Go back a step

Contact to work with Council for Disabled Children to deliver new government initiative

Friday 11th May 2018

We're delighted to let you know that from June we will be working in partnership with the Council for Disabled Children, who have been awarded a new contract by the Department for Education (DfE) to help ensure that in every local authority area, children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families have access to impartial information, advice and support about the services and support on offer.

Contact's national advice service (which includes our helpline and the online advice and information we offer) forms a vital part of this contract, which will be called the Information, Advice and Support Programme (IASP).

The government initiative brings together the Information, Advice and Support Network, Independent Support programme and Contact's national helpline advice service for the very first time, and builds on our SEN helpline work to support families needing more information about the new SEN system introduced in 2014.

Anne Brook, director of family support services at Contact, says: "Last year we answered nearly 12,000 enquiries from families through our national helpline service and the demand for this service increases year on year. The new contract means we'll be able to expand our advice service and answer even more enquiries from families with children and young people with SEND. 

"Working with CDC on the Information, Advice and Support Programme and being able to continue the valuable service our SEND helpline provides means families with children and young people with SEND will have more clarity and consistency about the support they can access. This means that they will have more confidence to make the decisions that are right for them and to help their children get the best education, health and social care support to achieve their goals."

Education specialists on our freephone helpline are able answer your questions about the SEND process alongside any other issues that may affect your family including benefits and financial help, sources of local support and services you might be entitled to like aids and equipment for example. Whatever your concern or question, call our free helpline on 0808 808 3555.

Parent carers can also find education advice on our website and contact our advisers through our Facebook and Twitter communities.