The Melting Pot
5 Rose Street
Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.
Transition Planning in Extraordinary
If you missed the live transition planning webinars for parents and carers held in July and August, you can still watch the recorded sessions from all six webinars.
The webinars, developed by 7 leading agencies including Contact, provides an overview of the key things to think about in transition preparation and planning for parents and carers of young people with additional support needs who are leaving or have just left school.The 6 webinars focus on:
Post school learning options and support (Lead Scotland)
Developing independent living skills (Differabled Scotland)
Guardianship and Powers of Attorney (Cairn Legal)
Applying to the Transition Fund (ILF Scotland)
Employment and Employability (Enable Scotland)
How Benefits change at 16 (Contact)
Wellbeing - Share your experience
We have regularly updated information on the coronavirus for families on our website which includes children with health needs and family finances. Share your experiences and challenges with us so we can provide the best information and support. Help to identify gaps in services so we can inform the Scottish Government. Let us know via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. For details of local groups in Scotland or to receive our latest support group e-bulletin call us on 07458046071.
We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Email email@example.com to find out more.
We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to ensure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a 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).
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). For an introduction to children's rights why not follow this Scottish Government 10 minute training course Introducing Childrens Rights to boost your knowledge.
We produce a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. Spring 2020 E-Bulletin is now out.
The Melting Pot
5 Rose Street
This guide is intended for anyone supporting autistic children and young people who are anxious about attending school, and their families. The information is useful to families looking for ways to understand why their child is anxious and think about approaches which might help.
The Anxiety Related Absence Guide is particularly relevant for individuals with existing anxiety related absence prior to COVID-19 and also where this is newly emerging.
The Accessible Travel Hub have produced handy information for those who can't wear a face covering. Using a face covering may not be possible for some disabled people or for people who need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading. You do not need to prove to anyone that you are exempt from wearing one, but if it would make you feel more confident in public you can print or download the face covering exemption card from the hub. Visit the Disability Equality Scotland Accessible Travel Hub https://accessibletravel.scot/face-mask-exemption-not-ever…/ for more details.
Coronavirus Carer's Allowance Supplement payment will be
paid from Friday 26 June.
This one-off payment is in addition to the regular six monthly Carer's Allowance Supplement. As with the current supplement, carers will not need to do anything to get this extra payment as it will be paid automatically to people who were living in Scotland and in receipt of Carer's Allowance on 13 April 2020 eligibility date. Social Security Scotland will write to eligible carers in advance. For more details visit Social Security Scotland
Take a Break Scotland is Scotland's short break fund for disabled children and their families. It aims to provide families with their choice and opportunity to access a single or ongoing break from caring.
Take a Break grants enable families caring for a disabled or seriously ill child or young person to have the opportunity to choose how they would like to take a break, with a view to improving the quality of life, health and well-being of the whole family. Take a Break is due to open later in May, keep an eye on the Family Fund website and facebook page.
Coronavirus Carer's Allowance Supplement payment will be
paid from Friday 26 June.
This one-off payment is in addition to the regular six monthly Carer's Allowance Supplement. As with the current supplement, carers will not need to do anything to get this extra payment as it will be paid automatically to people who were living in Scotland and in receipt of Carer's Allowance on 13 April 2020 eligibility date. Social Security Scotland will write to eligible carers in advance. For more details visit Social Security Scotland https://tinyurl.com/y99w9olo
Access to Covid testing in Scotland has been widened and will now be determined via a prioritisation matrix for key workers that includes a broader range of private sector workers and essential services.Third Sector staff that can access testing:
More information is available Scottish Government Covid testing.
This link to the Scottish Commission for Learning
Disability takes you to a printable "postcard" for people and their
family/carers should they need to go to hospital.
Rights if you need to go to hospital during
The Scottish Commission for Learning Disabililty (SCLD) has been developing and collating easy read information about the coronavirus, including Scottish Government Guidance. You can access these resources at https://www.scld.org.uk/information-on-coronavirus/
A new national helpline has been established for those who
have a high risk of contracting Covid-19 and don't have a network
of support. The Scottish government are to provide essential
assistance to those who are over 70, disabled, require the support
of mental health services, are pregnant or receive a flu jab for
health reasons. You can ring the helpline service 0800 111 4000 or
Scottish Government Helpline for more detail.
The government has clarified social distancing guidance for people whose disability or a health need requires them to exercise more than once a day, this is also for disabled children. If your child has to take a specific form of exercise beyond the local area, it's ok for you to take them there. This might be, for example if your child has autism or learning disabilities. The government advises that such exercise is in line with a care plan. And of course, it is still important to follow social distancing rules keeping 2m away from other people. Read the full guidance on the UK Government website.
