Signposting - Support for families - Support for parents & carers - Support for Parent Carers


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Section: Signposting

Subsection: Signposting - Support for families - Support for parents & carers

Support for Parent Carers

There are a number of local organisations available to parent carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities in Wiltshire. With some organisations having similar names, it can be confusing to know which organisation is which, and who does what. We hope the following is helpful.

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC)
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The WPCC is recognised by the DfE as Wiltshire's parent carer forum and is an independent organisation managed and run by parent carers for parent carers. The WPCC represents and supports parent carers of children and young people aged 0 to 25, resident across Wiltshire (excluding Swindon). All WPCC's services are free of charge.

The WPCC provides a specialist consultation and participation service which enables the collective voice of parent carers to positively influence the services they use and the support they receive. This is achieved by working in partnership with the people who commission and provide the services. The WPCC's model of participation and coproduction is highly regarded at a national level.

Additionally, the WPCC provides its Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Service (SENDIS), which is enhanced by its outreach workers. SENDIS offers a wealth of information and signposting support to specialist services.

It is free to register with the WPCC, as is attending the many events, consultations and workshops etc. that the WPCC organises throughout the year. The WPCC reimburses parent carer expenses (including childcare costs) when attending WPCC events etc., and even arranges free catering and refreshments for all attendees. The benefits of registering with the WPCC means that you receive lots of relevant information to support you as a parent carer.

Carer Support Wiltshire (CSW)
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CSW works to support all carers of any age, including young carers to help find the support that’s right for you. CSW support workers can work alongside you to build on the positives, help improve your wellbeing, and build a positive future for you and the person you care for.

To access support from CSW, you need to register with them. Services and support provided to those registered with CSW includes:-

  • Free training courses to help you in your caring role
  • Pampering and complementary therapy sessions
  • Days out and activities
  • Breaks from your caring role
  • Friendly support groups and carer cafes
  • Connections with groups in your local community with their Make a Friend, Be a Friend project
  • Advice and support to prepare you for a return to work
  • A twice yearly newsletter and what’s on guide with all of their support groups, carer cafes and days out listed

Wiltshire Parent Carer Support Group
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Based in Westbury and established by Star Painter, the Wiltshire Parent Carer Support Group is an independent parent carer group established by a parent of a child with autism. Star explains that she established her group 7 years ago when her child was diagnosed with Autism.

Wiltshire Parent Carer Support Group arranges chats over a coffee, lending libraries, and connects parents to the right support in their area. Some services offered by the Wiltshire Parent Carer Support Group may require a financial contribution. The group has run family events from arts and crafts, an animal corner, and their big Family Christmas party.

Wiltshire SENDIASS (Formerly KIDS WISA)
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Wiltshire SENDIASS (formerly known as KIDS WISA) is the statutory information, support and advice service for Wiltshire. They offer free, independent and impartial information relating to education, health and social care for children and young people (0-25) with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and their families, to empower them to make appropriate and informed choices. The service is free of charge and is operated independently of the Local Authority.

Their team of practitioners are able to support, inform and advise on the basis of legal training and a detailed knowledge of Wiltshire education. Wiltshire SENDIASS can:-

  • discuss your views and concerns, and support you to express them in writing. They can also facilitate meetings with school or the Local Authority.
  • support children and young people to express their views regarding their education, including separate support for young people over 16 if requested.
  • help you to understand your rights in terms of SEND legislation.
  • assist you with forms, letter writing, and looking through reports and other paperwork in relation to your child’s education.
  • support you with issues relating to My Support Plans, Education Health and Care Plans (My Plans) and Annual Reviews. They can also advise around personal budgets and home education.
  • support you around the appeals process and around mediation or tribunal.
  • facilitate meetings with Education Officers and Health and Social Care professionals to try and resolve issues before mediation and tribunal.
  • support you if your child is being excluded and has a Special Educational Need and/or disability.
  • signpost you to other services and organisations including the WPCC.