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Many parent carers caring for a child/young person with additional needs are juggling lots of things at once and dealing with complex issues. Getting appropriate support and information for your child becomes your priority and in many cases your own wants and needs get lost and forgotten about – as individuals, couples and families.

On this page you'll find information on and links to local support services who can support you in your role as a parent carer.

Our Carer Aware e-learning course may also be of interest to you.  If you are a young carer, the Young Carer Aware e-learning course will be more suitable.

The Buzz Network - Short Breaks for families with disabled children

The Buzz Network is a service for parent carers of children with additional needs. Through signing up to the buzz network you can have access to:

- Short Breaks from caring for your child/young person (subject to eligibility)

- Specialist playschemes for your child/young person

- After school clubs / stay and play sessions

- Regular newsletters including information on events and activities in the City for families with disabled children/young people

- A personal liaison coordinator for support and advice.

Visit the Buzz Network page for eligibility criteria or phone them on 0800 169 8833 (freephone - call charges may vary on mobile networks)

Carers in Southampton - Support for parent carers

Carers in Southampton supports parent carers to look after their own health and wellbeing. The support from the service includes:

  • Help for carers to get in touch with the support and services they need
  • An opportunity for carers to get together
  • Keeping carers informed about relevant local events
  • Letting carers know what their rights and entitlements are
  • Enabling carers to have their say
  • Offering support when concerned about changes in the life of the person they care for
  • Helping carers draw up an 'emergency plan'
  • Offering support through a dedicated telephone helpline

Visit the Carers in Southampton website for further information or call them on 023 8058 2387.

Southampton Information, Advice and Support Service

The Information Advice and Support (IAS) Service (formerly known as Southampton Parent Partnership Service) is a contracted service with the Local Authority and is based at the Mencap Centre. This offers a free and impartial service to parents or carers living in Southampton whose children have special educational needs and disability.

The following service is provided:

  • IAS on subjects including local policy and practice, the Local Offer, personalisation, Personal Budgets, the law on SEN and disability, health and social care.
  • IAS through the EHC assessment and planning process.
  • A phone helpline.
  • Confidential and impartial IAS to young people (16+) on their own, if requested.
  • Individual casework, representation and support in preparing for and attending meetings.
  • Help in filling in forms and writing letters/reports.
  • Support on exclusions
  • Support in resolving disagreements, including mediation and tribunals.
  • Signposting to local or national sources of advice, information and support.
  • Links to local parent support groups and forums.

Visit the Southampton Information, Advice and Support Service website for further information or telephone the help desk on 023 8055 7607.

Southampton Parent Carer Forum

We are a friendly group of parent carers who have children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities aged 0-25 years.  We support and train parent carers to enable them to have input and be involved with shaping services alongside the professionals who provide health, education, adult and social services. Our shared mission is to improve and enhance the experiences and opportunities of children and young people with additional needs by enabling parents and carers to be heard and be at the heart of decisions about development and delivery of services in Southampton.  The forum will represent the views of the collective community and not an individual voice.  The role of the forum is not to advocate for individual families and will signpost to specialist services.

Southampton Parent Carer Forum

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