Local Support Groups and Where To Get Independent Support

Useful local charities and organisations in the UK who help families with children, or a young person, with Special Educational Needs and, or disabilities.

Local Support for you and your family

Children's Information Service provides free, impartial, information and guidance on early years education and child care in Bournemouth.

Parent Carer Foundation For all parents and carers of children. or young people with SEN and or education and or complex medical needs that live locally. It is run by parents and carers of children with SEND. They offer advice and support and the chance to meet people who are in similar situations to you and give you the opportunity to get involved with activities for you and your family.

The Carers Support Service can provide a variety of useful support options to help you and your family with your SEND child or young person.

SIBS Youth Group - for brothers and sisters of SEND Children and Adults

Independent Support Groups

These can help you through the assessment stage of getting an Educational Health & Care Plan for your child or young person(EHCP). You can work with them and get independent advice either online or face to face.

SENDIASS (used to be known as Bournemouth Parent Partnership) provides information and support for parents and carers of children and young people up to 25 with SEND, whether you’ve had a diagnosis yet or not. They can provide support though the assessment stage of an education, health & care plan (EHCP). 

You can only have Independent Support while the assessment for an EHCP is being done. Afterwards you can still get general information and advice from the SENDIASS team about Special Educational Needs and, or Disabilities.

Where else might be a useful source of advice and support?

There are a number of fantastic organisations that can help you with direct information, support and advice:

Contact a Family provide direct advice and support services to parent carers.

They have a FREE (from UK mobiles or landlines) national helpline 0808 808 3555

Open between 9:30am and 5:00pm between Monday and Friday.

Council for Disabled Children provides support and has a selection of materials specifically written for parents to help support you and your family.

National Network of Parent Carer Forums: The NNPCF membership is made up of all Parent Carer Forums in England.

Afasic: Afasic supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). SEND fact sheets and template letters.

Preparing for Adulthood: This programme is funded by the Department for Education as support for young people with SEN and disabilities.

There are other national organisations that can help too.  We've tried to include a selection of these support groups for you.