Parent carers

Families who have children with an additional support, disability or mental health problems needs often have to navigate education, health and social care and medical systems to get support.

Arranging for care and support services

Local Authorities have a duty to assess the needs of children with or affected by disability. The first step to getting support from health and social care is to contact Social Care Direct on 0131 200 2327 (Edinburgh) or the Children and Families Contact Centre on 0131 271 3860 (Midlothian).

Additional support for learning (ASL)

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 became active in 2005 introducing significant changes to current arrangements for school age children and young people who experience difficulties in learning.

Key requirements of the Act:

  • The term ‘additional support needs’ refers to the needs of all children who, for whatever reason, require additional support, short or long term, to help them make the most of their education.
  • A Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) is opened for children who have complex needs requiring multi agency intervention.
  • The local authority must provide a system for resolving disputes in relation to provision for additional support needs which parents and young people can access.
  • There is a nationally organised Tribunal to hear appeals relating to Co-ordinated Support Plans.

The act also gives parents rights including:

  • The right to request an assessment to determine if their child has additional support needs or requires an IEP(CSP).
  • Request a specific type of assessment (eg. medical).
  • Receive advice and information about their child’s support needs and a copy of any CSP.
  • Have their views sought and taken into account and noted in the CSP where there is one.
  • Request a specific school placement.
  • Access independent mediation services.
  • Access dispute resolution services
  • Appeal to an independent Tribunal in matters related to CSP.

ENQUIRE have useful information on their website about ASL. Visit the Enquire website or call 0345 123 2303.

Transition from Secondary School

Young people should be able to have their needs, abilities and aspirations recognised, understood and met within a supportive environment, which encourages them to progress.
Your local authority health and social care department can help you with:

  • Signposting
  • Post-school contacts and planning for the future
  • Exploring options and transition support and
  • Assessment and planning processes.

Parents can also access training courses which provide information and support to prepare for the transition from child to adult services – contact VOCAL on 0131 622 6666, visit the Carer Events website or contact Kindred on 0131 536 0583 for more details.

Young carers

If other children in the family spend a lot of time helping you care for their chronically sick or disabled sibling then they may benefit from contact with a young carers project.

For more details contact the Edinburgh Young Carers Project on 0131 475 2322 or visit the Edinburgh Young Carers Project website.

Guardianship, Power of Attorney and planning for the future

Planning for the future and assisting the person they care for to make decisions is an important consideration for many carers. See the Planning for the Future section for information on wills, trusts, guardianship and Power of Attorney.