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

Looking for information on our new Transition Project? 

Scroll down right to the bottom of this page and click on the Going Forward - Preparing Parents for Transition Ribbon.

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. For details of  local groups in Scotland call our office on 0131 659 2930. 

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Call 0131 659 2930 or email scotland.office@contact.org.uk to find out more.

Partnerships, policy and research reports

We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to make sure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a wide range of research reports and are actively involved in several policy, parliamentary and advisory groups. We are also a committed member of the for Scotland's Disabled Children coalition.

We also have been involved in a wide range of research. Browse our research section for a full list of Scottish reports.

Contact acknowledges the support of the Scottish Government through the Children and Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund (core and project funding) and funding through The Robertsons Trust.

Getting It Right For Every Child is a national approach in Scotland aimed at supporting the wellbeing and improving outcomes for children and young people. Contact in Scotland works to the values and principles of GIRFEC.  

Contact are also guided by the principles of the National Parenting Strategy.

We aim to promote and protect the rights of children in Scotland as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Contact Scotland E-bulletin

We produce a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. February 2018 E-Bulletin.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.


Office address

Contact, Craigmillar Social Enterprise & Arts Centre, 11/20 Harewood Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4NT, 0131 659 2930, scotland.office@contact.org.uk

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email susan.walls@contact.org.uk for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk for newsletter and information (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Susan Brogan; email susan.brogan@contact.org.uk for volunteering opportunities with us (Tuesday).

Tracey Francis; email tracey.francis.org.uk for information on the Preparing Parent Carers for Transition Project (Monday, Tuesday, half day Wednesday and Thursday)

News for Scotland

Applications for Take a Break now open!

Take a Break is Scotland's short breaks fund for carers of disabled children, young people and their families administered through the Family Fund. Grants can be used for a break away, towards leisure activities or outings; sports equipment and much more. Find out if you may be eligible to apply and how to make an application by visiting the Family Fund Take a Break Scheme.

Govan Law Centre Report on Carers

Govan Law Centre has recently published a report setting out the findings of research into the legal needs of carers. The report, which is the result of qualitative research involving carers and carer support organisations, provides conclusions on carers and their legal needs and recommendations regarding setting up a new carers legal service unit within Govan Law Centre (GLC).
The report can be read in full here Govan Law Centre Reports 

First resources available from our Preparing Parents for Transition project

Local information and useful links from our transitions workshops with Lead Scotland for parents in Highland, Aberdeenshire and Clackmannanshire. NB These were up to date when published, but please be aware services can change quickly. They may not be comprehensive and are not an endorsement of any service. Information shared at the workshop in West Lothian is available from Signpost at www.signpost-online.org.uk

The Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net for people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants.  This national scheme is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by all local councils. 

Community Care Grants can be made to help families under exceptional pressure including at home if your childs health is at risk.  Crisis Grants can help people facing a disaster or emergency including for food, essential heating costs and other expenses i.e travel costs if you have a child who is ill in hospital. It can also help if you're a grandparent or other relative who has taken over caring for a child, and you're waiting on a transfer of benefits.

You may be eligible to receive a grant if you are aged 16 or over and on a low income - this does not mean you need to be on benefits. To apply for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund please contact your local council.  Please ensure you have your National Insurance number to hand

Take Part in the CAMHS Rejected Referral Audit

There are more young people than ever before seeking help for their mental health. This means greater demands on services and increasing waiting times. In the last year 7,255 young people who were referred to CAMHS did not receive support from that service: also known as a "rejected referral". SAMH is working with the Scottish Government to gather evidence from children, young people and their families across the country to inform the approach to mental health services. To be included in the research please complete the short CAMH Rejected Referral Survey

Positive Pathways Scotland Free E-learning Course

Anew e-learning course for parents and carers of children and young people with autism aged 5 to 18. The training will focus on understanding social, emotional and behavioural challenges and is an introduction to Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) and will include case studies to demonstrate what PBS looks like for a young person. To register visit Positive Pathways or email pps@trfs.org.uk

Applications open for new Independent Living Fund

Applications are being invited now to the new £5m ILF Transition Fund, to help young people with disabilities become more independent and spend more time with other people.

