Our ‘TOP 10’ useful contacts
Here is a list of our ‘TOP 10’ useful contacts to get you started.
SENDIASS Cambridgeshire (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information , Advice and Support Service) We provide impartial and confidential advice about SEND and education, health and social care provision. Please see their Facebook page for details of events and local and national news about SEND.
SENDIASS can help you with
- Confidential support and someone to talk to in confidence
- Advice and information about special educational needs
- Independent Support for children, young people and families as Statements are transferred to EHC Plans
- Preparing for meetings with your child’s school or with professionals who are working with your child
- Information on your rights and responsibilities as a parent, children’s rights and SEN law and guidance
- Information about local support groups and voluntary organisations
Parent Partnership: providing SEND Information, Advice and Support (SENDIASS)
Cambridgeshire County Council, SH1212, Shire Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0AP
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Confidential helpline open during term times: 01223 699 214
Outside of term time please leave a message as a small number of staff are available to answer queries but it will take time for them to respond to your enquiry.
Part of the Cambridgeshire County Council website that is dedicated to additional needs and disabilities. There is information about schools, social care and health services that will be relevant to your family.
Did you know that if you are doing above and beyond what a parent would do for a ‘Normal’ child so you are classed as a carer. You can ignore the title but use it to get the support you need.
You can find information about young carers siblings groups.
Cambridgeshire Parent/Carer SEN Support Group page – a closed group that you can post on for advice on every aspect of parenting.
National Autistic Society’s Parent to Parent Service – 0808 800 4106, at any time, day or night
Parent to Parent is a UK-wide confidential emotional support service, provided over the phone by trained volunteers, who are all parents of autistic children and adults. The volunteers are based across the whole of the UK, which means that there is increased anonymity for parents who may not want to share information with someone in their local area.
The volunteers all have personal experience of autism and the impact it has on their own families. They are there to give parents and carers the opportunity to talk through any issues, feelings or problems they’re experiencing. They can suggest helpful strategies, signpost them to other sources of information and support, or just provide a non-judgmental listening ear.
Parents and carers can call Parent to Parent on 0808 800 4106, at any time, day or night, and leave a message on our 24-hour answerphone. Please be aware that they will not speak to someone immediately as this is not a manned line. If they leave a message, a volunteer will call them back as soon as possible at a time which suits them. Link to more details on the parent to parent service
Childcare Specialist Information Adviser
If you need help with finding a childcare place for your child, contact the Family and Childcare Information helpline on 0345 045 1360. You may be put in touch with the specialist childcare adviser. The Childcare Specialist Information Adviser helps parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) find childcare. Childcare covers things like nursery places, child minders, preschool and after school clubs as well as holiday clubs. Finding childcare can be more difficult if your child has SEND. The Childcare Specialist Information Adviser will work with you to help you find childcare for your son or daughter.
Other helplines for parents
Mencap Direct is a free help and advice line offering advice and support for people with a learning disability, and their families and carers. You can call about lots of different things – from advocacy and benefits to housing, jobs and relationships. Its team can offer advice, information and discuss what support Mencap can offer tailored to your needs, in your area.
T: 0808 808 1111 open 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday
Formerly known as Contact A Family, this UK charity supports families with disabled children. It advises thousands of families every year on topics ranging from benefits to education, support links and information on day-to-day-living. It has a big resources section on medical conditions and lots of factsheets for parent carers.
T: 0808 808 3555 open 9.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday – it’s free from UK landlines and UK mobiles.
10 good organisations to know …
- Samaritans – Helpline 08457 909090
- Centre 33 – free confidential counselling for young people up to 25 0333 414 1809
- Cogwheel Trust – counselling and psychotherapy support for people in Cambridgeshire 01223 464385
- Caudwell Children – provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK 0345 300 1348
- Mind – supporting those recovering from mental health challenges, promoting positive mental health 01223 311320
- Blue Smile – counselling and support in schools to help children fulfil their true potential and have happier childhoods 01223 314725
- Young Minds – information, advice & support for young people affected by mental health.Helpline 0808 8025544
- Family Lives– national family support charity – Helpline 0808 8002222
- Mental Health Foundation – looking after your mental health
- Rethink Mental Illness – www.rethink.org Cambridge and Peterborough support line, 07783 267013, run by carers for other carers.