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Support groups and networks

Being a parent of a child with additional needs can be very rewarding. However, it can offer some additional challenges and you may feel like you need to access support or guidance for some extra help.

Its useful to know about local support groups that may be available, as well as how to access advice, guidance or training to help you understand your child’s needs or condition further.

The Care Act (2014) recognises the rights of carers and the type of support that should be available to them.

What support is available for parent carers in Devon?

There are many ways in which you can get support and help in Devon from coffee mornings to school groups, voluntary organisations and our SEND team.

Pinpoint Devon is a good way of to find SEND services, support groups and events in your local area.

You can contact our SEND team by email at or by phone on 01392 383000 and asking for ‘SEND local offer’.

Local support groups are also widely advertised on Facebook.

Useful links for local information

You can contact DIAS on 01392 383 080 or by email on

We can support you with areas such as:

    • Preparing for meetings
    • Expressing your views
    • Understanding paperwork
    • Resolving issues
    • Where to find more information

  • Devon Carers is an information and support service run by eight organisations who work together to improve the quality of services for all carers in Devon.
  • Signpost Plus is a service run by Children and Family Health Devon and can help you access information about local and national services for children with special needs. You can contact them by email at or by phone on 0330 0245 321.
  • The Family Information Service is a source of information for parents and carers of children in Devon. It includes registered childcare and other services and support for all children, young people and parents (not just those with SEND).
  • Care Direct offers information, advice and support about the adult social care system in Devon for young people aged 18 and over and their families. You can contact them by email at or by phone on 0345 1551 007.

Training courses for parents:

·         CEDA Bisnet (Behaviour Intervention support Network) offers various parent carer training sessions to support parents of children with autism, aggressive behaviour and attention difficulties

·         British Sign Language Courses are available throughout Devon.

·         Better Outcomes from Meetings  can help parents to work positively and constructively with school staff and get more out of each meeting.

Financial Support for parents?

·         Quids for Kids- We know that the benefits system can be confusing and complicated, which can out families off claiming them. The Quids for Kids project can help by assessing whether you are able to claim benefits or helping you challenge benefit decisions if you think that you have been treated unfairly. Through the project we provide specialist advice to:

Ø  Families of children (or young people up to the age of 21) with additional needs, a long-term illness or disability

Ø  Care leavers

Ø  Young homeless people

Ø  Foster parents

Ø  People looking after a child with a special guardianship order


All you need to do is complete our Enquiry/Referral Form , and one of our specialist advisers will contact you.



National Support and Guidance

·         Navigate is an emotional support service for parents of disabled children. tel: 0808 801 0510

·         Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) – support for children whose families are in the military services

·         GOV.UK government overview of provision for children and young people with SEND

·         GOV.UK guide to the SEND Code of Practice for parents

·         GOV.UK SEND support: easy-read guide for children and young people

·         Disability Rights UK – Guide to the Care Act

·         Council for Disabled Children – Information for Parents

·         Council for Disabled Children – SEND reforms: What children and young people need to know

·         GLOSSARY of terms – ‘Jargon Buster’ from IPSEA

·         Carers UK is a national charity which offers information about your rights as a carer.

·         Contact provides lots of information and advice for parents and carers of children with disabilities. It also gives information on Personal Independence Payments.