Grants are a maximum of £7500 for up to a year to help young people aged 16-21 take part in activities of their choice. Suggestions include driving lessons or travel training, art/music lessons or joining a club - but anything that matches the Fund's aims will be considered.

For more details and to apply for a grant visit ILF Fund or call 0300 200 2022.

Help is at Hand for Parent Support Groups with queries on the General Data Protection Regulation

A helpline has been set up to help charities get ready for new data protection legislation.  The Information Commissioner's Office has launched an advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law, the General Data Protections Regulation.  Dial the helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option four to be diverted to staff who can offer support.

The Contact Scotland February e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland February e-newsletter.

To sign up to receive the Contact Scotland e-bulletin just click on  subscribe now.

If you would like to share local information that would benefit other families, just email details to donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk.

Local events

Scottish Borders

PDA Training for Parents and for Professionals

Session for parents - Thursday 14 June, 9.30-3pm, Langlee Community Centre, Marigold Drive, Langlee, Galashiels

Session for professionals - Friday 15 June, 9.30am-3pm, Langlee Community Centre, Marigold Drive, Langlee, Galashiels

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a complex Autism Spectrum Condition that is characterised by an anxiety driven need to be in control and avoid every day demands. Children  with PDA require careful handling and a different approach to that usually adopted with individuals with classic Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. This training is delivered by Laura Kerbey who is the founder of Positive Autism Support.

Parents attending will leave the course with a better understanding of PDA and a 'toolkit' of strategies to use when parenting or working with a child with this condition.

Professionals attending will be able to gain an understanding of differences and similarities between PDA and other conditions and understand the impact PDA has on a child.

These events have been arranged by Pat Hewitt with support from Borders Additional Needs Group to raise awareness of PDA.

To book a place visit PDA Training Eventbrite. Please note there is a charge for both events.

Glasgow Science Centre Autism Friendly Sunday Mornings   

Sundays 22 April, 20 May and 17 June, 9-11am, 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow 

Come along to the new monthly Autism Friendly hours at the Glasgow Science Centre -   all the fun of Science Centre but with much less hustle and bustle on a Sunday morning! The lights will be lowered and the volume turned down to allow adults and children with autism to enjoy their visit without additional stress. 

Entry for adults and children with autism is £9, with one accompanying adult free. For more details visit Glasgow Science Museum


Thinking about Transition? Kindred Events for Parents 

Tuesday mornings, 10.30am-12.30pm, Kindred, 7 Rutland Court Lane, Edinburgh

A series of free information events in Edinburgh for parent carers of young people who are leaving school this year. Events include Continuing Education - what Edinburgh College offers to leavers. To book a place visit Kindred Events, call 0800 0315793 (option 1) or email enquiries@kindred-scotland.org scotland


Autism Resource Coordination Hub (ARCH) Parent Carer Workshops

Thursday 14 June, 10.00am-1.00pm - How to Cope with the Summer Holidays

ARCH, Reid Street, Burnbank, Hamilton

Lanarkshire Carers Centre has commissioned Anne Love from LoveAutism.com to deliver autism related workshops. To book a place email Ramon Hutchingson, Co-ordinator at ARCH ramon.hutchingson@southlanarkshire.gcsx.gov.uk or call 0344 225 1111.

Shetland Isles

Shetland Parent Carer Support Group

Meetings held on the last Tuesday of the month at Voluntary Action Shetland, Market House, 14 Market Street, Shetland

A great opportunity to come and talk about your caring issues and share your knowledge, experiences with other carers. For further information call Karen Hannay on 01595 743923.

Parent support group events

If you are a parent who runs a support group in Scotland or are considering starting a local group and would like information to help you get going then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can join our Local Group Network and we can provide you with factsheets, newsletters and respond to your group enquiries or you can contact us about holding an information event in your area. Just email Donna for further information at scotland.office@contact.org.uk


Volunteering for Contact 

  • Our volunteers have a defined place in the structure of the organisation and are treated equally within Contact 
  • We recognise the individual skills each person brings to the organisation.  We encourage volunteers to develop and build on existing skills and knowledge.
  • We endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
  • We recognise the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.

