Parents - Where to turn to for help

Being a parent is a tough job and with the added pressure of your child's additional needs it can at times seem overwhelming. If you need someone to talk to, below are some local and national places to go to when you need a helping hand.

We also hold a directory of local and national organisations and charities. If your child has been diagnosed or you are currently waiting for a diagnosis and would like to contact someone for information and advice you can use our search facility at the bottom of this page. If you can't find what you are looking for then please get in touch with the Local Area Teams Information Service (York FIS and the Information Service for Young People) and we will try and help you further.

Local support for parents:


  • Autism Drop In Would you like to meet other parents an carers of children and young people with autism? There is an autism drop in session at West Offices held once a month throughout the 2019/20 academic year.
    25TH MARCH 8:30-12:30
    29TH APRIL 8:30-12:30
    This decision has been made to ensure that you and the staff are kept as safe as possible. The autism team hope you can understand why this decision has been made.
  • York Family Information Service (FIS)
    The York Family Information Service is a free and impartial information service for mums, dads and carers of children and young people aged 0-19 (or up to 25 for disabled children)

  • Family Matters York is a small charity which cares about and supports families of all shapes and sizes. They provide parenting courses and Workshops for parents, to help improve their skills and confidence and, most importantly, improving their relationship with their child(ren). The courses cover a variety of topics including communication, boundary setting and anger management.

  • York Parent Carer Forum (YPCF) aims to enable disabled children and their families in York and the surrounding area to lead full and meaningful lives through seeking to improve services and by providing informal social support.
    York Parent Carer Forum - Contact information

    T: 07751 828369
    York Carers Centre is an independent body that helps unpaid carers in York find the support they need. Carers provide regular help to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour due to frailty, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.

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    York Carers Centre became an independent registered charity in 2009, after operating under the Yorkshire Primary Care Trust.
    A network member of the national Carers Trust, we work in partnership with carers, statutory and voluntary organisations to ensure carers, throughout York, have access to confidential information, advice and support. We work with carers to influence positive change in service delivery with local government, employers and health providers.

    York Carers Centre supports carers through three key areas:
    Young Adults (18 – 25)
    Young Carers (5 – 18)

  • York SEND Information, Advice and Support Service provide impartial support, advice and information for parents and carers of children with special educational needs. The service is free and can be provided over the telephone, at home visits or through support at school meetings.

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  • Lives Unlimited is a family and user led group supporting disabled people and families to be in control of their support including choosing a personal budget or direct payments to employ PAs (personal assistants).

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  • Lollipop

    Lollipop provides opportunities for parents/carers of deaf children and young people to get together in a relaxed atmosphere. Lollipop offer free activities for children and young people aged 0 – 25 who have any degree of deafness. Become a member of Lollipop for free and come along to Lollipop HQ, our monthly drop in session on the second Saturday of each month. We also organise monthly trips for each age group to theme parks, bowling, water parks, theatre shows, trampolining, go karting and more!

  • Lollipop Toddler group is a monthly toddler group for deaf toddlers and their parents/carers, run with staff from the Deaf and Hearing Support team.
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    The Island is a registered charity that has been operating since August 2007. It offers support to vulnerable 8 – 13 year-olds in York who are struggling to cope at home, at school, or in the wider community, or who are experiencing difficult transitions in their lives.

  • YADDA (York and District Dyslexia Association) is a volunteer support group for children, young people and families affected by dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Meares-Irlen and related specific learning difficulties.

  • York Inspirational Kids 

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  • York Down Syndrome Support Group 

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  • Autism Parent Drop-In Sessions Monthly drop-in sessions for parents and carers of children and young people with autism run by our Specialist Teaching Team.

  • York Tourette Support group is a peer run support group for adults and children with Tourette’s Syndrome or Tic Disorders and their families. We also welcome families who have not received an official diagnosis but suspect TS/TD and would like to learn more. We offer a supportive environment for members to share experiences and socialise.



National support for parents:

  • KIDS is a national charity who specialise in working with families of disabled children and young people in England.

  • Mencap provides information and advice to families who have children with a learning disability.

  • My Family Our Needs offers information for families, carers and practitioners supporting children and young adults with additional needs, from birth to 25. 

  • National Deaf Children's society is a charity dedicated to providing support, information and advice to deaf children and young deaf people their families and professionals working with them.
  • Parents 4 Parents exists to give parents peace of mind and support. They are a befriending service for when you are going through a difficult time at any stage of your child's development.

  • Scope is a disability charity that supports disabled individuals and their families. Scope run a Face 2 Face befriending service that is designed for parents of disabled children. Parents can talk to one another, offering emotional and practical support.

  • Special Kids in the UK is a member-based charity that brings people together by offering contact, friendship, information and support for families of young people with physical, learning and behavioural difficulties.

  • The Communication Trust brings together information about national organisations who aim to support children who have speech, language and communication difficulties.

  • National Autistic Society  The UK's largest provider of specialist autism services.  Information and services for autistic people, parents and carers and professionals.