SEND resources for parents and children of CYP aged 5-25

Please see the below list of groups and organisations that you might find helpful for you and your child. Not everything listed will be suitable for you and your child, but please take a look.

The Hertfordshire Local Offer

The Local Offer lets parents and young people know what special educational needs and disabilities services are available in Hertfordshire, and who can access them. There is lots and lots of information on this site including support with education, short breaks, services for children, services for parents/carers and families, money and services.

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA)

This is a registered charity (number 327691) operating in England. IPSEA offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). IPSEA has a suite of free downloadable guides, resources and template letters available to parents and carers. These guides are complemented by a free Advice Line and Call-in Helpline which provide legally based information and next step advice on any educational issue that is a result of a child's SEND. IPSEA’s Tribunal Helpline gives next step advice on appeals and disability discrimination claims to the SEND Tribunal and is also the gateway to the Tribunal Support Service where a referral can be made for more extensive casework support from a volunteer, including representation at the hearing. Our advice services are delivered by a national network of around 100 highly trained volunteers, supervised and supported by IPSEA’s Legal Team members. IPSEA provides legal training for parents, school staff, parent carer forums, support groups and other organisations in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of the SEN legal framework.

Delivering Special Provision Locally Groups (DSPLs)

One way in which Hertfordshire provides support to children and young people with SEND across the county is through their Delivering Special Provision Locally groups (DSPLs).

There are 9 DSPL areas. The reason for having different area groups means that the groups can cater the provision to exactly what their area needs, giving a more focused approach to providing the right support for the right locality. They provide support to schools and also widen the choice for parents and families of support outside of school in the local area.

Each DSPL group is made up of:

  • Parents and carers
  • Staff from early years settings, schools and colleges
  • People from other SEND organisations

SENDIASS Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire SENDIASS provides information advice and support which is accurate and confidential in ways that is accessible for young people and parents. They aim to promote independence and self-advocacy to enable you to participate in making informed decisions.

Single Point of Access (SPA) 24/7 Mental Health Helpline

Herts residents of all ages, including carers, GPs and other professionals can contact their 24/7 Single Point of Access (SPA) Mental Health Helpline team at any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year. The team can provide support for Herts residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis, need some mental health support or just want to talk on: Freephone 0800 6444 101

Angels Support Group

Angels supports families of children with Autistic Spectrum Condition and/or ADHD. We were formed by, and are led by, parents whose children face similar challenges.

Angels is an experience-led charity, based in Hertfordshire, which provides individualised, professional expertise and advice. We work alongside parents to build understanding and to empower them to hear their child’s voice. Our key aim is to maximise the individual potential of each child and young person.

  • Group meetings, workshops and individual support for parents/ carers
  • Find support, share ideas, experiences and concerns, reduce isolation, help your child reach their potential

ADD-vance – the ADHD and Autism Trust

ADD-vance is a dedicated group of professionals, who also happen to be parents of children affected by ADHD and/or Autism. Our mission is to support the families of children affected by these conditions and the professionals involved in their care. We want to increase understanding, provide support and change perceptions of these complex neurological conditions, so as to improve the wellbeing and reduce the social isolation of these young people and their families.

Families in Focus

Their SEND courses are designed for parents living with children with special educational needs and disabilities, autism, ADHD and all neuro-diverse conditions, including those awaiting assessment or diagnosis. The courses are designed to give parents tools, skills and knowledge which make a lasting positive impact and change to family life.

SPACE for Neurodiversity

Supporting families in Hertfordshire

SPACE is a Hertfordshire based charity supporting families of children and young people who are on the Autistic Spectrum (ASD), have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other neurodiverse conditions.

Whether you think your child may be autistic or have ADHD, are going through the diagnostic process, or have already received a diagnosis, you are in safe hands.

SPACE has been running since 2007 and became a registered charity in 2017. We are staffed by an incredibly hard-working and enthusiastic team of parents and carers and are passionate about supporting our Hertfordshire families. Everything we do is designed to help you navigate local services, build confidence, share knowledge and enjoy social opportunities and activities where you, your children and young people can ‘be themselves’

Children’s Occupational Therapy

The children's occupational therapy service offers a child and family-centred approach to support children and young people with their independence in all aspects of daily living, such as self-feeding, dressing and participating in play and school activities. The service is available to children and families across Hertfordshire. We offer online parent/carer sensory information sessions, and sessions to help you support your child’s sensory self-regulations. Details on these sessions can be found on the website.

Carers in Hertfordshire

Carers in Hertfordshire provides advice, information and support to unpaid carers - people looking after someone who is elderly, disabled, has a physical or mental illness or who misuses drugs or alcohol. They support carers of all ages - children and adults - if they live, work or care in Hertfordshire. Their services are provided free to carers.

Ensuring Hertfordshire's carers are identified, supported and stay well, is at the heart of our work. They give carers a voice with opportunities to meet other carers. They also enable carers to share their views or experiences with those providing or planning health and social care services in Hertfordshire.

Young Carers

The main focus of the service is to work with children, young people and their families to help them find support locally to reduce the amount of caring young carers have to do. The service is part-funded by Hertfordshire County Council and staff work closely with NHS organisations in Hertfordshire. Young carers may be a child who has a sibling with SEND.

Their staff meet with young carers and their families, either online or face to face, usually in their homes, so that they can understand the caring situation and find out what sort of help the family might need. They then work with other organisations like Hertfordshire County Council to find support from local services to reduce the amount of caring the young person has to do.

Herts Parent Carer Involvement:

HPCI is an independent parent carer led organisation which aims to improve services for children and young people aged 0-25 years who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. They do this by ensuring that family voices are heard by service planners and decision makers.

Add your voice to those of other Hertfordshire parents and carers and help make a difference.