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Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Wednesday 9am - 7pm

Saturday 10am - 12pm

Parent Carers

As parents of children with a disability or long term illness life can be incredibly demanding. Many parents spend so much time fighting for support and services for their children that they don’t have time to think about themselves.

If you haven’t already stopped to consider your own emotional and physical health now is the time to do it. We would love to discuss your situation with you and help you to put together a ‘plan’ to take care of yourself. Part of this plan may include using some of our services:

Response Line for guidance and a chance to speak to someone who understands

Connections with other local organisations

Online drop in for ‘Coffee and a Chat’

Regular Newsletter and emails

Carer Equipment Service

Parents Carers on-line drop in ‘for Coffee and a Chat’

A chance to check in and say hello to other parents, to talk or just to listen, to ask questions, share experiences and learn more about our services. You are welcome to pop in for as long as you like.

We meet on Zoom on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 10:30 am to 11:30 pm. Please contact us for more information.

Links to other organisations

Information and networking events

West Sussex Local Offer is the local authority’s website with information about support, services, training workshops, activities and places to go for families.


Reaching Families

Free handbooks about services and support available in West Sussex; Downloadable fact sheets and Free Workshops and Training for parents e.g.: Challenging behaviour, Sleep issues, Support in schools; Educational health Care Plans; Understanding Anxiety. Click on the images below to download the handbooks.

Local Authority Support

Requesting a Child & family assessment

MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub)

Tel: 01403 229900

Early Help

The Early Help service provides support to families and is most easily accessed through the Children and Family Centres local to each area. Family workers in the centre provide information and make referrals for support and services within their local community. They can set up Early Help plans to liaise with schools and other agencies to support the family. They offer support in times of crisis and are able to provide food parcels/vouchers.

Due to Covid 19 Centres are closed and Early Help workers can be contacted for support on their duty line:

Duty Line 0330 222 8087 Open 9am to 5pm week days

E-mail EarlyHelpDuty@westsussex.gov.uk

Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and Sisters of children with a disability are often called Young Carers. This is because although they may not be directly involved in caring, their home life, school life and friendships are affected.

West Sussex Young Carers

Sibs is a national organisation helping parents to understand and support their children through workshops, information and advice. A website with information and the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences with other children.

Benefits

Robert HayesSpecialist Welfare Benefit Advisor for families and Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Carers UK also provide information here about PIP

Disability rights Benefit Fact sheets


Education

West Sussex Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS) help and support for parents in getting the right education for their child. Advice and one to one support with statutory assessments and statements or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) annual reviews, appeals and tribunals.

IPSEA free independent legally based advice around getting the right education for your child. Advice line, Tribunal advice line and downloadable template letters and resources.

Funding

Compass Card gives discounts on leisure, transport and activities for families in Brighton and Hove and West Sussex.

Family Fund provides yearly grants for low income families who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. Grants can be used for white goods, holidays, days out, beds, equipment, clothes…

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services – online, by phone and face to face.

Workshops and Training

Understanding and Managing Behaviour, the Education System, Benefits, Money Management, Confidence in meeting with professionals, Mental health, Diagnosis and more

The following organisations are providing courses on line as e--learning, webinars and live virtual workshops. Numbers in most have been limited to ensure that people still have the chance to interact and ask questions.

Reaching Families

Mind workshops and online training

Contact

Useful Information

Activities and play schemes for children West Sussex County Council fund different organisations to run activities for children which they call Short Breaks. The activities help them to develop confidence, socialise, build skills for independence and have fun. Some activities don’t require the parent or carer to stay which allows them a short break from caring for their child.

West Sussex SEND Short Breaks have put together a simple and easy to use COVID 19 Short Breaks site. This link takes you to resources you may find useful for learning, summer holiday ideas, support and advice and exercise, as well as support for you.

West Sussex Parent Carers Forum Run by parents for parents. Parents can call or e-mail for advice and information around caring for a child with a disability. Web site provides information about Events, Workshops, Training, Campaigns and Support groups across the county. Very active Facebook page/Twitter advertises Events and allows parents to ask questions, swap ideas and support each other.

Aspens (formerly Autism Sussex) Advice line, 1 – 1 behaviour clinics, Workshops, Training and Support groups for parents; 1-1 support and group activities for children and young people with ASC, Support for Siblings. Aspens are currently offering a 30 minute virtual family support clinics.

The Challenging Behaviour foundation Charity for people with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges.

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