We have a wide range of specialist services to meet the individual needs of every carer in Leeds and each month we shine the spotlight on one of our services. This month we’d like to tell you about our parent carer service.

Steph and Rachel

The parent carer service supports parents/family members caring for children aged 0-19 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It was established as a specialist service in Feb 2016 and team is Steph Ward and Rachel Court who job share the post.

We provide a range of services including emotional support, general advice, signposting to other agencies, assistance with claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) grant applications, support at meetings as well as running groups and events.

Over the past few months things have obviously changed in the way our services are delivered but we are adapting. Benefit forms have been successfully completed over the phone or via Zoom and parents have commented that they have often felt more empowered by doing it this way and confident to do it themselves in the future.

Our regular support group has changed too as it moved over to Zoom. These have proved popular and parents have attended who were previously unable to access the group we ran from the office. From next year we will be running a mixture of support groups and information groups on a regular basis.
Carers Leeds is also the main distribution point for Max cards which are always popular as with them families can get discounted or free entry to masses of venues locally and nationally.
We’re looking forward eventually to a time when we can run our popular family events such as the family fun day and Christmas party.

We work closely with a number of other service providers including SENDIASS, the various services offered by SCOPE, family support workers and are activity involved in the West Yorkshire Children with Additional Needs Network (WYCANN) which brings together charities and other organisations supporting families. We also work closely with other specialist services within Carers Leeds particularly advice line, the mental health and learning disabilities carer support services.

How can I get support?
If you are caring for a child with special educational needs or a disability and you want to access support, call our advice line on: 0113 380 4300 or email advice@carersleeds.org.uk.

If you are a professional and would like to make a referral, contact our advice line on: 0113 380 4300 or fill in this referral form.