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Support Policy

Families InFocus (Essex) support agreement

This agreement sets out the type of support that Families InFocus (Essex) can provide you with.

We support families, parents and carers with many issues that you will come across if you have a child or young person (aged 0 – 25) with any kind of special educational need or disability (SEND).

Our support is provided mostly by a small team of Family Support Advisors (FSAs), and it is free to access.

Things we can help you with are

Benefits forms – including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Family Fund, Employment and Support Allowance/Carers Allowance. This support might be at a one to one appointment, or a group workshop.

Education – One Plan meetings (SEN support), Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) One Planning, EHC Needs Assessment requests, Team around the Family meetings, Annual Reviews, education appeals (such as refusal to assess, school placement, the contents of an EHCP, refusal to issue a plan, or ceasing to maintain a plan)

Transport – signpost to SENTAS, or can support with appeal letter

Social Care – advice re Disabled Facilities Grant for adaptations, support at Child In Need or Child Protection meetings

Early Support – Team Around the Family meetings, referrals from Health

Housing – signpost and refer to Housing associations

Emotional support – we can provide a listening ear.

There are some things that we cannot support you with, but we will try and refer you on to organisations who can help

Direct support for children and young people (mental health, behaviour, therapies etc.)

Respite (we do have a weekly activity club that families can attend together – more details can be found on our Facebook page)

Advocacy service

Benefit renewals – we do not usually support with renewals, although we will in certain circumstances – please contact our helpline for more information.

Benefits appeals – we usually only support with appeals where we have supported with the original application

Visit at home to work directly with child or parent

Accompanying you on visits to health professionals i.e. paediatrician, GP, therapists

What you can expect from us

You will usually have allocated FSA, who will work with you throughout the time you are supported by us. There will be times however when your FSA will change, and we will try and notify you about that in advance if you are receiving support from us at the time of the change.

We will keep your information confidential.

We will not talk to other organisations about you unless you have given us permission to (other than in very limited circumstances).

You can ask to see the information we hold about you at any time.

Opportunities to give us feedback about our service.

What we ask of you

If you cannot make an appointment, please try and give us 24 hours’ notice (or longer, if possible).

Keep copies of forms and paperwork (we do not keep copies once a piece of work has finished).


Families InFocus (Essex) will not tolerate any rude or abusive behaviour towards our staff or volunteers. We will end support where staff are subject to rude or abusive behaviour.

We recognise that things can feel fraught and difficult at times when families are trying to get the right support for their child. However, we also expect that when we support families, parents and carers at meetings, that their behaviour is calm and professional. We may stop supporting families if they continue to be rude or abusive towards other parties at meetings.

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