for children with special needs.
The Family Information Service is a source of information for parents and carers of children in Devon. It includes registered childcare and other services and support for all children, young people and parents (not just those with SEND).
Contact is a national charity which provides a wide range of information, advice and support to families of children with disabilities.
Care Direct offers information, advice and support about the adult social care system in Devon for young people aged 18+ and their families.
Devon Carers works to enable carers to maintain their own health, wellbeing and independence; and to care safely, confidently and effectively. It provides carers with the information and advice they need in their caring role. They help carers find support in their community and from local community organisations.
Call 03456 434 435
- Training and courses for parent carers
CEDA Bisnet (Behaviour Intervention support Network) offers various parent carer training sessions to support parents of children with autism, aggressive behaviour and attention difficulties
British Sign Language Courses are available throughout Devon.
Better Outcomes from Meetings can help parents to work positively and constructively with school staff and get more out of each meeting.
- Devon Young Carers
What is a young carer?
A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person. This can relate to practical support, personal care and/or emotional support for any family member or friend of the family who is physically or mentally ill, frail, elderly, disabled or misuses alcohol/ substances.
What do we know about young carers?
Who provides support for Young Carers in Devon?
Devon County Council commissions a Young Carers Support Service to assess and support the needs of young carers in Devon. This service is currently being delivered by Devon Carers. If you think you are a young carer you can contact the service directly or can give consent for another professional or practitioner to make a referral to the service for you on your behalf.
What’s the process?
Devon Carers will undertake an assessment for Young Carers aged 4-18 years who make contact with this service. This assessment will then be used by Devon Carers to ensure Young Carers receive the right level of support and advice.
Support offered aims to help young carers to have the same life opportunities as their peers, feel supported at school/college, have good physical and emotional health, access and achieve their potential in education and training, have their voices heard and be prepared for adulthood and independence.
What kind of support may be available to young carers following an assessment?
Getting Advice– Young Carers can access information and self-help through a range of sources that is both age appropriate and personalised. Young Carers may receive support from the service that will enables them to access other services, these may be within your local community. You will also be invited to take part in the Young Carers’ Council co-ordinated by Devon Carers.
Getting Help– For Young Carers with greater support needs due to the impact of the caring role being undertaken. Young Carers will be supported through trips and activities, support groups and mentoring and buddying opportunities to help you have a break from your caring role, improve your health and wellbeing and help you achieve the best outcomes at school for instance.
Getting More Help-For Young Carers with the most complex needs, for whom their caring role is having a profound impact on them and their life. Support is likely to include multi-agency support being co-ordinated through an early help support plan for the young carer and their families to ensure the right help is being received at the right time. Support is also likely to include 1:1 support for the Young Carer from the Young Carers Support Service.
The Young Carers Support Service will help young carers to prepare for adulthood and transition where young carers transition from primary to secondary school for instance and where there may be a likelihood of continuing caring responsibilities post 18.
Devon Carers will also work with other services to ensure that everywhere a young carer asks for help they are given the most up to date information and advice and are able to access the young carers service when it is most appropriate to them.
How is the team organised?
The Young Carers Support Service will be delivered by a team located within your locality area of Devon. There are 4 teams to deliver services in each locality area including:- : North Devon; Exeter; South and West Devon; Mid and East Devon.
There are lead practitioners and support workers for each area and a central ‘hub’ of specialist workers who can advise colleagues, including a schools’ worker and a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) worker.
What is the Young Carers’ Council?
This is a needs-led group where children and young people can do fun activities and have their say on issues that affect them. The group meets quarterly at venues around Devon.
- National Support and Guidance
- Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) – support for children whose families are in the military services
- Cerebral Palsy Group – an American site about cerebral palsy
- GOV.UK government overview of provision for children and young people with SEND
- GOV.UK guide to the SEND Code of Practice for parents
- GOV.UK SEND support: easy-read guide for children and young people
- Disability Rights UK – Guide to the Care Act
- Council for Disabled Children – Information for Parents
- Council for Disabled Children – SEND reforms: What children and young people need to know
- GLOSSARY of terms – ‘Jargon Buster’ from IPSEA
Page updated 19/11/18