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Information, Advice and Support Services for SEND

Services and organisations provide 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 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. 

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 Disability Team (CHAD)

Children’s Occupational Therapy Service

Christchurch Family Partnership Zone

Educational Psychology Service

Hearing and Vision Support Services

Portage Home Visiting Service

Preparing for Adulthood Team

SEND Statutory Services Team (Poole)

SEND Statutory Services Team (Bournemouth and Christchurch)

Short Breaks Service

Parent/Carer forums

Parent Carers Together and Parent Carer Foundation are parent forums open to local  parents and carers of children and young people with SEND. They are run by parents and carers of children and young people with SEND. They offer advice and support and provide the chance to meet others who are in similar situations to yourself and to get  involved with local activities. 

Health services

The Designated Clinical Officer 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 on steve.clarke@dorsetccg.nhs.uk 

Search the directory for Information on health services for children and young people with SEND.

Local independent services

SENDiass 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)
  • You are the parent or carer of a child of school age who has been excluded from school or is at risk of exclusion
  • You are 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

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

SEN Parent/Carer Support Group (Somerford) is a support group aimed at supporting parents and carers with children and young people (aged 0-25) with additional needs or awaiting diagnosis.

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

For those living in Poole Up in Poole provides a range of services for young people living in Poole including Number 18 which provides information, advice and guidance on a range of issues.

For those living in Bournemouth, the Bournemouth Youth Service can help.

For young people living in Christchurch, the Family Partnership Zone can help.

A number of youth groups are available for children and young people with SEND. A summary can be found here and you can also check the listings on the directory. Those groups specifically for children with SEND have the SEND logo next to them.

The Dorset Combined Youth Offending 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.

Time to Talk events

Time to Talk sessions offer parents/carers and young people the opportunity to share experiences and discuss services with BCP Council’s SEND leadership team. Read about previous Time to Talk sessions.

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.  Find details of services for young carers and see services provided by CRISP.

Other organisations providing information, advice and support

Afasic supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). SEND fact sheets and template letters.

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 provides 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

National Autistic Society

Scope

Support for siblings of people with SEND

Sibs

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

Add-On register

The Add-On register is for children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Joining the register provides a free Max Card offering concessions to over 1,500 activities in the country and a regular SEND newsletter.