Useful Links

Parent/Carer Support Groups & Information:


The Hertfordshire SEND Local Offer

Hertfordshire’s online, one stop shop of information, advice and guidance for children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND and their families.




Outreach provision can support schools and businesses with strategies, resources, advice and support to secure improved support for a child/young person/adult with SEND needs.





Add-vance support and empower adults, children and families with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related conditions in Hertfordshire





Angels offers friendship, support, sharing of ideas and advice from professionals.



NAS Hertfordshire Branch

NAS Hertfordshire Branch work supporting families & people living with autism. Harc is the Hertfordshire branch of the National Autistic Society



Up on Downs

Up on Downs is a parent run organisation which supports families of children with Down’s Syndrome.



CommonSENse, Harpenden

CommonSENse is a support group for parents or carers of Children with special needs offering practical advice and friendship.




Phoenix aims to empower young people up to the age of 25 who have a hearing impairment.



Kids Hub

The KIDS East and West HUBs offer information and support for parents and carers of disabled children and young people aged 0-19 in Hertfordshire.



Down’s Syndrome Association

DSA provides information, support and advice for those with Down’s Syndrome and their families.



Down Syndrome Education International

DSE International is a national resource for children, parents, carers, teachers and researchers. Devises programmes to encourage children to progress, provides parenting skills and undertakes research.



The Communication Trust

The Communication Trust supports everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication.




Afasic supports parents with children who have difficulties talking and understanding language.



Contact a Family

Contact is a charity which supports families with disabled children by providing guidance and information, and bringing families together to support each other. They help families to campaign, volunteer and fundraise to improve life for themselves and others.



Herts Parent Carer Involvement

HPCI are an independent parent carer led organisation with a network of parent carers from all over Hertfordshire. Our aim is to improve services for our families by working alongside those providing services for children and young people with SEND (Special educational needs and disabilities).




Independent Parental Special Education Advice is a registered charity which offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with SEND. They also provide training on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisations.




SOS!SEN is a national charity aiming to empower parents and carers of children with SEN to tackle successfully themselves the difficulties they face when battling for their children’s rights.




SENDIASS in Hertfordshire provides impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and young people and children with SEND.



Families in Focus

Families in Focus provides parenting courses that support parents in their local community to bring harmony, balance and enjoyment to family life. Free courses available across Hertfordshire.



Parent Network (in partnership with Families in Focus)

Support groups for parents caring for children with additional needs and disabilities.




PALMS are a family-led service working to understand and support the significant impact of challenges experienced by families of children and young people with learning disabilities and/or ASD.



Carers in Hertfordshire

Carers in Hertfordshire ensure all carers receive information, advice and support.  Enable carers to participate in service planning and decision making. A platform for the voice of carers.




Autism Education Trust

The purpose of the Autism Education Trust (AET) is to improve the education of children and young people with autism.



National Autistic Society

NAS Offers people with autism and Asperger Syndrome, their families and carers information, advice and support.



PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome) Society

PDA Society is a voice for PDA, running awareness campaigns and sharing information.



Hertfordshire Additional Needs Database

HAND provides news and information for parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs.





SPACE is a support group for parent/carers of children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related conditions.



The Counselling Foundation

The Counselling Foundation provides specialist counselling services including, bereavement, EMDR for trauma, couples counselling and counselling for Employees across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire from five easily accessible and BACP accredited centres.



Riding for the Disabled Association

RDA provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement for disabled children and adults.



Healthwatch Hertfordshire

Healthwatch Hertfordshire represents the views of people in Hertfordshire for health and social care services, listening to feedback from the public and using this evidence to focus on the important issues for people who use services.




Cerebra are a charity that aim to provide research-driven, high-quality health and social care advice and support for the families of children with brain conditions from birth to the age of 16.




Mencap are a charity that provide a range of services, from round-the-clock care to helping someone join in with local leisure activities, providing advice and information on things like employment and education, helping someone to live independently for the first time, and even things like reporting a crime to the police. They help in any area of a person’s life where they need support.




Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate.



Herts Sunflower

Offers information and advice to those who are being abused, or think they know someone who is, and support for children and young people.



Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline

A confidential, free, support and signposting service for anyone affected by Domestic Abuse. Their aim is to improve the lives of those affected by domestic abuse, including those seeking help to change their behaviour.



Contact a Family

Contact are a charity which support families providing guidance and information. They bring families together to support each other and help families to campaign, volunteer and fundraise to improve life for themselves and others.



The Communication Trust

The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations. Working together they support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication.



Step4 – Supporting teenage mental health

Stem4 is a charity that promotes positive mental health in teenagers and those who support them including their families and carers, education professionals, as well as school nurses and GPs through the provision of mental health education, resilience strategies and early intervention.



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.




