Go back a step


Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Looking for information on our new Transition Project? 

Scroll down right to the bottom of this page and click on the Going Forward - Preparing Parents for Transition Ribbon.

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. For details of  local groups in Scotland call our office on 0131 659 2930. 

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Call 0131 659 2930 or email scotland.office@contact.org.uk to find out more.

Partnerships, policy and research reports

We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to make sure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a wide range of research reports and are actively involved in several policy, parliamentary and advisory groups. We are also a committed member of the for Scotland's Disabled Children coalition.

We also have been involved in a wide range of research. Browse our research section for a full list of Scottish reports.

Contact acknowledges the support of the Scottish Government through the Children and Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund (core and project funding) and funding through The Robertsons Trust.

Getting It Right For Every Child is a national approach in Scotland aimed at supporting the wellbeing and improving outcomes for children and young people. Contact in Scotland works to the values and principles of GIRFEC.  

Contact are also guided by the principles of the National Parenting Strategy.

We aim to promote and protect the rights of children in Scotland as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Contact Scotland E-bulletin

We produce a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. September/October E-Bulletin.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.


Office address

Contact, Craigmillar Social Enterprise & Arts Centre, 11/20 Harewood Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4NT, 0131 659 2930, scotland.office@contact.org.uk

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email Susan for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email Donna for newsletter and information (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Susan Brogan; email Susan for volunteering opportunities with us (Tuesday).

Tracey Francis; email Tracey for information on the Preparing Parent Carers for Transition Project (Monday, Tuesday, half day Wednesday and Thursday)

News for Scotland

Stirlingshire - training in horticulture for young adults at Gartmore House, Stirlingshire

Green Routes is a social enterprise and charity established to provide high quality training and work experience in horticulture to young adults with additional support needs. This includes horticultural training, developing gardening, social skills and time management, with certification available up to and including Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Levels 1 & 2.

To find out more about the courses visit Green Routes or email info@greenroutes.org.uk

Help is at Hand for Parent Support Groups with queries on the General Data Protection Regulation

A helpline has been set up to help charities get ready for new data protection legislation.  The Information Commissioner's Office has launched an advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law, the General Data Protections Regulation.  Dial the helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option four to be diverted to staff who can offer support.

Going forward - Preparing parents for transition

Information, contact with other parents and transparency from professionals are the biggest stress busters as school leaving age approaches. That's the message from parents across Scotland who have attended the first series of workshops as part of our Going forward - Preparing parents for transition project.

From Inverness to the Borders, we brought together nearly 100 parents of young people aged 12 upwards to help them prepare for the journey to adulthood and to hear directly from them the questions, experiences and anxieties associated with a process that an estimated one in five* of Scotland's schoolchildren will have to navigate.

Their thoughts and suggestions will be central to a new resource developed by, with and for parents whose children are at this crucial stage for their lifelong development and wellbeing.

One huge plus has been seeing parents making connections among themselves, exchanging phone numbers and coming together to support one another. "Confidence grows over time," one told us. "No one feels like they've got it sorted at the beginning, but the more you try things and speak to people and ask questions the better you get."

Three more regional workshops are being planned for the new year - details will be on the Contact website as soon as possible www.contact.org.uk/Scotland. Over the next few months, we'll also be contacting the parents who registered to take part in the project by sharing their thoughts with us. It isn't too late to join in, so even if you can't attend a workshop, do get in touch - email tracey.francis@contact.org.uk for further details.

*The Salvesen Mindroom Centre estimates five children in every Scottish classroom has some form of disability or learning difficulty.

Extending Children's Rights - Guidance on assessment of capacity and wellbeing of children 12 years + in respect of additional support for learning by the Scottish Government

This consultation seeks views on the non-statutory guidance which has been developed in preparation for amendment to the Additional Support for Learning Act. The deadline for responses is 17 November 2017.

For more information visit Together or to respond to the consultation visit Scottish Government Supporting Learners.

Launch of 'Right Here, Right Now' campaign to incorporate the UNCRC

The Scottish Youth Parliament's (SYP) campaign, Right Here, Right Now, seeks to ensure the rights of young people living in Scotland are upheld, respected, and taken into account by decision-makers. As part of the campaign, SYP will be advocating for the legal incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law.

Find out more about Right Here, Right Now

A Night at the Zoo!

On the 18th August over 100 of our families joined Contact staff and volunteers for a unique free magical evening of fun and entertainment at Edinburgh Zoo.  Our partnership with the zoo enabled us to hold this special event in collaboration with 3 other charities to provide a memorable, fully accessible night in a supported environment.  Music, animal talks and tours, face painting, police, fire and ambulance sessions, dancing and games were just some of the attractions available. 

