Croydon Support for Parent Carers
There are more than a million disabled children in the UK and in Croydon, there are nearly 2,500 children and young people with a statement of special needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
The Croydon Local Offer provides information on the whole range of services for children and young people with SEND and their families and carers who are living in Croydon.
Croydon Council's 0-25 SEND Social Care Service supports children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 and their families.
Children learn at different rates and in different ways, and some children may need additional support at school. Mainstream schools support children with a wide range of SEND, and it is important that your child is properly included and supported at school. If you think your child might have special educational needs, in the first instance you should contact the SEN co-ordinator or ‘SENCO' in your child’s school or nursery.
If the school can’t meet your child’s needs out of their own resources, your child may need an Education, Health and Care assessment. This is the first step towards assessing what support your child needs for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). An EHCP explains how the Local Authority will meet a child’s special educational needs. It should cover educational needs but also include relevant health and social care needs. As part of this process, you can also request for a personal budget to receive direct payments for education and health support. See: Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) | Croydon Council
We provide a fortnightly drop-in and monthly webinars on all aspects of EHCPs. You can contact our parent carer advice worker by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 8649 9339, option 1 (Tues-Fri only). See our diary for the latest dates.
In Croydon, KIDS (SENDIAS) provides free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support to parents of children with special educational needs and to young people aged between 16 and 25 with SEND. They run a drop-in service every Friday during term-time at the Carers Support Centre. Tel: 020 8663 5630/5631 or email: email@example.com
For families caring for children with more complex needs, you may receive more ongoing support from children’s social care. In Croydon, the 0-25 SEND Social Care Team supports children and young people with a permanent and substantial physical and/or learning disability. You can contact them on 020 8726 6400 and ask for an assessment of your child's needs and your needs as a family. Please bear in mind that having an assessment does not necessarily mean you will receive support services; you will only receive support if your child is assessed as having eligible needs.
All local authorities (councils) must offer a Short Breaks Statement for Disabled Children. Short breaks can include: after school clubs, holiday clubs, care for your child in the home during the day, overnight care and residential care. In Croydon, you may be able to access many short breaks, such as youth clubs, after school clubs and the annual summer scheme, without having an assessment. You can find information about Croydon short breaks on the Local Offer website or by contacting the 0-25 SEND Social Care Service on 020 8726 6400.
It’s important that disabled children are included as much as possible in mainstream leisure activities and clubs in their local community. However, there are also specialist activities and clubs available. Download our Leisure and Holidays factsheet for information about local leisure activities, holidays and financial help.
The benefits system can be complicated, but don’t let that put you off; there is support available to ensure you are claiming everything your family is entitled to. Our Money Matters factsheet has general information about benefits for carers as does our Money & Benefitsweb page. We also provide a weekly benefits advice and form-filling service over the phone, or in person at the Carers Support Centre. Please call our helpline on 020 8649 9339, option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment.
Benefits Check Tools
Entiltled to allows you to work out what you may be able to claim via a benefit calculator.
Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.
Contact has extensive information on their website about all aspects of benefits, tax credits and other financial support for parent carers.
Benefits for Children
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is under 16 and has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability. Contact has written a helpful guide to DLA for parents. For more information and to make a claim, see: Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children. If your child is awarded DLA, you may be eligible for Carer's Allowance. See: Carer's Allowance.
Grant Giving Organisations
There are numerous grant-giving and wish-making organisations that support carers, disabled people and those on a low income. See our factsheet Grantsfor a complete listing.
Parent carers come into contact with a variety of health professionals as part of their caring role. As well as providing medical services for the child these professionals can also be good sources of information, advice and support.
Crystal Children's Development Centre
Provides a range of specialist screening, assessments and treatment for children in Croydon. This includes audiology, medical services, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. Services will require a health professional (e.g. a GP) referral. Tel: 020 8274 6850 or see: Crystal Children's Development Centre | Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
Croydon Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Multi-disciplinary service for children and young people with a range of mental health issues and neurodevelopmental disorders. Support includes assessment, advice, treatment and training. Self referrals are accepted. Tel: 020 3228 0000 and see: Croydon CAMHS
Contact (formerly Contact a Family) is a national charity for families with disabled children. They provide information, advice and support to families, including a general helpline, education helpline, comprehensive information on their website and local parent support groups.
IPSEA is a national charity that provides free legally-based information, advice and casework support for children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers in England.
Special Needs Jungle offers parent led information and resources online.