Skip to main content

Information, advice and support services for SEND

Details of services and organisations providing information, advice and support for children and young people with SEND and their families.  

There are many services providing information, advice and support for children and young people with SEND and their families. We have listed some of them in the sections below, but for full listings please see the SEND Local Offer directory.

Education related Information, Advice and Support Services.

Social Care related Information, Advice and Support Services.

BCP Council services

The Children's First Response MASH is the single point of contact for children's social care and early help in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

The Adult Social Care Contact Centre is the first point of contact for Adult Social Care in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

The Family Information Service and the Children's Information Service provide free, impartial, information and guidance on a range of areas including childcare provision, childcare funding and activities for families. 

School Inclusion Service 

Up in BCP provides information, advice and support on a range of issues for young people in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

Early Help Family Hubs and Children's Centres

Educational Psychology Service

Young Carers Service 

The 0 to 19 Team works strategically to support, encourage & deliver educational improvement projects locally. The team co-operate with schools and education providers to create a wide variety of progression opportunities for young people.

Click on the links below for information on BCP Council Services providing information, advice and support for children and young people with SEND and their families.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Learning Disability Partnership Board

Child Health and Disabilities Team (CHAD)

Children’s Occupational Therapy Team

Hearing and Vision Support Services

Portage Home Visiting Service

Preparing for Adulthood Team

SEND Statutory Services Team

Short Breaks Service

Shared Care Scheme

Parent/Carer Forum - Parents Carers Together

Parent Carers Together is a friendly parent carer forum set up to represent the voices of Parent Carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (0-25 years) in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

They are a voluntary group of parents and carers of disabled children working together to make sure services in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area meet the needs of children with SEND and their families. The forum work in partnership with the local authority, health services and other service providers to raise awareness, influence change and support parents and carers. 

Read more about the work of Parent Carers Together and Dorset Parent Carer Council in the joint statement document in the downloads section. 

Health services

The Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) supports BCP Council and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with SEND.

The DCO for Dorset CCG is Steve Clarke. You can contact him at steve.clarke@dorsetccg.nhs.uk 

The Assistant Designated Clinical Officer (ACDO) is Chloe Morley. Chloe can be contacted at chloe.morley@dorsetccg.nhs.uk 

You can find information on local health services for children and young people with SEND in the Health section of the Local Offer. 

SENDiass and local independent services

SENDiass4BCP is a free, confidential and impartial service for children and young people with SEND living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and their parents or carers.  They can provide support and information if you are:

  • a child or young person (0 - 25) with special educational needs or a disability (SEND)
  • a parent or carer of a child or young person (0 - 25) with a special educational need or disability (SEND)
  • the parent or carer of a child of school age who has been excluded from school or is at risk of exclusion
  • going through the Education, Health and Care planning process or the Annual Review process

Global Mediation provide SEN mediation and disagreement resolution services.

Autism Wessex is a regional charity providing specialist services for people affected by autism and associated difficulties.

Diverse Abilities is Dorset's disability charity supporting children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities across the county since 1955.

Support groups

Parent Carer Foundation offer support, advice and signposting for parents, carers and families around Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (with or without a diagnosis), including education and health issues. 

The Umbrella Group is a parent led support group, for parents of children and young adults with ASD. 

Doors Open is a SEN Parent Support Community in Turlin Moor.

Dorset ADHD Support Group is a voluntary organisation supporting those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and their families

A number of other support groups are available. Search the Local Offer under the relevant subject area for listings.

Support services for young people with SEND

Up in BCP provides a range of support for young people living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

There are a number of youth clubs and youth groups in the local area, including some run just for children and young people with SEND. 

The Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service also provide support for young people with SEND.

Organisations providing grants for families

We have listed some organisations here, but if you know of others please let us know and we’ll add them to the list.

Websites providing information on services for people with SEND

The BCP Council SEND Local Offer website provides information on services and activities for children and young people living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. 

My Life, My Care provides information and advice about care and support for adults in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Support for carers

Support is available for carers. Read about the BCP Council Young Carers Offer.

CRISP also provide a range of support for carers in living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. 

Other organisations providing information, advice and support

Afasic supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). 

Cerebra is the national charity helping children with brain conditions and their families.

Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) provides advice, support and guidance around the educational wellbeing of children and young people belonging to service and eligible Ministry of Defence families in all 3 services, including issues around SEND.

Contact provide direct advice and support services to parent carers. They have a free national helpline (0808 808 3555) open between 9:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday.

Council for Disabled Children provide support and has a selection of materials specifically written for parents to help support you and your family.

Independent Parental Special Educational Advice (IPSEA) is a national charity providing free, legal-based advice to families of children with SEND.

Mencap is the leading voice of learning disability. 

The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. 

Scope is a disability equality charity providing practical information and emotional support and campaigning to create a fairer society. 

Support for siblings of people with SEND

Sibs is a UK charity representing the needs of siblings of those with disabilities. 

Sibs Youth Club is for brothers and sisters of SEND Children, young people and adults. 

Children's Disability Register

The BCP Council Children's Disability Register is for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25 living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Parent/carers will be given a free Max Card when they join the register. The card gives reduced or free entry to over 1,500 attractions or days out.