Advice for parents and carers on managing the impact of Covid-19 on their child's learning and family life is now available.
Following school closures, a new hub of information has been created on parentclub.scot covering health information, advice on how to talk about Covid-19 and ideas on helping children through this time.
In addition; councils and headteachers can also advise parents and carers on the continued provision of education and childcare for key workers.
The SCVO has compiled information for charities and groups on e mployment and HR including the job retention scheme, sickness and abscence and communication. In addition you can find out more about remote working for both staff and volunteers along with business continuity and risk.
If your child is struggling to sleep it can be exhausting for them and for the whole family. We recognise that disabled children can be more likely to experience problems with sleeping. Contact have listed a range of approaches to address sleep issues on our website including tips to help your child sleep along with our parent guide - Helping your Child Sleep.
If you need to speak to someone about your child's sleeping patterns then Sleep Scotland can help. They have a free advice and support helpline for parent carers of a child or young person aged 18months to 18 years living in Scotland. Telephone 0800 138 6565 to speak to an adviser or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Lines are open from Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.
Did you know that your local pharmacy does more than just making up prescriptions?
They also deliver NHS services that can be easier to use than making an appointment to see someone in your surgery - whether you have symptoms you would like checked out or need support with long-term medication.
Community Pharmacy Scotland have provided Contact with a handy information sheet to share with families on each of the services available. You can download the Community Pharmacy Services Information Sheet and follow the NHS Inform website links for more detail.
launched a new website to help carers and practitioners to access
up to date information on the short breaks services and support
they offer to carers in Edinburgh and Midlothian. Wee Breaks is as an online
tool to help carers explore the range of support and resources that
are available and enable individuals to identify, plan and achieve
the right break for them.
Last chance to share your views on Additional Support for
Learning (ASL). The Scottish Government review will consider a
number of aspects including how ASL works in practice, across early
learning and childcare centres, primary, secondary and special
schools (including enhanced provision, services and units) and the
quality of learning and support. Your feedback, along with views
from pupils and teachers, will be used to improve additional
support for learning (ASL) in classrooms Visit
ASL Review for more detail.
A public consultation has been launched on the proposed Members Bill, the Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions) (Scotland) Bill.
Developed by Johann Lamont MSP, with support from Camphill Scotland and Inclusion Scotland, the Bill will aim to ensure young disabled people are properly supported as they transition to adulthood.
Ms Lamont, and her colleagues involved in the development of the Bill are welcoming responses from members of the public as well as relevant organisations.
Those in favour are also being asked to write to their local MSP to support the Bill through to the next stage. The consultation closes on 22 January 2020.
Children Health Scotland have launched their new report at
the Scottish Parliament. The report makes a series of
recommendations for improving hospital treatment for children and
young people. These include improvement to facilities for young
people, access to education, and information for children and
families. View the full recommendations at
Children in Hospital
We have published our new Contact leaflet detailing how we can help families in Scotland. If you would like a few copies for your parent support group members then email Scotland.email@example.com.
Eligible families will start receiving this new benefit next year. The £10 a week payment for children aged 0-6 will be made to low income families with the first payments reaching families by Christmas 2020.
Read Inclusion Scotland's report on what matters to young disabled people, aged 16-30 and what they want changed. From experiencing bullying and isolation, challenges when moving from child to adult services or struggling with getting work -everyday barriers that stop them from living the lives they choose. Read more at Inclusion Scotland.
Many families with disabled children and young people
struggle to access activities for their children over the summer
holiday period. Given that almost a quarter of children in Scotland
are seen as having some form of additional support need, this
represents no small challenge.
Shared Care Scotland has recently commissioned Simon Jaquet Consultancy Services Ltd (SJCS) to undertake research to help better understand the scale, nature, and delivery of holiday activity provision for disabled children and young people across Scotland. In turn, this will support future efforts to improve the quality, choice, and availability of this provision.
Simon willl be seeking the views of disabled children and young people themselves; parents, siblings and carers; campaign groups and representative bodies; activity providers; local authorities; national organisations; and funders. The research will initially focus on the local authority areas of Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth & Kinross. To take part in local research activities, online survey or focus groups contact Simon Jaquet (Director SJCS) on 07789 658291 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Play for All is a new inclusive play programme which brings play ideas and resources direct to disabled children at home. Working with the family to support play over as many visits as required. focussing on all-family play from accessible household resources.
