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SEND advice and support

Find advice and support for parents about SEND.

There are a number ways to access help, advice and independent support for parents, carers and young people:

Parent carer support


This is the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Information, Advice and Support Service.

It offers:

  • Advice: face to face, over the phone and via the Council website.
  • Also, casework and representation when needed.

They work impartially and confidentially with parents and children/young people together. They also make sure, through the Independent Support Coordinator, that they can offer a service directly and separately to children and to young people should they request it.

How can we help?

  • Give independent information and advice.
  • Give information or refer you to other sources.
  • Explain jargon and help with letter writing.
  • Go with you to reviews and meetings.
  • Help make sure you have your say.
  • Explain the assessment process and your rights.
  • Allocate you an impartial parental supporter.​

Find out more about the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service in Calderdale and Kirklees by watching this YouTube video

Contact Independent Advice Support Service

Calderdale and Kirklees (Kias) Sendiass Manager, Jo Grenfell:

Calderdale Branch, Jayne Stuttard:

Kirklees (KIAS) Branch:

Samantha Griffiths:

Rachel Lyne:

General email for both areas: and/or directly to the Manager,

Hours 9am to 5pm weekdays but please leave a message if the lines are busy and we will return your call or email as soon as possible.

The Local Authority Commissioner is Sharon Field:

Website: Calderdale SEND Information Advice and Support Service

Information, Advice and Support Services Network

Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASSN) aim to help children and young people with SEND understand better what rights they have for:

  • Accessing information, advice and support.

It also has contact details for all Information Advice and Support services in England.


For families with disabled children, visit: Contact.

Local support groups

Autism Support in Calderdale

Calderdale's National Autistic Society (NAS)

This gives support and information to families and people that are:

  • Affected by autism;
  • or on the waiting list for assessment.

Run by volunteers, it relies on donations to make sure it can offer support and activities to branch members.

The support includes:

  • Family activities.
  • Monthly meet ups for girls aged 9 to 19 with autism.
  • Monthly bowling sessions for teenagers with autism.
  • Autism Parents Group.
  • Monthly family Bricks4kidz session.
  • A closed Facebook group for Calderdale NAS members that offers peer support.

They aim to develop:

  • Local community links to increase awareness of autism and support them to be autism-friendly.
  • Links to help with planning future services for people with autism in Calderdale.

Winners of 'Branch of the Year' at the NAS Staff and Volunteer Awards 2016. They were praised for the diversity of their groups.

For more about the group or to join:

For advice, support and how to manage behaviours and challenges, visit: NAS.

Specialist Autism Support for adults aged 19+

  • The Calderdale Autism Hub. A free weekly informal drop-in service, funded by Calderdale Council.
  • The Calderdale Employment Programme. A free service funded by Calderdale Council that supports:
    • Adults with an autism or Aspergers diagnosis;
    • or those who seek a diagnosis and live in the Calderdale area.

Calderdale Healthy Minds

Calderdale Healthy Minds is a user-led organisation that works across Calderdale.

It promotes positive mental health and recovery for people affected by mental distress.

They offer a range of Peer Support Groups that include:

  • Disability.
  • Anxiety and Depression.
  • Bipolar.
  • Chronic Pain.
  • Self-harm.
  • Well-being.

They also offer activity groups:

  • Walking.
  • Allotment.
  • Art and Well-being.

Safe Places Scheme

In Calderdale we have a number of 'Safe Places' you can go if you are out and about and:

  • Need directions.
  • Have lost your purse or wallet.
  • Become distressed.
  • Are being harassed or bullied.
  • Feel unwell.

The scheme means that some public places offer support to those of us that are vulnerable and may need help. For a list of safe places, read:

If you want to know what Safe Places are, read:

If you have a smart phone you can download the 'Safe Places' app from the App Store or Google Play. This gives you details of your nearest Safe Place.

Contact cards with the Safe Places logo are available and can be carried when out and about in Calderdale.

If you need to call into a Safe Place the staff there will help you ring your contacts and keep you there until help arrives. You can get a card from either:

  • Halifax Customer First.
  • Unique Ways:
    • Phone: 01422 343090.
    • Address: Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre, Hanson Lane, Halifax. HX1 5PG.

For more about the Safe Place scheme, contact Sail Suleman:

Special Stars Family Support Group

Come along and enjoy a chat in a friendly environment.

The group offers a wide range of support for parents and carers with disabled children from the Asian Community.

  • The group aims to support families to develop resilience and social capital within their local area.
  • Families are engaged through activities and therapeutic opportunities.
  • It gives parents and carers the chance to share cultural and personal experiences and to gain support from each other.

Where: Jubilee Children's Centre, The Outback.

When: 10am to 12 noon every two week (term-time only).

For more details or to book a place, please phone Shahida or Rizwana (Specialist Inclusion Service): 01422 394114.

West Yorkshire ADHD Support Group

A peer-led voluntary group that offers support to adults (and parents/carers of children) with ADHD.

They have:

Online support

Together for Short Lives

This guide aims to help families of children and young people in England with life-limiting conditions to join-up their assessments, plans and services across education, health and social care.

To download the guide, visit: Together for Short Lives.

Decision making toolkit

This decision making toolkit is a practical guide to support social workers, health practitioners, school and college staff, parent carers, families and anyone working directly with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It is designed to be used in partnership with young people to support them to make their own decisions and to participate as fully as possible in decisions made on their behalf.

