What are Information, Advice and Support Services? Are they different from Parent Partnership Services?
Who are these service for?
What kind of things can I get information, advice and support with?
My school or college is in a different local authority to where I live. Which service is the right one for me?
Can I contact the service myself or does an adult have to do it?
Do I have to bring an adult with me?
Can I bring someone else with me to meetings?
What is SEN and SEND?
What is an EHC plan?
What will it be like if I contact a service?
Will our meetings be private? Will they tell my family, carers, teachers or social worker what I have said?
What is mental capacity?
If I tell you my personal information, what will you do with it?
What should I do if I am not happy with a service?
Parent Partnership Services have changed. They have been given a different job and a new name. They are now called Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Services. In the past, these services gave advice to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs about education issues. Now these services give advice to parents, carers AND children and young people themselves. If you are disabled, or if you have special educational needs, these services will be able to help you.
Information and Advice Services are for disabled children and young people, or those with special educational needs. They are also for parents and carers of those children and young people.
If you are disabled, or if you have special educational needs, we can talk to you about issues to do with:
Education (for example, your school or college)
Health (for example, finding services in your local area, like physiotherapy)
Social care (for example, short breaks)
If there is something that we cannot help you with, we will always try to find someone else that can help.
Start with the IAS service in the local authority you live in.
You can contact your local service yourself. They might be able to give you some information, advice or support on the phone, or they might arrange to meet with you. If you want to ask someone else to contact the service for you, like a parent or carer, then that is ok too.
If you are 16 years old or older, then you can come on your own to a service, if you like. If you are younger than 16 years old, then you can still come to a service to get information, advice or support, but you might need an adult with you to help you make certain decisions about your education, health or social care.
You can visit the service on your own, or you can choose to bring someone like a parent, carer or advocate to support you. It’s up to you.
SEN means special educational needs. Children and young people have SEN if they find it more difficult to learn and they need special help in school or college.
SEND means special educational needs and disabilities. People have a disability if they have an impairment that makes it hard for them to do everyday things.
EHC means Education, Health and Care. The old name for this was a ‘Statement’. Children with special educational needs used to have Statements to explain what their educational needs were and how they could be supported. Now we have EHC plans. This means children and young people will have their educational needs, as well as their health and social care needs recorded to make sure everyone gets the support they need.
Staff in IAS Services are friendly and professional people, with lots of knowledge about your local area and how to help. It is their job to be impartial, which means they will give you honest, clear and professional information so you can make choices for yourself. They will not tell you what to do but they will help you to understand your choices and options. If you contact a service, they might be able to chat with you on the phone and give you the information or advice you need. If you go to visit your service, someone will meet with you and chat to you about what you need. You might need to make an appointment so call them first. They are there to listen and help you.
It is your right to get information, advice and support on your own, if you want. If you are 16 years or older you can also make your own decisions and you will be in charge of those decisions, unless you want help. Your meetings will be private, unless you give us permission to tell other people what we have talked about. The only time we will tell someone without your permission, is if we think someone is in danger of being hurt.
Mental capacity is when you have the ability to make a decision on your own. Someone might not have mental capacity if they are unwell or if they have a learning disability that stops them from understanding information or being able to make a decision. Not having mental capacity to make a decision does not mean you can’t have information, advice and support.
We will record your information on our computers. We work with lots of different people, so we need to keep track of who everyone is and what we talked about. The people in our office will see this, but we will keep it safe from anyone else. We will only share your information if you say it is ok, or if we think someone is in danger of being hurt.
If you feel unhappy with your local IAS Service, then try to talk to them about it and maybe they can sort the problem out. If you are still not happy then ask them about their complaints procedure.