St Albans Plus Schools’ Partnership (Vista)

The St Albans Plus team of School Family Workers in St Albans are there to support your child and to help remove barriers to their learning.  They are non-judgemental in their approach and can support you with: Routines and boundaries, Bullying and internet safety, Separation, Changing school/Transition, Communication with your teenager, Housing and benefit support, Rewards and sanctions – anger and behaviour management, and Supporting SEN.




Families First

Families First is the term used in Hertfordshire for services that work together to support families who need extra help. These are also known as early help services. We all experience difficulties at some point. Families First can help you find early help and information to prevent issues from getting worse. If you need more help than your usual support network – for example your health visitor, school, doctor or family centre – we can work with you and your family to create a package of support.




Health for Kids!

An interactive website for young children and their parents.



School Nursing

The School Nursing Service works together with children and young people their parents/carers and school staff, to provide a comprehensive efficient and accessible service which: Helps children keep healthy during their school days and for the rest of their lives; Prevents ill health in children and the local community; Supports children with medical needs and those needing medication; Ensures that educational potential is not hampered by unmet health needs and Monitors and supports families in relation to Hertfordshire Safeguarding Policies. Parents, teachers, GPs and other professionals can now refer a child to the School Nursing service via an online form.



Health for Teens

Health advice aimed at young people aged 11 -19.



Chat Health

Texting service for 11 – 19 year olds – confidential contact with a school nurse.



Play Skill

Playskill is a local charity that runs parent and child term-time groups for pre-school children with special physical needs. Groups are run by a skilled team, including a Paediatric Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language Therapist.



Whole School Send

The Whole School SEND Consortium brings together schools, organisations and individuals who are committed to ensuring that every child and young person with SEND can maximise their potential. By becoming a member of the Whole School SEND Community of Practice you can access free resources, useful research, and opportunities to participate (including fully-funded CPD training), that are shaped by those working in the sector, in partnership with families.




Family Centre Service

The family centre service can help before your baby’s born, right through to when they want to play and get messy. Anyone can come along, whether you’re coping fine or having a struggle. Pop in to a centre, get in contact or check out our parent’s survival kit for advice you can trust.



Family Centre Professionals

Resources, guidance and links that will help you in your day to day work.



NESSie (Supporting positive mental health in schools)

NESSie provides arts therapies and counselling to support the positive mental health and emotional well-being of children and young people educational settings across Hertfordshire and Essex.



The Wellbeing Team

The Wellbeing Service offers free and confidential talking therapy and practical support for Hertfordshire residents experiencing a wide range of mental health problems such as: worry, low mood, insomnia and stress. They also provide support for carers, people who are struggling with the reality of living with long term physical health conditions or who are experiencing low mood and anxiety during or after pregnancy.




Family Fund: Helping Disabled Children

Family fund help families across the UK who are raising a child or young person with a disability or a serious illness. Their grants for essential items help ease the additional pressures that families face and increase their quality of life.




Money Advice Unit

re DLA/Carers 0300 123 4040



MindEd Hub

MindEd is a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults.



No Panic

No Panic is a registered charity which helps people who suffer from Panic Attacks, Phobias, OCD and other related anxiety disorders. No Panic also provides support for the carers of people who suffer from anxiety disorders.



Family Lives

Family Lives is a charity with over three decades of experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life. Their role is to support parenting professionals.


  • Family lives helpline: Family Lives offers a confidential and free* helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). Please call us on 0808 800 2222 for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. Their helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • Family lives live chat: You can now chat online if you want to talk about an issue. They are open 1.30pm to 5.30pm every weekday (excluding bank holidays).



Hertfordshire Family Centre Service

Family Centres are there for help with all aspects of life; from raising healthy, happy children to supporting with problems at home. They offer both universal and targeted services. The Family Centre Service is there to offer advice and guidance or to support families during periods of difficulty. They offer targeted support through 1-1 and group packages of support, tailored to the needs of families.


Useful Resources

SEND Code of Practice – Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.


SEND Code of Practice – A guide for parents and carers – guidance for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 years who have SEN or a disability, describing how the new system that supports those with SEN is intended to work.


The Hertfordshire SEND Toolkit – guidance for anyone who has an interest in promoting the wellbeing and achievement of Hertfordshire’s children and young people with SEND.


BBC Children In Need Emergency Essentials Programme Leaflet – this programme supports children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances.


ISL Contacts – Integrated Services for Learning DSPL areas 7 (St Albans) and 8 (Dacorum)


Partnership Group List 2020


Provision for SEND within DSPL7


Hertfordshire’s Professional Promise – Hertfordshire’s promise for how children, young people & young adults with SEND and/or disabilities and their families should be treated.


Services, Organisations and Resource Information


Understanding childhood – provides downloadable information leaflets for families and childcare professionals to help raise emotionally secure children.