The programme is for children aged 0 to 13 with learning difficulty, physical disability, autism or hearing or visual impairments and families are welcome to self-refer. Children do not need to have received a formal diagnosis to take part and siblings are also welcome!
For further information please contact Play Midlothian or call 01875 820 889.
Flamingo (Flow of emergency admissions of children and young people to hospital). If you are a parent or carer and have a child aged 0-18 years old who has been sent to hospital as an emergency and allowed home on the same day you can help.
Rearchers from the Universities of Stirling, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Napier are looking for parents and carers of children to get involved. We want to make sure that our project deals with issues that are important to families and is carried out in a way that suits families and helps the team come up with ideas to improve hospital admissions and avoid any that are not needed.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience then please email Simita.Kumar@stir.ac.uk or by phone (call or text) on 07483 973320.
AbilityNet is a charity that provides free help with computers, tablets and smartphones to disabled people of all ages. You can book a session with a vetted ITCanHelp volunteer who can visit you at home and help you get the most out of your technology. Call the AbilityNet helpline on 0800 269 545 for more details.
Download Places to visit for fun, adventure and activities for this summer. (Information shared by parent groups).
Local information and useful links from our transitions workshops with Lead Scotland for parents in Highland, Aberdeenshire and Clackmannanshire. NB These were up to date when published, but please be aware services can change quickly. They may not be comprehensive and are not an endorsement of any service. Information shared at the workshop in West Lothian is available from Signpost at www.signpost-online.org.uk
The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net for people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants. This national scheme is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by all local councils.
Community Care Grants can be made to help families under exceptional pressure including at home if your childs health is at risk. Crisis Grants can help people facing a disaster or emergency including for food, essential heating costs and other expenses i.e travel costs if you have a child who is ill in hospital. It can also help if you're a grandparent or other relative who has taken over caring for a child, and you're waiting on a transfer of benefits.
You may be eligible to receive a grant if you are aged 16 or over and on a low income - this does not mean you need to be on benefits. To apply for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund please contact your local council. Please ensure you have your National Insurance number to hand
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.
For more details and to apply for a grant visit ILF Fund or call 0300 200 2022.
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.
Read the Contact a Family Scotland September 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 email@example.com.
If you are 16-26 and are not at College or in Full-time employment, then this course could be for you. Impact Arts' Creative Pathways is a creative employability programme aimed at young people who will be engaged full-time with Impact Arts' tutors over a 12 week period. The online programmes include: Visual Art, Creative Writing, Music and Digital Art.
The pathways aim to help young people cope with routine, build confidence, attain new skills and get back into work or education and gain a qualification (Impact Arts is SQA and Arts Award accredited). For more details visit https://www.impactarts.co.uk/content/join-a-project-creative-pathways/
Impact Arts also run a Cash back to the Future programme for young people throughout Central Scotland.
Aimed at 14-19 year olds, these virtual workshops offer free, safe and creative spaces for participants to be inventive and imaginative. No previous knowledge or skills are required and participants will be supported by fully trained artists, as well as a youth worker. https://www.impactarts.co.uk/content/our-work-young-holiday/
During this challenging time Shared Care Scotland understand that short breaks services are not running as normal, if at all. All over the world organisations are looking at how they can deliver things differently and there are some fantastic, creative examples of how this is happening. Shared Care Scotland have started to pull together a list of alternative 'short breaks' for these times. These include everything from online courses, virtual museums, exercise programmes, read-alongs, websites for children and young people, as well as support services that are delivering online. Take a look at the Shared Care Scotland list for ideas.
Penumbra has developed a new resource to help manage older children and young people nurture their mental health with practical exercises and tips. Penumbra Responding to Change - Managing your Wellbeing During Covid-19.
Mind Yer Time is designed by children and young people from the Children's Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament and has been created to support everyone who loves social media and screen time. With positive tips, stories and information for children and young people, to help use screen time positively! https://mindyertime.scot/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and if you w ould like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland then we would love to hear from you.
If you would like find out more or explore possibilities for volunteering then please email email@example.com or call 07458046071 to talk to a member of our team.
Developed with parents, for parents, it's a guide through the journey to adulthood for disabled young people in Scotland. Please share and help us make sure this essential information reaches as many parents as possible. www.talkingabouttomorrow.org.uk #TalkingAboutTomorrow
The UK and Scotland Government's emergency coronavirus legislation affects transition planning and practice for disabled young people. The Scottish Transitions Forum have produced a briefing to pull together the key actions relevant to transitions that affect education, social care and mental health services. To down load the briefing visit Scottish Transitions Paper
Enable Scotland are putting in place online transition support to young disabled people (and their parents) approaching transition from school in light of the COVID19 closures.
