Useful Links

Useful Links

National Local
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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

CommonSENse, Harpenden

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

Riding for the Disabled Association

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

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.


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.

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).


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.


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.

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.


Whole School Send Leaflet

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.

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.

Apply for a grant

Parent Network (in partnership with Families in Focus)

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

Family and Childcare Trust

The Family and Childcare Trust has launched a set of free online resources aimed at parents who have children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and at organisations and professionals who work with families. These resources have been commissioned by the Department for Education.

Hertfordshire Additional Needs Database

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

HAND flyer


Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales that provides practical information and emotional support.

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.

Vista leaflet: A guide for parents and carers

National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) *PROFESSIONALS*

NASEN supports all education practitioners by providing relevant Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL), resources, advice, information and much more to enable staff to meet the needs of all pupils, including pupils with learning differences.

Harpenden Plus Schools’ Partnership

The Harpenden Plus team of School Family Workers offer free and confidential services to parents/cares of families of children who attend their partnership schools.  They will support families with any concerns being faced with your child at home or school.  They can offer anything from one conversation to a longer period of support, and also run various courses and workshops on a variety of topics.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation

The challenging behaviour foundation are a charity for people with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges. They provide information about challenging behaviour, run peer support groups for family carers and professionals, support families by phone or email and run workshops to reduce challenging behaviour.

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.

Families First Portal Postcard

Transition Information Network – Council for Disabled Children

The Transition Information Network is a source of information and good practice for disabled young people, families and professionals.

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.

Special Needs Jungle

Parent-led information, resources and informed opinion about children and young people aged 0-25.

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.

Hertfordshire Family Centre Service Leaflet

Family Centre Professionals

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

Hertfordshire Action on Disability

From driving assessments to finding the right mobility aids for daily living, they’re with you every step of the way to finding what’s right for you and your condition.

Youth Connections Hertfordshire

YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People is part of Hertfordshire County Council. YC Hertfordshire has a wide range of youth work projects across the county in which young people are encouraged to get involved.  Through these projects they meet new people, learn new skills and take part in challenging opportunities.  They are encouraged to develop their personal and social skills by taking part in activities including sports, drama, dance, music, workshops, outdoor education, DofE, forums, residentials and volunteering. YC Hertfordshire can help young people with the issues which are important to them such as jobs, careers and education, relationships, sexual health, confidence, self-esteem, substance misuse, staying safe, housing and independent living skills.

National Local
Autism Education Trust

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


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

National Autistic Society

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


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

PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome) Society

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

NAS Hertfordshire Branch

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

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.


ADHD Foundation Booklet: Information on ADHD for ADHD Clinics, School Nurses and GP Primary Care Settings


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.

Living with ADHD

Provides advice to teenagers living with ADHD and parents and teachers of children with ADHD.

Aspergers for Herts

Aspergers for Herts supports children, adults and family members affected by Asperger syndrome living in Hertfordshire.

Ambitious about Autism

Ambitious about Autism supports children and young people with autism. They run specialist education services and an award-winning employment programme. They also deliver training and consultancy to a wide range of organisations to improve awareness and understanding of autism.


National Local
Down’s Syndrome Association

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

Up on Downs

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

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.

Upwards with Downs

A registered Charity based in Harlow who offer support to adults and children with Down syndrome throughout Essex, Hertfordshire and adjoining counties.

Down’s Heart Group

A UK national charity offering support and information relating to heart conditions associated with Down’s Syndrome.

DS Achieve

A Hertfordshire-based organisation which works with children and young people with Down Syndrome and their families.

Down’s Syndrome Research

The UK’s only Down’s syndrome research charity. Click here for a link to their education pages.

Inclusively Down

Inclusively Down aims to support schools, settings, families and professionals to further develop their knowledge and skills to establish an inclusive learning environment, which meets the individual learning needs of children and young people with Down syndrome.


Inclusively Down Packages and Interventions

Inclusively Down Training Packages


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.


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

National Local
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.

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.

MindEd Hub

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

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.

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.

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.

Tourettes Action

Provides information and resources about tourette syndrome.

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.


Childline provides information and advice on a variety of topics including bullying, abuse, relationships, families, school and your feelings.

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.


Wellbeing team self-referral form

Young Minds

The UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.

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).hert


Mindful offers courses, corporate training, personal stories, news-you-can-use, practical advice, directories, and insights that speak to anyone from novice meditators looking for guidance to corporate managers exploring new ways to cultivate workplace engagement and fulfillment.


Provide one-to-one counselling for young people in Hertfordshire.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse offers telephone, email and website support. Cruse also provides training and consultancy for external organisations and for those who may encounter bereaved people in the course of their work.

CAHMS – Hertfordshire

The service provides interventions for moderate/severe emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents. Their teams also offer specialist interventions for other mental health difficulties including anorexia and schizophrenia.

Hope Again

Hope Again is the youth website of Cruse Bereavement Care. It is a safe place where you can learn from other young people how to cope with grief, and feel less alone.

Counselling Directory

The counselling directory provides support finding a counsellor or therapist.


Provides digital support for mental health and wellbeing.