The evening provided an opportunity for families to meet up with others and as one parent said   "It was an opportunity to meet other families with complexities and be reminded that we are not alone..."

Read more about this special night in our Dreamnight Report.

New Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scheme launched

The new ILF scheme will be a broad, discretionary fund that will provide short term awards to support disabled people to live independently. In its first phase, the fund will focus on helping young disabled people between the ages of 16 and 21 to explore, plan and achieve a goal that they have identified at that important transitional stage in their lives 

ILF Scotland are currently looking at the application process, in co-production with young disabled people and other organisations, such as the Scottish Transitions Forum to identify what this will look like and how to make it as accessible as possible for any young disabled person who is eligible and who may want to apply when the scheme opens.   The new ILF scheme will be open to new applications towards the end of the year. You can find more details at ILF Scotland's website. 

The Contact Scotland September e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland September/October e-newsletter.

To sign up to receive the Contact Scotland e-bulletin just click on  subscribe now.

If you would like to share local information that would benefit other families, just email details to donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk.

Local events


Sense Scotland Transition 'Drop-in' Event

Saturday 13 January, 10am-2pm, TouchBase Ayrshire, 41 Princes Street, Ardrossan KA22 8DE

Hosted by Sense Scotland's One Giant Leap Ayrshire Programme this drop-in session is for parent carers of young people with additional support needs who are approaching leaving school. Focussing on Further Education, Health and Well-being, Money Matters, Human Rights & Equality, Assessment and Family Support. Staff from Contact will also be their to provide information on the day.
For further information call Yvonne Brotherhood on 01294 605617 or email oglayrshire@sensescotland.org.uk


Pamis Open Day - Getting it right for children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and their family carers

Wednesday 17 January, Room 2, Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road, Glasgow

The morning session (10.30-1.15) is for families and will cover topics including Self-Directed Support. In the afternoon families will be able to meet the PAMIS team and other professionals and organisations who can provide support including Contact. To book a place or find out more see PAMIS flyer  or email glasgow@pamis.org.uk.


Sense Scotland Transition 'Drop-in' Event

Saturday 20 January, 10am-2pm, Hillview Resource Centre, Reid Square, Dundee, DD3 6RP

Hosted by Sense Scotland's One Giant Leap Dundee Programme this drop-in session is for parent carers of young people with additional support needs who are approaching leaving school. Focussing on Further Education, Health and Well-being, Money Matters, Human Rights & Equality, Assessment and Family Support. Staff from Contact will also be their to provide information on the day.
For further information call Megan Milligan on 01382 834681or email ogldundee@sensescotland.org.uk


Sense Scotland Transition 'Drop-in' Event

Saturday 27 January, 10am-2pm, TouchBase Lanarkshire, 4 Leys Park, Burnbank, Hamilton, ML3 9EQ

Hosted by Sense Scotland's One Giant Leap Lanarkshire Programme this drop-in session is for parent carers of young people with additional support needs who are approaching leaving school. Focussing on Further Education, Health and Well-being, Money Matters, Human Rights & Equality, Assessment and Family Support. Staff from Contact will also be their to provide information on the day.
For further information call Nicola Blackett on 01698 422280 or email ogllanarkshire@sensescotland.org.uk

Perth and Edinburgh

Power of Attorney Seminar - you have been appointed Attorney - what now?

Thursday 8 February, 5.30-8pm, The Black watch Museum, Perth

Thursday 22 February, 5.30-8pm, 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh

Find out more about Power of Attorney and the role of the Attorney at these free evening seminars presented by Gillespie Macandrew LLP. Their team of solicitors will also be on hand to answer any questions you might have. Refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP stating which seminar you would like to attend, by Monday 22nd January to Megan McConnell, 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 8EJ or email megan.mcconnell@gillespiemacandrew.co.uk


Autism Spectrum Disorder Workshops - Fife

ENABLE Scotland (Fife Services), FLEXSPACE, John Smith Business Park, 1 Begg Road, Kirkcaldy, 10am -12.30pm

A series of workshops in February and March for parent carers facilitated by Tina Hedges (www.transitions-in-autism.co.uk) focussing on:-

What is Autism? - 30th January

Communication - 6th February

Play and Intensive Interaction - 13th February

Food - 20th February

Toileting - 27th February

Friendships - 6th March

Promoting Independence - 13th March

Places are limited. For information and booking Telephone Enable on 01592 659295 or email sarah.cierans@enable.org.uk


A Parents Guide to Additional Support Needs,

Thursday, 8 February, 10am-1pm, Mercure Inverness Hotel, Church Street, Inverness

Falkland House School, one of Scotland's leading schools for boys with additional support needs, invites you to a free morning seminar which will address the legal rights of young people with additional support needs.
Looking at a wide range of issues, from rights to assesssment and placement based on current legislation, this is a great opportunity to find out more about additional support needs law, equality law in education and the rights of the child. 

