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SENDIASS Southend
Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice & Support Service

Empowerment - How we deliver support

Criteria for face-to-face support

Attendance at community hubs and support at meetings in a range of settings (including but not limited to nurseries, schools, colleges), is determined by the needs and circumstances of the parent carer, child or young person and by the capacity of service.

Our Aim

  • All parent carers, children and young people will be made aware that the main purpose of the service is to support them to understand their rights, and empower them to have their views and wishes heard.
  • We are not an advocacy service and as we are impartial, we do not favour either side or have influence over the outcome of any meeting.
  • We prioritise direct work with young people.
  • Parent carers will in the first instance be provided with telephone/email advice and guidance to be able to access the information they need in order to represent themselves. This may include SENDIASS reviewing documents on parent carers or a young person’s behalf, either via email or hard copies and providing feedback and advice accordingly. We may signpost to other services.
  • We do not give priority to any particular impairment, disability or special educational need and we do not campaign for any particular approach to education.

Who may be offered face-to-face support?

  • Children and young people aged up to 25 with special educational needs or disability who approach the service directly, and who require support to take part in processes where their views should be taken into account.
  • Parents/carers who require additional support due to needs of their own.
  • Parents/carers, children and young people at review meetings where:
    The placement is at risk.
    It is a phased transfer and there is uncertainty regarding the next placement.
    The child or young person has multiple or complex needs and parents are struggling to engage support.
    It is a complex situation and an appeal to the SEND Tribunal Service is being considered.
  • Other situations as determined by and at the discretion of SENDIASS as warranting face to face support.

Home visits

Home visits will only be offered if:

  • There are extenuating circumstances and there will be another Local Authority Service such as Social Care attending the agreed meeting, and the parent carer has a physical disability which prevents them from leaving their home and it would be unsafe for them to do so.
  • Or, there is no other suitable alternative or accessible place to meet e.g. nursery, school, college, Local Authority building, library, coffee shop etc.

The purpose of this is not to be obstructive or make life more difficult for families, but to improve the efficiency of the SENDIAS Service and reduce the potential risks associated with lone-working.

This policy will be reviewed annually.