Would you like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland? 

My name is Susan Brogan and I am the volunteer coordinator at Contact in Scotland. We currently have a volunteer helping at our office, a local volunteer in Fife, raising awareness of the work we do, and five National Council members.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and are currently seeking volunteers for the following roles:

Parent/carer volunteer 

We value the knowledge and experience a parent carer has and would love to have your help in shaping our information service for families with disabled children in Scotland.

This could involve sharing your views and ideas when we are putting together our publications andfactsheets, raising awareness of our service in your local community, helping at information stands or being part of a parent carer focus group. We also actively seek to involve parent carers on our National Council, which may be something you would be interested in.

National Council volunteer

The role of the National Council Member is to advise and support Contact's work in Scotland. We would love to hear from parents or professionals who may be interested in joining our current members.

If you would like find out more about one of the above roles or explore other possibilities for volunteering, I would be happy to chat to you. Please note I only work one day a week, but if you leave your details I will get back in touch with you. You can contact me on 0131 659 2931 or email susan.brogan@contact.org.uk  


Going forward - Preparing Parents for Transition

New Transition Fund now open for applications

Applications are being invited NOW to the new £5m ILF Transition Fund, to help young people with disabilities become more independent and spend more time with other people.

Grants are a maximum of £7500 for up to a year to help young people aged 16-21 take part in activities of their choice. Suggestions include driving lessons or travel training, art/music lessons or joining a club - but anything that matches the Fund's aims will be considered.

Young people must be between 15 and 21 years of age; have lived in Scotland for the last 6 months; have proof of disability or impairment; have less than £26,250 of personal savings; and receive little or no support from social work services or through self directed support. Grants cannot be used for things another organisation already funds, for example personal care or supervision.

For more details and to apply for a grant go to http://ilf.scot/transition-fund/ or call 0300 200 2022.

First transitions workshops take place

Parents Workshop Nov 2017

Future proofing for families through our autumn workshops

"Pure gold dust" was how one parent described the information on offer at one of our workshops this autumn - the first in our 2-year project Going Forward - preparing parents for transition.

It was great to have over 100 parents and carers register for events from Inverness to the Borders through October and November, and to work with local support groups CHIP+, PlayAlloa, the Galaxy Group, Signpost, the West Lothian Parent/Carer Alliance and B.A.N.G. (Borders Additional Needs Group).

A big thank you to our colleagues in Lead Scotland and solicitors Gillespie Macandrew for sharing your time and expertise!

We'll announce more workshops soon, plus a new date for the Perth event, which is being rescheduled.

Transition workshops now open for registration

Good news - booking is now open for the first regional workshops confirmed as part of the Preparing Parents for Transition project.

All the workshops are aimed at parents and carers of young people looking for more information about the process of transition and leaving school, and have been developed in partnership with local parent groups and support services so each one is as relevant as possible to local families.

Groups in each region chose their workshop topic from a list of possibilities, with most saying better awareness of the planning process and approaches to planning were key areas for parents.

The workshops are free, but numbers are limited. To reserve a space at whichever workshop is most convenient for you, go to http://goingforward.eventbrite.com. We've tried to make booking as straightforward as possible, but if you have any difficulty let us know by emailing tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

The confirmed workshops are:

  • Inverness (Monday 2 October) - Preparing for transition (this workshop is being run twice, as a daytime and evening session)
  • Alloa (Friday 6 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Inverurie (Wednesday 11 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Livingston (Monday 30 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Galashiels (Tuesday 7 November) - Powers of attorney and guardianship


Scotland transitions flyer

New project gets under way

Tracey Francis is now in place as Contact's new transitions officer, with the job of overseeing the new two-year project Preparing Parents for Transition, funded by the Scottish Government. Download the flyer for the project [PDF].