Guest speaker and independent education law consultant Iain Nisbet will cover parental rights and children's rights; rights to assessment; rights to support and school placement rights.  For more information or to register your attendance visit Eventbrite or email jordan.ferguson@orbit.scot 


Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Workshop for Parents/Carers

Monday 12 and 19 February, 9.30am-12.30pm, ENABLE Scotland (Fife Services), FLEXSPACE, John Smith Business Park, 1 Begg Road, Kirkcaldy 

PBS is a way of supporting people whose behaviour is seen as challenging. PBS helps people think about the way they support someone, and how they can give the person the right support
The workshop consists of 2 x 3hr sessions, you need to be able to attend both to benefit from this training.

Places are limited, for further info and booking please contact:
Sarah Cierans: 07889456725/ 01592 647712 or email sarah.cierans@enable.org.uk

Parent support group events

If you are a parent who runs a support group in Scotland or are considering starting a local group and would like information to help you get going then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can join our Local Group Network and we can provide you with factsheets, newsletters and respond to your group enquiries or you can contact us about holding an information event in your area. Just email Donna for further information at scotland.office@contact.org.uk


Volunteering for Contact 

  • Our volunteers have a defined place in the structure of the organisation and are treated equally within Contact 
  • We recognise the individual skills each person brings to the organisation.  We encourage volunteers to develop and build on existing skills and knowledge.
  • We endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
  • We recognise the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.

Would you like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland? 

My name is Susan Brogan and I am the volunteer coordinator at Contact in Scotland. We currently have a volunteer helping at our office, a local volunteer in Fife, raising awareness of the work we do, and five National Council members.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and are currently seeking volunteers for the following roles:

Parent/carer volunteer 

We value the knowledge and experience a parent carer has and would love to have your help in shaping our information service for families with disabled children in Scotland.

This could involve sharing your views and ideas when we are putting together our publications andfactsheets, raising awareness of our service in your local community, helping at information stands or being part of a parent carer focus group. We also actively seek to involve parent carers on our National Council, which may be something you would be interested in.

National Council volunteer

The role of the National Council Member is to advise and support Contact's work in Scotland. We would love to hear from parents or professionals who may be interested in joining our current members.

If you would like find out more about one of the above roles or explore other possibilities for volunteering, I would be happy to chat to you. Please note I only work one day a week, but if you leave your details I will get back in touch with you. You can contact me on 0131 659 2931 or email susan.brogan@contact.org.uk  


Going forward - Preparing Parents for Transition

New Transition Fund now open for applications

Applications are being invited NOW to the new £5m ILF Transition Fund, to help young people with disabilities become more independent and spend more time with other people.

Grants are a maximum of £7500 for up to a year to help young people aged 16-21 take part in activities of their choice. Suggestions include driving lessons or travel training, art/music lessons or joining a club - but anything that matches the Fund's aims will be considered.

Young people must be between 15 and 21 years of age; have lived in Scotland for the last 6 months; have proof of disability or impairment; have less than £26,250 of personal savings; and receive little or no support from social work services or through self directed support. Grants cannot be used for things another organisation already funds, for example personal care or supervision.

For more details and to apply for a grant go to http://ilf.scot/transition-fund/ or call 0300 200 2022.

First transitions workshops take place

Parents Workshop Nov 2017

Future proofing for families through our autumn workshops

"Pure gold dust" was how one parent described the information on offer at one of our workshops this autumn - the first in our 2-year project Going Forward - preparing parents for transition.

It was great to have over 100 parents and carers register for events from Inverness to the Borders through October and November, and to work with local support groups CHIP+, PlayAlloa, the Galaxy Group, Signpost, the West Lothian Parent/Carer Alliance and B.A.N.G. (Borders Additional Needs Group).

A big thank you to our colleagues in Lead Scotland and solicitors Gillespie Macandrew for sharing your time and expertise!

We'll announce more workshops soon, plus a new date for the Perth event, which is being rescheduled.

Transition workshops now open for registration

Good news - booking is now open for the first regional workshops confirmed as part of the Preparing Parents for Transition project.