The Stepping Up schools team will offer support remotely
via a number of options (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp video, phone) and
are making their service available to a young person with an
additional support need in the senior phase of school ANYWHERE in
Scotland. Visit Stepping
Up Live for more information.
YOU is a new Self Directed Support advocacy/advice service for those with disabilities and parent carers. Your Options Understood (YOU) http://www.youroptionsunderstood.co.uk/about-us/4589490798 offers independent advice in Self Directed Support as well as training for support workers.
Tuesday 27 August, 9.30am Cantraybridge College, Inverness
Wednesday 25 September, 10am, The Richmond Fellowship, Dunfermline, Fife
Friday 22nd November, ARC Scotland, Dalkeith,
Hosted by Transitions Forum Scotland this course will inform and inspire you to develop approaches that enable young people (14 to 25 years) with additional needs to reach their potential in adult life. Drawing on the most up-to-date developments in legislation, research, practice, guidance and policy, you will explore opportunities to develop your practice and to influence others in this dynamic and rapidly developing sector.
The Scottish Transitions Forum are widely recognised as the experts in transitions and the body who are leading change locally and nationally. The course is co-facilitated by Alexander Warren from AJP dreams whose inspirational personal reflections will ensure your learning remains grounded in the experiences of young people and their families.
This session is for anyone who supports young people with additional support needs aged 14 - 25. This includes practitioners from health and social care, education, further education, voluntary sector, employability services, parents and carers.
To encourage improved understanding and collaboration
between different sectors, the programme will be delivered in a
small group of no more than 16
people who will be drawn from a range of professional
and personal backgrounds.
Cost £45 for parents and carers and lunch is included. For more information on this course or to register your interest please contact Rebecca on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 663 4444
My Support, My Choice is a joint research project from two independent charities Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) which looks to examine Service User experiences of Self-directed Support (SDS), you can read more information about the research questions here.
If you receive SDS or have been assessed for SDS in the last 12 months you can take part. We know that not everyone has the same experience when it comes to accessing Self-directed Support, but we have seen just how transformational it can be to the lives of service users and their families when it works well. We believe that reporting progress based on your experience is not only powerful but vital to improving SDS in the future. You can access the online survey here. All responses are anonymous.
If you have any questions about the research or would like to request a hard copy of the survey please contact the My Support, My Choice freephone support line on: 0800 1701 321 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-4.30pm).
Thinking about applying for the ILF Transition
To find out more about the fund and how it is helping
young people living with disabilities to become more independent
and involved in their communities, head over to: https://ilf.scot/transition-fund/what-is-it/
As more young people apply for the fund, ILF Scotland will be sharing stories about how young people are choosing to use the money they receive, and what difference it is making to their lives.
For more details and to apply for a grant visit http://ilf.scot/transition-fund/ or call 0300 200 2022.
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.
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 email@example.com and we'll do our best to help!
The confirmed workshops are:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll receive more information when everything's good to go. Or simply keep checking the website for the latest news and updates.
We acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government through a CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund grant.
Welcome to our 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 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 and via our Scotland Support Group E-bulletin, here you will find more local news, training and funding information for your group in Scotland.
Many parent support groups across Scotland are still providing support during the Covid-19 situation so if you are looking for a local group please do get in touch with us and we will help source one for you. Parent groups and local carers centres are being very creative about keeping in contact with families i.e. running live webinars, sharing experiences and connecting with each other by phone and online. Everyone needs a space to connect with others so please don't feel alone at this time - make that call or talk to Contact if you need some help 07458 046 071 (Monday to Wednesday) or email Scotland.email@example.com.
Autism Rocks Fife offers support, advice and services for children with autism in Fife. Youth groups, family days, drop-ins are just some of the activities provided. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tel 01592569438 for more information.
In response to the current situation, Sibs have now developed a short introductory online workshop for parents on the needs of siblings of disabled children. If your parent group or organisation would be interested in having this workshop delivered - get in touch at email@example.com to discuss.
Developed with parents, for parents, it's a guide through the journey to adulthood for disabled young people in Scotland. Please share with your group members and wider networks to ensure this essential information reaches as many parents as possible. www.talkingabouttomorrow.org.uk #TalkingAboutTomorrow"
This new programme, delivered by Family Fund Business Services, supports children and young people living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures. If you work directly with families as a parent support group lead you could register to become a referrer. To find out more visit Family Fund Services Emergency Essentials.
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.
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.
Your comments, information and news are important to us so if you would like to share this with other groups in Scotland or sign up to the Scotland Support Group e-bulletin then please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org