New IASS minimum standards consultation

Another consultation needing parent carer feedback: this time on the new minimum standards for Information Advice and Support Services (IASS, sometimes known as SENDIASS).

Please take a look at the standards which are part of the IAS Programme and will be the basis of future operational plans and linked funding in 2019-20.

The deadline for feedback and comments is officially Monday September 3 but because of the summer holiday, this can be extended a little. However, please submit your comments as early in September as possible.

Full details on our consultation page.

Urgent consultation: housing repairs and adaptations

housing adaptation logoAre you applying for grants for repairs or adaptations to your home because of your child or young person’s disabilities – or might you need to in future? Perhaps you want to apply for a “top up” or relocation grant? 

Then please take a read of a new joint draft policy that’s been put together by the county’s five district councils in a bid to create a more consistent approach to grant applications in Cambridgeshire.

The draft policy aims to explain the sorts of financial assistance which the councils may offer to private sector and housing association residents who are older, disabled and on low incomes, to help them to live safely and independently at home.

In the case of Disabled Facilities Grant, the type of assistance, the amount payable and how it operates is all set in law, so this cannot be changed. However, the Cambridgeshire district councils would like your views on other elements of the policy.

Pinpoint has just received this consultation but the team are currently on summer break.  We will be looking at this and feeding back – but in the meantime, we are urging families to take a read and send in any comments to the survey organisers direct. Because of the holidays, Pinpoint has succeeded in getting an extension to the key groups’ consultation deadline, so you have until Thursday September 13 to review and feedback.

Full details on our consultations’ page

Is your young person staying on in education or training?

benefits top tip logoDo you have a son or daughter aged 16+ who is staying on in full time education or approved training in September 2018?

Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit usually stops on August 31 after your child turns 16 but can continue for children under 20 in approved education, training or registered with a careers service.

However, you must let HMRC know that they are staying in education or training  as they automatically remove young people from awards from September 1 following their 16th birthday – and again once they turn 17, 18 and 19.

You can still claim child benefit/tax credits – or both – but you need to get your son or daughter added back onto the award. Otherwise payments will stop.

They must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19.

You can tell HMRC online or by phone on 0300 200 3100.

More details on the gov.uk website 

Toy slime: safety warning from Which?

warning triangle symbolWhich? is warning parents to approach children’s slime with caution after tests found some contain levels of boron more than four times the safety limits permitted by EU standards.

Exposure to excessive levels of boron could cause irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps in the short term.

Which? tested 11 products and only three met safety limits.

Read the full story on the Which? website 

Our 2019 conference

save the date imageWe’re excited to announce that we’ve just set our 2019 conference date.

Please save February 1 2019 in your diaries – now!

We will be back at Burgess Hall in  St Ives for another great day celebrating Cambridgeshire parent carers. With lots of practical information and experts on hand to help our SEND families across the county.

We’ll be posting more details, including how to register online,  next term.

Draft guidance on EHCP needs assessments

Pinpoint and parents have been among those working with the local authority on revised guidance around the Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment process. A draft has just published – and  parent carer feedback is wanted.

The assessment process had become  “overly bureaucratic, outdated and lacking in clarity and transparency” according to  the Local Offer consultation – which runs until October 19.

Read the new guidance and give your views in the feedback survey.