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Parent Carer Support

Being a parent of a child with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) can be very rewarding, but also can bring its challenges. To help you and make sure that you feel supported, within this section, you will find information regarding parent carer groups where you will be able to talk to others in similar situations, support services available in York, national support services and more.

Do you want to be a part of the York Parent Carer Forum? Join a range of families from York who are supporting us to make changes to services for children and young people with SEND in York.


Parent Carer Support Groups

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, click the link above and you will find some local and national places to go to when you need a helping hand.

For contact details of each group, click the name of each group and you will be redirected to either our directory or their own website.

York Inspirational Kids (YIKs)
YIKs is a group for parents/carers where they can interact with each other, ask questions and share information in a safe environment.
You can join their private Facebook group for more information and to interact with other parents/carers.

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

York Down Syndrome Support Group
YDSSG Is a support group for families in and around York who’s lives are enlivened by those with a little extra.

York Tourette Support Group
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.

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.

Club Wilber
Club Wilber provides a supportive environment and programme of activities for families of children with a visual impairment in Yorkshire.

Parent Carer Support Services in and around York

Support offered by teams or services at City of York Council.

Short Breaks - a service that support children and young people to experience things that other children do, at home and in their community
Short Breaks have two main aims:
To give parents or full time carers of disabled children and young people a break from their caring responsibilities.
To enable disabled children to have an active social life and join in with safe, fun and interesting activities


Early Help Team - City of York Council

Early Help is a way of describing the extra support a family can receive if they need it. Early help is all about providing the right support to children and families at the earliest possible time; it brings together workers who can support the whole family to try and improve things for everyone.

Early Help is a collaborative approach, and not just one service. It relies on local agencies working together effectively to support children and families; this includes identifying what support might be needed, and then working together to provide that support.

You can see information on how to access early help, by visiting the City of York Council Website

MASH (A single point of contact for all concerns about a child - your own child, or someone you know)

The MASH is a multi-agency team made up of representatives from a range of services, including Social Care, Early Help, Police and Health Professionals and is a single point of contact for all concerns about children. This partnership approach will make it easier to get children, young people and families to get the right level of support as quickly as possible.

Phone: 01904 551900
Post: MASH, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays contact the emergency duty team telephone: 01609 780780 When contacting by telephone, you will be presented with 3 options:

Option 1 – If you have an allocated social worker, or know the name of the social worker you want to speak to, please press 1.

Option 2 – If you would like to find out ways that you can access help for your own family, or if you would like advice about how to support a family you are working with, please press 2 to speak to Early Help.

Option 3 - If you have a safeguarding concern about a child and would like to speak to a social worker, please press 3.

Virtual Parent Group: Topic Talks
Topic discussions led by the Specialist Teaching Team for Autism via Zoom. Due to the nature of the ZOOM platform and confidentiality issues, we will be unable to discuss named children during this time.

You can view the session topics this term, and more information on how to book, by viewing the Specialist Teaching Team Support page.

Specialist Teaching Team for Autism Parent Support Phone Line

The Specialist Teaching Team Autism are offering parents/carers the opportunity to talk individually to a member of the team regarding general issues and concerns about children/young people with autism. 20 minutes is allocated per phone call.

You can view dates, times and information on how to book, by viewing the Specialist Teaching Team Support page.

Parent Carer Support Line (Run by the Educational Psychology Service at City of York Council)
A confidential telephone support service, staffed by Educational Psychologists, to talk through questions or concerns about children and young people’s wellbeing or learning.
Open to all parents/carers of children with additional needs or SEND, living in the City of York, and practitioners working with children who live in/attend an educational setting in York.

A message from the EP Team: Unfortunately, the EP Support Line is being temporarily paused during the spring term due to reduced capacity within the Educational Psychology Service. We are hoping to run the Support Line again from the summer term 2022. We will be in touch towards the end of the spring term to provide an update on when the Support Line will resume. 

York Family Information Service
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)

SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities Information and Advice Support Service) When you need help and impartial advice, SENDIASS can help.
SENDIASS 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.

Other support in and around York

Family Matters York
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 Carers Centre
York Carers Centre is a charity 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. One to one and group support and advice is provided, as well as Carers Assessments of Need. As well as supporting adults, there is a specialist young carer service for 5 to 18 year olds who have caring responsibilities at home, and a young adult service for 18 to 25 year olds.

If you care for another person, you can ask for an assessment of your needs to see if you’re eligible to receive support. You have a legal right to an assessment even if the person you care for refuses a community care assessment or services.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
PALS offers impartial advice and assistance to patients, their relatives, friends and carers.  We can listen to feedback (positive or negative), help you get answers to your questions and liaise on your behalf to help resolve any concerns about our Trust services.

The Island
Registered children's charity based in York. Providing mentoring programmes for vulnerable children and young people experiencing difficulties with their mental, emotional and/or social wellbeing. The Island's programmes have proven to enhance mentees confidence, self esteem and resilience levels so that they can take positive steps forward. The charity offers mentoring programmes for children and young people living in York between the ages of 8 and 18 and has supported over 3,000 local children in the city since the charity was founded in 2008.

Citizens Advice York
Citizens Advice York offer free, confidential and independent advice to everyone.            

National Support Services

Council for Disabled Children
Council For Disabled Children are an umbrella body for the disabled children's sector bringing together professionals, practitioners and policy-makers.

Foundation for people with learning disabilities

Look at how to change things that are not going well for people with learning disabilities and suggest ways to make them better.

They do this by, research, writing reports or guide books, advising organisations to help make them better (this is called evaluation).

Contact is a charity for families with disabled children. They support and bring families together and help them take action for others

ADHD Foundation
The ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity is an integrated health and education service offering a unique lifespan – strength based service, for the 1 in 5 people who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome.

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

Children’s Educational Advisory Service (CEAS)
CEAS provides advice, support and guidance regarding the educational well-being of the children and young people belonging to families in all 3 services and eligible MOD civilians who are based overseas. All advice given is professional, child-centred and focuses on the best interests of the individual.

National Deaf Children’s Society
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
Special Kids in the UK is a charity for families who have a child of any age with special needs.

Families who have children and young people with special needs often deal with similar challenges. They may have concerns about education, services, therapies, respite and other issues directly related to their child. Special Kids in the UK aim is to bring families together for friendship, to share information and to support one another.

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

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

Life Support (Keeping children safe, courses for parents, childcare and financial support)

Safeguarding Children – Do you have concerns about a child or young persons safety?
If you have a concern that a child is vulnerable or at risk of significant harm please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in York.

The MASH is a multi-agency team made up of representatives from a range of services, including Social Care, Early Help, Police and Health Professionals and is a single point of contact for all concerns about children. This partnership approach will make it easier to get children, young people and families to get the right level of support as quickly as possible.

Phone: 01904 551900
Post: MASH, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays contact the emergency duty team telephone: 01609 780780

Courses for parents
York learning provide a range of family learning courses and workshops

Financial Support
For information on grants, funding and other financial support available to families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, please follow the link to the Financial Support section of the Local Offer for SEND Website.


Childcare for children and young people with SEN and disabilities Using childcare can bring many benefits for children including their development, learning and play. For you as a parent using good quality childcare means you can work, train, or just have a break.The link above will take you to information regarding childcare such as accessing free childcare, the choices available and finding the right one for your child.

Prediagnosed Support

Your child and your family are entitled to support whether your child has a diagnosis or not, follow the link above which will take you to 'Contact' who will offer you information on the support which is available when your child does not have a diagnosis.