Who to contact for advice and guidance
If you think your child has special educational needs, you can 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 team offers legally based and 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?
- Parent Carer Forum Devon
What is the Parent Carer Forum Devon?
Parent Carer Forum Devon (shortened to “PCFD”) is the name of the representatives of local parents and carers of children and young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The PCFD work alongside the local authority (the Council), education, health and other service providers to ensure the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families.
Whilst there has been a Forum in Devon for many years there have been recent changes to how this is running. The new Parent Carer Forum have a Steering Group that is helping to develop this important work, and they are looking for more parent carers from across Devon to come and support this vital work.
The new Forum will soon have it’s own website and contact details, but in the meantime the co-chairs of PCFD have asked us to help connect interested parents with them. So, if you want to get involved or find out more information, please contact Donna Lester by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 07890595777.
- Local Support
If you are interested in support for specific conditions, have a look at our ‘support for different types of need‘ pages.
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.
tel: 0330 0245 321
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 service to assess and support the needs of young carers aged up to 18 years in Devon. You can contact the service directly or where consent has been given another professional or practitioner can make a referral to the service on behalf of a young person and their family. Devon Carers will then assess the young carer’s needs and support available to meet needs. This support 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.
How is the service delivered?
The Young Carers Support Service will be delivered by one of four teams. One team is located in each of the following localities across Devon: – 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 their colleagues.
What’s the process?
Devon Carers will assess young carers aged 4-18 years who contact the service. Devon Carers uses this assessment to ensure Young Carers receive the right level of support and advice.
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.
- Financial Support
Through the Quids for Kids project, we provide specialist advice to:
We can help by assessing whether you are able to claim benefits, and we can help you challenge benefit decisions if you think you have not been treated fairly. We know the benefits system can be complicated and confusing and this can put busy families off claiming. All you need to do is complete our Enquiry/Referral Form , and one of our specialist advisers will contact you.
- Families of children (or young people up to the age of 21) with additional needs, a long-term illness or disability
- Care leavers
- Young homeless people
- Foster parents
- People looking after a child with a special guardianship order
- National Support and Guidance
- Navigate is an emotional support service for parents of disabled children. email@example.com tel: 0808 801 0510
- Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) – support for children whose families are in the military services
- 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
- Neighbouring authority local offers
Page updated 17/09/19