All the workshops are aimed at parents and carers of young people looking for more information about the process of transition and leaving school, and have been developed in partnership with local parent groups and support services so each one is as relevant as possible to local families.

Groups in each region chose their workshop topic from a list of possibilities, with most saying better awareness of the planning process and approaches to planning were key areas for parents.

The workshops are free, but numbers are limited. To reserve a space at whichever workshop is most convenient for you, go to http://goingforward.eventbrite.com. We've tried to make booking as straightforward as possible, but if you have any difficulty let us know by emailing tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

The confirmed workshops are:

  • Inverness (Monday 2 October) - Preparing for transition (this workshop is being run twice, as a daytime and evening session)
  • Alloa (Friday 6 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Inverurie (Wednesday 11 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Livingston (Monday 30 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Galashiels (Tuesday 7 November) - Powers of attorney and guardianship


Scotland transitions flyer

New project gets under way

Tracey Francis is now in place as Contact's new transitions officer, with the job of overseeing the new two-year project Preparing Parents for Transition, funded by the Scottish Government. Download the flyer for the project [PDF].

Over the summer, she will be contacting groups around Scotland to develop a series of information workshops for parents on key aspects of transitions planning and processes. She will also be putting everything in place to underpin a major consultation with families and young people, starting in September and running until December.

To be part of this, sign up now by contacting tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and you'll receive more information when everything's good to go. Or simply keep checking the website for the latest news and updates.

Scotland government logo

We acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government through a CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund grant.

Parent support groups

Welcome to our new Scotland Parent Support Group Information page!

Looking for information for your support group? This section is for you if you are a support group lead or involved in running a local parent support group in Scotland.

We work extensively with groups through our work, funded by the Robertson Trust, to build knowledge, information sharing and provide sources of support to help every group thrive. As well as our information on our main UK support group webpage here you will find more local news, training and funding information for you and your members in Scotland. 

Your comments, information and news are important to us so if you would like to share this with other groups in Scotland then please do email me at donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk and I will include your events and news.

Help is at Hand for Parent Support Groups with queries on the General Data Protection Regulation

A helpline has been set up to help charities get ready for new data protection legislation.  The Information Commissioner's Office has launched an advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law, the General Data Protections Regulation.  Dial the helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option four to be diverted to staff who can offer support.

Local Information

Aberdeenshire - Venue Space for Groups

The Inchgarth Centre is looking to support small organisations with free access to brand new cabins for those who find it difficult to pay to access space for their meetings and groups. This is for small organisations who are looking for weekly slots to run their meetings or activities.  Email inchgarthcc1@btinternet.com   or visit www.inchgarth.org for more details.


Remember, Contact has a list of small grant providers for parent carers from both national and local funders for many things such as equipment, bedding, holidays, clothing etc. - call 0131 659 2930 or 39 to obtain a copy.

2018 - Year of the Young People - Event Funding

Scotland's first ever Year of the Young People will be launched next year and in preparation there are a range of funding opportunities and marketing tools available in order to ensure young people are at the heart of planning and decision making. The supporters' toolkit provides young people with access to logos, messaging and a newsletter. In addition, young people (8-26) can apply for up to £1,000 of funding to run events in their local area as part of the 2018 celebrations. Events can be anything from film festivals to gigs, theatre and dance performances or fashion shows.  Deadline to apply is 22 January 2018.To find out more visit Young Scot YOYP 2018

Scottish Borders - Community Project Funding

Scottish Borders Council has allocated a total of £500,000 to the Localities Bid Fund for the purpose of piloting participatory budgeting across the Scottish Borders.

This fund will support community projects and initiatives using participatory budgeting (public voting). The fund's aim is to achieve local priorities and benefit communities, by supporting community groups to fund new ideas and projects which will improve the lives of people living in the Scottish Borders. 

The first release of the fund is open now and closes at 3pm on Friday 1 December.

Application forms and guidance are available from the Scottish Borders Council 


If you are looking for training or support to help you run your parent support group then don't hesitate to contact our Edinburgh office for more information. We will post training opportunities in this section starting in 2018.
















14 Nov evoc


Fundraising Nuts & Bolts: Applications (NEW for 2017)
Costs: Voluntary Organisations - £40.00
Private - £50.00

30 Nov EVOC


Working with Groups
Costs: Voluntary Organisations - £70.00
Private - £80.00

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Visit our online advice and support or read all about diagnosis.

You can also call us if you need information or advice on any aspect of caring for a disabled child. Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm.

0808 808 3555 or helpline@cafamily.org.uk