Over the summer, she will be contacting groups around Scotland to develop a series of information workshops for parents on key aspects of transitions planning and processes. She will also be putting everything in place to underpin a major consultation with families and young people, starting in September and running until December.

To be part of this, sign up now by contacting tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and you'll receive more information when everything's good to go. Or simply keep checking the website for the latest news and updates.

Scotland government logo

We acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government through a CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund grant.

Parent support groups

Welcome to our new Scotland Parent Support Group Information page!

Looking for information for your support group? This section is for you if you are a support group lead or involved in running a local parent support group in Scotland.

We work extensively with groups through our work, funded by the Robertson Trust, to build knowledge, information sharing and provide sources of support to help every group thrive. As well as our information on our main UK support group webpage here you will find more local news, training and funding information for you and your members in Scotland. 

Your comments, information and news are important to us so if you would like to share this with other groups in Scotland then please do email me at donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk and I will include your events and news.

Senior Managers Network (Disabled Children and Young People)

For just over a year Shared Care Scotland has been hosting meetings of a network of senior managers who have come together to exchange information and learning on all matters relating to the provision of the high quality opportunities for disabled children and young people and those who care for them.

Attendance at these meetings is by invitation but the current members of the network would like to extend an invitation to senior managers from other organisations who provide similar services to children and young people to join the network. If you would like to become part of the network please contact Gary Waddell on 01383 622462 or email gary.waddell@sharedcarescotland.com

Help is at Hand for Parent Support Groups with queries on the General Data Protection Regulation

A helpline has been set up to help charities get ready for new data protection legislation.  The Information Commissioner's Office has launched an advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law, the General Data Protections Regulation.  Dial the helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option four to be diverted to staff who can offer support.

Local Information

Aberdeenshire - Venue Space for Groups

The Inchgarth Centre is looking to support small organisations with free access to brand new cabins for those who find it difficult to pay to access space for their meetings and groups. This is for small organisations who are looking for weekly slots to run their meetings or activities.  Email inchgarthcc1@btinternet.com   or visit www.inchgarth.org for more details.


Remember, Contact has a list of small grant providers for parent carers from both national and local funders for many things such as equipment, bedding, holidays, clothing etc. - call 0131 659 2930 or 39 to obtain a copy.

2018 - Year of the Young People - Event Funding

Scotland's first ever Year of the Young People will be launched next year and in preparation there are a range of funding opportunities and marketing tools available in order to ensure young people are at the heart of planning and decision making. The supporters' toolkit provides young people with access to logos, messaging and a newsletter. In addition, young people (8-26) can apply for up to £1,000 of funding to run events in their local area as part of the 2018 celebrations. Events can be anything from film festivals to gigs, theatre and dance performances or fashion shows.  Deadline to apply is 22 January 2018.To find out more visit Young Scot YOYP 2018

Scottish Borders - Community Project Funding

Scottish Borders Council has allocated a total of £500,000 to the Localities Bid Fund for the purpose of piloting participatory budgeting across the Scottish Borders.

This fund will support community projects and initiatives using participatory budgeting (public voting). The fund's aim is to achieve local priorities and benefit communities, by supporting community groups to fund new ideas and projects which will improve the lives of people living in the Scottish Borders. 

The first release of the fund is open now and closes at 3pm on Friday 1 December.

Application forms and guidance are available from the Scottish Borders Council 


If you are looking for training or support to help you run your parent support group then don't hesitate to contact our Edinburgh office for more information. We will post training opportunities in this section starting in 2018.
















14 Nov evoc


Fundraising Nuts & Bolts: Applications (NEW for 2017)
Costs: Voluntary Organisations - £40.00
Private - £50.00

30 Nov EVOC


Working with Groups
Costs: Voluntary Organisations - £70.00
Private - £80.00

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Visit our online advice and support or read all about diagnosis.

You can also call us if you need information or advice on any aspect of caring for a disabled child. Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm.

0808 808 3555 or helpline@cafamily.org.uk