BoingBoing provides opportunities to learn about resilience. They run regular Resilience Forums, develop Resilience Frameworks, books and other materials, and offer training and talks on resilient approaches to life’s challenges.

Time to Change

Time to change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.

National Local
Health for Kids!

An interactive website for young children and their parents.


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.

Health for Teens

Health advice aimed at young people aged 11 -19.

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.

Chat Health

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

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.

BeeZee Bodies

BeeZee bodies help people to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Courses are run by qualified nutritionists and all courses are free. A range of healthy lifestyle programmes are available to suit everybody.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Trust

Provides advice on issues related to alcohol abuse.


National Local
Dyslexia Action

Dyslexia Action are a national dyslexia charity with 40 years’ experience in providing support to people with literacy and numeracy difficulties, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

Dyslexia Herts

Dyslexia Herts provide advice and support to children, young people and adults with Dyslexia and other learning differences and their families.

British Dyslexia Association

The BDA has been the voice of dyslexic people since 1972. They are a membership organisation working to achieve a dyslexia-friendly society for all.

Herts Dyslexia

Herts Dyslexia provide support through meetings which are a good opportunity to share experiences for all dyslexics and for those who have an interest in dyslexia, and information – HDA can tell you where to go to get further advice on assessment and tuition and provide you with literature and information on dyslexia.

Dyslexia Action

Dyslexia Action is a leading provider of specialist teacher training/practitioner training and specialist teacher/practitioner assessor training.

The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust

The Trust aims to ensure that in order for children with Dyslexia SpLD to succeed in school there is: A focus on high quality teaching practices by all teacher; access to specialist teachers and resources; early intervention and early action for those at greatest risk of failing; acceptance of the importance of Dyslexia/SpLD as a major contributor to educational under achievement and a strong risk factor for limited life opportunities.

The Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education

ADSHE, The Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education, is the professional association of and for specialists who work in Higher Education. It was founded in 2001 and aims to promote and disseminate knowledge on all aspects of neuro-diverse teaching and learning in this context to promote inclusive learning environments.

The Dyslexia Guild

The Dyslexia Guild aims to promote discussion, information and research as well as keeping members informed of developments in the field through publication and distribution.

Dyspraxia Foundation

The Dyspraxia Foundation is committed to making the teaching and medical professions more aware of dyspraxia; and to spread understanding of how those who have the condition can be helped. It provides information and resources on dyspraxia and has a helpline.

Dyspraxia Foundation Youth

Dyspraxia Youth aims to provide support to young people (13-25 year olds) that have Dyspraxia/DCD across the UK. They aim to improve the amount of educational information provided to young people with Dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia UK

Dyspraxia UK provides assessments and diagnosis for children and adults, and is the UK specialist in this field of occupational therapy.

Movement Matters UK

Movement Matters is the UK umbrella organisation representing the major national groups concerned with children and adults with coordination difficulties, a condition called Developmental Coordination Disorder (or DCD) and sometimes referred to as ‘dyspraxia’.

Dyspraxic Teen Forum

An online website dedicated to Dyspraxic teenagers.

UK Safer Internet Centre:

Includes an awareness centre which provides advice and support to children and young people, parents and carers and schools and a helpline to support professionals working with children and young people with online safety issues and a hot line.

Childnet International:

Work directly with children and young people from the ages of 3 to 18 on a weekly basis, as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals, finding out about their real experiences online and the positive things they are doing, as well as sharing safety advice. They provide resources to equip people to staying safe online.


Are a charity which work to ensure children benefit from technology, free from harm.

National Bullying Helpline:

This is a nationally recognised advice centre. This helpline was founded in 2003 and was the very first UK helpline which provided assistance to individuals struggling with bullying issues, whatever the nature of the abuse. Today, the helpline is unique in that it is the only helpline of its kind, established by qualified employment law professionals, providing operational, timely, support to both adults and children – whether the bullying is in the home, the community, the playground, the workplace or on-line (ie: Cyberbullying).

Bullying UK:

Bullying UK is part of the charity ‘family lives’ and aims to provide advice to young people, parents and schools about bullying.

Anti-Bullying Alliance:

This is a coalition of organisations and individuals working to stop bullying and create safer online environments for children and young people.

The Cybersmile Foundation:

A registered charity in the U.K. – Cybersmile provides expert support, resources and consultancy to individuals, governments, corporations and educational institutions around the world.

Childline: Bullying and Cyberbullying:

Childline is a free, private and confidential service available to anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through.

Stop Bullying

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.


Carers Passport Request Form


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


Unique is a small charity supporting, informing and networking with families living with a Rare Chromosome Disorder or some Autosomal Dominant Single Gene Disorders associated with learning disability and developmental delay.

Useful Resources

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


Provision for SEND within DSPL7


Services, Organisations and Resource Information


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


SEND Telephone Advice Lines – includes key phone numbers for the EP service, Specialist Advisory teams, the Attendance team, SENDIASS and Kids Hub.


SEND Advice line for Parents & Carers – includes the EP contact line, SEND Specialist Advice and Support service contact lines, West team Attendance Duty and East team Attendance Duty.

To download a copy of the following links, please click here.