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West Midlands

Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

In the West Midlands, we carry out our service through our regional office in Birmingham, home-based workers and volunteers. Working at a local and regional level, we have up-to-date information on local services and support for families. 

Our West Midlands team offers:

  • Advice, information and support to help families find out what is available locally
  • Workshops, events and opportunities to meet other families with disabled children
  • Regular newsletters and ebulletins with useful information for families
  • Guidance for support groups and forums to help them to reach and involve parents
  • Resources for professionals help them point families to the right local services
  • Workshops for professionals working with families.

We work together with government and voluntary organisations. We also take part in local and regional networks to shape policy and ensure the needs of families with disabled children are represented.

The team covers the whole of the West Midlands area including: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Solihull, BlueStaffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Worcestershire. 

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and the MariaMarina Foundation.

Contact

Office address

Contact Midlands Team:
Touchbase Pears
Bristol Road
Selly Oak
Birmingham B29 6NA

 Local contacts

Alternatively, you can either email helpline@cafamily.org.uk or call our freephone national helpline on 0808 808 3555 from 9.30am-5.00pm, Monday-Friday. Advisers can arrange an interpreter over the telephone if needed.

Local news

E Bulletin West Midlands Christmas 2018

Click to download the December 2018 bulletin

Birth to Five: Early Years Workshops Birmingham

We are running a series of four free workshops for parents of disabled and special needs children aged from birth to five. 

The workshops will help parents understand how they can get what they need for their child; know where they can go to get further information and support; understand money matters and look at strategies for encouraging positive behaviour.

Find out more on our local events tab below.

Newsletter: E-bulletin West Midlands Spring 2017

Keep up to date with all our latest news. Download the West Midlands E-bulletin Spring 2017.

To sign up to receive our e bulletin direct to your inbox - or to send in any items for inclusion in our next issue -  email wendy.flynn@cafamily.org.uk

Hospital appointments: parking charges and help with travel

Do you know you are able to claim a reduced parking charge if you are attending Birmingham Children's Hospital either as a patient or a visitor? 

To qualify for the reduced fee, you must park at the Whittall Road car park and verify your ticket electronically at a ticket machine placed near the main desk at the hospital reception. The reduction will be applied automatically when you are paying for your parking.

Patients on benefits might also be eligible for help with travel costs. 

If you qualify for any reimbursement, you must produce travel receipts.

Check NHS England's health costs and travel costs pages.

Parents wanted for research

The Cerebra Family Research project at Warwick University is appealing to parents and carers to take part in vital research which could help shape policy and support services for disabled children for years to come. 

The charity wants to explore the experiences of parents caring for a child with learning disabilities. They aim to involve 1,000 families, making this the largest study of its kind in the UK. If you would like to take part in the study you can find more information online or by emailing familyresearch@warwick.ac.uk

Local events

The Contact Midlands team organises a number of free workshops for parents and carers of disabled children.

Our programme includes the workshops listed below. If you are interested in any of these workshops, please email us at westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call us on 0121 274 0437 to book a free place.

Disability Living Allowance: How to make an effective claim

Friday 1 February, 10am-12.30pm

Allens Croft Disability Resource Centre, Allens Croft Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 6 RP

This workshop is for parents of special needs children under 16 who want to claim Disability Living Allowance for their child, or are already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance but will need to reapply.

The session will show you how to deal with common issues:

  • How to make a claim form effectively.
  • Rules for claiming Disability Living Allowance.
  • The process of challenging a benefit decision through the appeals process.
  • Other disability benefits you may be able to claim.

To book your free place on this workshop please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk 0121 274 0437

Brighter Beginnings, for parents of special needs children aged 0-8

Mondays 4 February to 18 March (except half term week on Feb 18), 10am-12pm
Church Lounge, Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, Selly Oak, B29 6HT

Brighter Beginnings is a free programme of 6 workshops aimed at parents of special needs children aged 0-8. The workshops are designed to help parents develop the confidence they need to make sure they get the best outcomes for their child. The workshops cover:

Monday 4 February, Week 1 - Finding local support and information: where to find support in your area; how to get the support you need; top tips to help

Monday 11 February, Week 2- Encouraging positive behaviour: understand the reason for behaviour; working with others to encourage positive behaviour; top tips to help

Monday 25 February, Week 3 - Working with professionals: developing better communication skills; feel more confident in making decisions for your child; understand how to prepare for meetings with professionals

Monday 4 March, Week 4 - Money Matters:  know how to improve your finances; understand what you are entitled to; know where to get support

Monday 11 March, Week 5 - Building Parents' Confidence:  taking care of you and your family; getting support; developing resilience

Monday 18 March, Week 6 - Outcomes Planning: how children and young people are supported with their special educational needs; legal duties, SEN support and EHC plans; outcomes and person-centred planning; resources and how Contact can help.

To book your free place on this series of workshops, or individual sessions, please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437

Education Health and Care (EHC) plans, a series of two workshops

Friday 8 February, 10am-12.15pm - Understanding the Legal Framework

Thursday 4 April, 10am-12.15pm - Getting the Content Right

Shoosmiths, Sixth Floor, 2 Colmore Square/38 Colmore Circus, Birmingham, B4 6BJ

EHC plans, Understanding the Legal Framework is part 1 of two workshops on Education, Health and Care plans. The first session on Friday 8 February, helps parents to understand the law around education health care plans and the benefits of having an EHC plan. It also explains the process of applying for a plan and explains what parents can do if their LA refuses to assess.

The second session, on Thursday 4 April, explains the importance of getting the content of the plan right for your child. It examines the drafting of specialist provision and useful outcomes, and it tells parents what they can do if they are not happy with the final plan.

To book your free place on this workshop please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437

Making Decisions for Your Adult Child: The Law

Wednesday 6 March, 10.30am-12.30pm
Church Lounge, Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road, Selly Oak, B29 6HT

This is a free workshop for parents of disabled and special needs children who will need to make decisions on behalf of their child when they become an adult. The session will let help parents to understand the law in relation to making decision on behalf of an adult child and let them know what they need to consider as their child reaches adulthood. Emma Reid from Irwin Mitchell solicitors will explore what it means for parents. She will discuss:

  • The Mental Capacity Act.
  • The Court of Protection and Deputyships.
  • Welfare decisions and Deprivation of Liberty.

To book your free place on this workshop please email westmids.office@contact.org.uk or call 0121 274 0437