The toolkit has been developed based on feedback from practitioners who attended Council for Disabled Children training. (This was - It's My Life! Decisions, capacity and EHC plans - in July 2016.) It includes a template practitioners can use to support a young person who lacks capacity to go through a best interests decision making process based on the best interests checklist in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice.

For more details, visit: Decision making toolkit

The Communication Trust – resources for parent carers

A coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations working together.

This is to support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication.

For more on this, visit: The Communication Trust.

Behaviour that challenges

Knowing what causes challenging behaviour can help you to develop ways of dealing with it.

Here are websites where you will find practical information and general ideas on strategies to try. Also, there is information on getting support:

You can also contact Unique Ways, our local Parent Carer Forum. They offer support, signposting and coffee mornings where you can meet other parent carers going through a similar experience.

Support for siblings

SIBS - Siblings have a lifelong need for information.

They often experience social and emotional isolation and have to cope with difficult situations.

They also want to have positive relationships with their disabled brothers and sisters and to be able to choose the role they play in future care and support.

If you would like to find out more on the information and support available to siblings please visit: YoungSibs

  • A UK charity representing the needs of children and young people (aged 6 to 17) who have a brother or sister who is disabled, has special educational needs or a serious long-term condition or SIBS for all ages.

Get Your Rights

Get Your Rights is an interactive and accessible website helping explain to children and young people their rights when using the NHS, developed in partnership and co-produced with children and young people.

It includes videos from young people telling their stories about how the rights have made a difference to them. Also, messages from professionals explaining why they value young people's rights. It also has advice on what to do if young people are concerned that their rights have not been respected.

Disagreement resolution and mediation

It is not always possible to reach a resolution without the help of a neutral third party.

Disagreement Resolution and Mediation services are available in Calderdale and are delivered by Collis Mediation.

  • They offer a variety of effective mediation services for people in dispute using trained and experienced mediators.
  • They work hard to make sure that the parties are as comfortable as possible during the process. Also, that any final agreement meets the needs of both parties.

Disagreement Resolution can:

  • Support parents and young people when concerns around SEND provision in school or college cannot be resolved through discussion with the SENCO.
  • Help resolve issues around EHC needs assessment and EHC Plans.

For more details, please contact: SEND support.

SEND complaints

For young people aged 16 to 25 who want to know who to talk to.

If you are unhappy with the help you are getting for your special educational needs or disability at school or college.

Guide for children with muscle wasting conditions

This month, Muscular Dystrophy UK has launched a comprehensive guide to inclusive education which aims to empower schools and parents to improve the lives and educational experiences of pupils with muscle-wasting conditions, so that they can reach their full potential.

The guide includes information on a range of topics, as well as links to agencies that are there to help with every aspect of care.

You can request a free copy by emailing or by calling the helpline on 0800 652 6352.

My Adult - Still My Child

This is a guide for parent/carers of adults (aged 16+) who may not be able to make decisions.

Co-produced and inspired by those who:

  • have experienced decision making within health and welfare settings;
  • and felt unprepared or challenged without such guidance.

It is for those new to making 'best interest' decisions. More so, for those that care for a young person in transition to adult services.

To find out more, please visit: My Adult – Still My Child.

Also see: Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Anti-bullying resources

Who can you contact for information and guidance if you are being bullied, are a parent or work in an education setting?:

Stroke Association Childhood Stroke Support Service

The Stroke Association Childhood Stroke Support Service helps families affected by stroke in childhood. The service is UK wide, freely accessible. They offer information, advice, support and networking events.

For more about this, visit: Stroke.

The service offers a range of free resources on child strokes:

There is also a range of posters to raise awareness, which include:

To contact the service:

North and West Yorkshire Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

A registered charity offering a range of services to support children, adults and families:

  • Peer support activities for all ages.
  • Befriending scheme.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Regular newsletters.
  • Relevant workshops on up-to-date health, continence, education and benefits advice.
  • Conferences and residentials.

For more details, please visit: North and West Yorkshire ASBAH.

British Dyslexia Associaton

British Dyslexia Associaton. Offers a range of information and resources for parent carers, which includes indicators of specific learning difficulties. They also support your child at home and in the education system. This is to make sure that they achieve the best possible outcomes.

Dyspraxia Foundation

Dyspraxia Foundation. Offers a range of free information sheets for you to download. Many more are available through the 'members only' section.


ICAN. Experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st century world.

Council support services

Breaks for carers

Having a break from looking after your child is not:

  • an admission of failure;
  • or a way to say that you do not care.

Without the odd break you can become exhausted or ill. You might just need a full night's sleep or have a night out with a friend/partner.

For more on what support there can be for you, please see: Breaks for carers.

Crisis and emergency support

In the event of an 'out of hours' emergency, contact:

  • The Council's Emergency Duty Team (EDT): Adult Social care services.
  • or your child's GP via their out of hours service.
  • MAST.
  • DCT.

In office hours it can be more helpful to talk to a professional who already knows your child and family. For details of the services available, contact: SEND support.

Other useful council contacts for parents

For other useful contacts, please read: 

Department for Education

Guide for parents and carers

This covers the law and statutory guidance on which the system is based. Also the changes that have been made since 1st September 2014. It also gives advice on the places to go for help and information.

For more on support system for children and young people with SEND, visit: SEND: guide for parents and carers.

For the full SEND 'Code of Practice', visit: SEND: code of practice: 0 to 25 years.

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