Latest SEND Reforms
SINCE 2012 the Forum has been actively working alongside West Sussex County Council and partners, ensuring that parent carers have a voice in the development of what the new system in West Sussex will look like.
We have a Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Reforms Parental Group who are experienced Parent Representatives. Their work includes ensuring that information is passed to parent carers so that they are prepared for the reforms and know how to get the best for our children and young people with additional needs and disabilities and our families.
There are many government policies that affect the lives of our children and young people with SEND and our families. We thought it would be useful to summarise the two latest, the Children & Families Act (SEND Reforms) and the Care Act.
The Care Act, Part 1 came into force on 1 April 2015 and focuses on people over 18 with care and support needs. As well as strengthening the rights of parent carers it brings together the many pieces of law informing local authorities of their duties within social care putting them in one place; effectively strengthening and tidying things up.
The Children and Families Act 2014 came into force in March 2015 and is about changes for children and young people aged 0-25 years and their families with Special Education Needs and Disabilities and how they are best supported.
Please refer to the Publications section (below, on this page) for copies of the above documents.
A LOCAL OFFER GIVES children and young people with educational needs or disabilities and their families, information about what support services are available in their area. Every local authority is responsible for having a Local Offer and making sure it is available for everyone to see.
The Forum co-produced the Local Offer with West Sussex County Council and continues to work with them to develop the site to ensure it provides a central point for resources, services and information that parent carers need. We have a parent rep who sits on the Local Offer Steering Group.
Go to www.westsussex.local-offer.org to find local activities, groups and support near you. You can also find information about how to access Council and NHS funded services. You can see what other parent carers are saying about providers and services by reading their feedback comments. We would like to encourage you to leave feedback of your own experiences so that we can all benefit from this shared information.
Parent Support Groups in West Sussex
PARENT CARER SUPPORT GROUPS are an opportunity to come together and share experiences, learn from and support each other, and, just as importantly, to make friends with other parent carers who understand.
We work closely with the fantastic parent support groups in West Sussex, run by parents just like you. We’ve listed those we know of. Please let the Forum office know, if you hear of other groups who would like to be listed here.
AUTISM SUPPORT CRAWLEY
Email Maria Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Janet on 07596 737741. See the (closed) Facebook page at www.autismsupportcrawley.co.uk For parent/carers with children or adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Social Communication Disorder, with or without a diagnosis. Support 400 families and welcomes anyone who lives within the RH postcode. Monthly coffee morning and evening meeting, information sharing, peer support and sometimes guest speakers. Members have access to library of ASD related books and have social events.
Maidenbower Group Crawley. Contact Catherine Fitzgerald at Catherine.email@example.com or visit “www.autismsussex.org.uk” For families with children on the autistic spectrum. Run various groups, events and workshops.
NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY (Worthing Branch)
PARENTS FOR AUTISM
Lindsey Butterfield – firstname.lastname@example.org or www.parentsforautism.org.uk Supports 350 families within the Worthing area. Bi-monthly evening meeting with notable guest speakers. Join our Facebook page for more info.
PATH – PARENTING AUTISM TOGETHER IN HORSHAM
Contact Sarah Willis on 07588460954 or email email@example.com or search for above group name on Facebook and request to join. A parent-led support group meeting first Sunday evening of the month. Also coffee mornings at Springboard House, contact Chris Huckstepp on 01403 218888.
PUZZLE PIECES SUPPORT GROUP
Call Laura on 077 020 55874. For parents of a child or family member with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (with or without diagnosis). Meet 1st Wednesday of month. The Tree House Children and Family Centre, Bognor Regis. 10am to 12pm. Children welcome.
SUSSEX AUTISM SUPPORT (Haywards Heath)
UNIQUE (Kent, Surrey, Sussex)
Contact Marion Mitchell (Family Support Officer) runs a Facebook page. Lots of really useful information; local and national for anyone with a unique chromosomal disorder.
Down’s Syndrome Groups
CHICHESTER DOWN’S SYNDROME GROUP
Jessica Archer on 07500 775596 / 01243 920579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.chichesterdownsyndromegroup.co.uk www.facebook.com/groups/chichesterds Supports families of children with Down’s Syndrome. Hold regular social evenings, coffee mornings, picnics, Christmas and Easter parties, trips etc. They also subsidise specialist speech therapy.
General Support – all Disabilities
CARERS SUPPORT WEST SUSSEX
Call 0300 028 8888 or www.westsussexcarers.org.uk Offering support and information on carers benefits, emotional support and more to all parent carers in West Sussex. Hold a variety of coffee mornings. Register with us for a regular newsletter and information.
LITTLE PACSO (Chichester)
Contact Ruth Stewart on 01243 533353 / 07875 601157 or email email@example.com . A weekly group for children under 5 with any additional needs and their parents to play and meet others. Meet at Chichester Children & Family Centre in the Rainbow Room. Brand new sensory room.
SPECIAL FAMILIES EAST GRINSTEAD
Contact Emma Bashford. Closed Facebook group. Special Families East Grinstead. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Informal, Facebook based support group for parents in East Grinstead and surrounding villages whose children have any kind of disability or additional need. Aims to provide social evenings every other month, monthly stay and play sessions at The King’s Centre and picnics/park visits in the holidays.
Email Rosemary Hudson on email@example.com Monthly meetings in Worthing for parents whose children have any additional needs and attend mainstream schools within the Durrington area.
WAM – WHAT ABOUT ME
Inga – firstname.lastname@example.org or ‘What About Me Support Group’ on Facebook. For families living in Burgess Hill area with a child with any additional need.
WORTHING KIDS DAPPER SNAPPER
XCHANGE- PARENT SUPPORT GROUP (BURGESS HILL)
Email Lisa Adams: email@example.com or call 01444 258407 (after 4pm). Xchange is a weekly drop-in support group for Parents of children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities. Children are welcome. This group meets term time only.
Select and then click on the publication (PDF) you wish to read.