Support for Parents of Children with SEND
Parents from our parent groups across the Bi-borough have proposed a range of questions across education, health and social care that they would like to have answered. In our new Parent Zone, we publish these questions alongside answers from staff at the Local Authority and our partners.
Parent Carer Support Group (Make it Happen)
Parent Carer Support Groups are a helpful source of information and guidance as well as support for families of disabled children.
Parent support groups keep parents and carers informed through coffee mornings, events, websites, training and workshops. They give free practical independent advice to parents and young people.
The local Parent Carer Support Group for Westminster is Make it Happen (formerly WPPG).
Make it Happen are a group of parent volunteers working together to help improve services for children and young people with SEND in Westminster. They come together to put forward concerns about the services being provided and are actively consulted by various local service providers.
The group hold weekly drop-in sessions for parents/carers offering a relaxed environment to share experiences, offer advice, and find out about the support available in the local area.
Drop-ins run at Bessborough Family Hub on Tuesdays, and Tresham Centre for Disabled Children & Young People on Thursdays, both from 10am – 12pm (term time only).
Other support offered by Make it Happen includes:
- Signposting and referral to services
- Access to the MAX Card scheme, a discount card on days out for families of children with SEND.
Make it Happen also appoint Local Offer Parent Champions who work with the local authority to:
- train parents on using the Local Offer website and assist with any problems navigating the site.
- collect parent feedback on the Local Offer website allowing improvements to be made.
- ensure parent carer representation in plans to develop the website.
To contact a Local Offer Parent Champion or to volunteer to become one yourself, please contact the group.
Information, Advice and Support Service
The Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS) is a free confidential service available to parents, children and young people who live in Westminster.
They can help by providing access to impartial guidance and support on matters including:
- SEN and disability law
- Local policy and practice
- The Local Offer
- Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
- Health and social care
Any information and advice provided is independent of the Local Authority.
The IASS can also support with individual casework, including filling in forms, support in preparing for meetings, resolving disagreements, and signposting to local or national support services.
For a brief introduction of the kind of support the IASS can provide watch the following video from the Council for Disabled Children:
You can find out more about the IASS for Westminster and find out how to get in touch by clicking here.
Citizen's Advice Bureau
Westminster Citizen's Advice provides free, confidential and impartial information and advice to all residents of the City of Westminster. They can help you with a wide-range of problems, including legal and money matters.
Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) can help you with your application for benefits, and to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Watch the video below to see more about the way CAB can help families like you:
Disagreements, Mediation and Tribunals
All local authorities are legally required to have an independent service to help in situations where parents/carers, young people, schools, health care services and the local authority cannot agree on how to meet a child/young person’s needs. This service is called a mediation and dispute resolution service.
‘KIDS’ is an organisation contracted through the Local Authority to deliver mediation advice and support. You can speak to a mediation advisor by calling 0207 359 3635.
For more information on the mediation and disagreement process, please click here.
Last Updated 12/09/2021