The Westminster Society Your learning Disability Network for London
Early Help, Portage, and Parental Counselling
Independent support for parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Advice, information and support at the earliest point of identified need
Our Early Help, Portage and Parental Counselling Service provides information for parents on what services are available, helps parents navigate the Education, Health and Care Plan process and can act a point of contact for clinicians and social workers.
Portage is a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with special needs and their families to enable children to reach their full potential and families to have a better quality of life.
Parental Counselling is provision of necessary knowledge, tools, guidance and emotional support for parents of preschool children with special needs, to protect and improve the family’s overall well-being. This service is provided as a joint venture between the University of Greenwich and The Westminster Society following BACP’s ethical guidelines.
We work with families to help develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their young children, in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right.
We aim to play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families.
We do free home visits, currently replaced by online sessions, to deliver Portage service to early years children (0-5 years old) with any delay, educational difficulty or disability. We support children with or without a diagnosis. We individualise support according to each child’s different needs, covering all the EYFS primary areas: Understanding and Responding to Challenging Behaviour, introducing Pictures Exchange Communication System (PECS) to non-verbal children, supporting children’s Cognition and Learning, supporting their Physical Development, enhancing Cognition and Learning. We see parents virtually offering free Counselling sessions to support them emotionally. The service is available to families living within the Bi-Borough of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea.
The aim is to support the family as a whole and enable parents to gain a better understanding of their children’s special needs and to discover and adopt their unique approach to a functioning way of living a fulfilling family life.