The law for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities has recently changed under the Children and Families Act (2014).  Under this new act statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments (LDA’s), will gradually be transferred to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans.  

During the transitional period of the implementation of EHC Plans, the government has commissioned voluntary and private sector organisations to recruit Independent Supporters to help parents and young people understand, be supported and feel confident throughout these changes.

The Independent Supporters Project is a new impartial free service, working in partnership with Local Authorities, Parent Partnership Services and Parent Carer Forums.  KIDS is providing the Independent Supporters Service in Bath & North East Somerset.

How does the service work?

Our Independent Supporters are trained to help families and young people through the new Education, Health and Care Plan assessment, planning and development process. Our approach is to provide support which is flexible to meet your family’s individual needs this includes offering advice on the telephone, face to face meetings, including home visits, and joining you in attending meetings in schools or with other professionals.   

Our Independent Supporters will:

  • Listen to you and your child/young person
  • Meet with you to explain the new process, find out what’s working well and what you might like to work better
  • Help to start thinking about your aspirations for your child and what’s important for the future
  • Support during meetings
  • Help to make sure you and your child’s views are heard and understood by all involved
  • Work with professionals to help gather any information relevant for the assessment
  • Help to explain professional reports and recommendations
  • Help with any paperwork, including the draft Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Help parents and/or young people to understand local referral processes for services and the local offer
  • Support young people who are in further education with a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) transferring  to an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Provide information and guidance on Personal Budgets

Who is the service for?

  • Families of disabled children transferring from a statement of SEN to an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Families who have been assessed as eligible to receive an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • Young people with a Learning Disability Assessment (LDA) who will be transferring to an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Plan – young people 16-25 can access the service in their own right or with the support of their parents.

What are the benefits of using the Independent Supporters Service?

It will help parents and young people to understand, be supported and feel confident during the transitional period of Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessments and plans.

When is it available?

Day Term-Time School Holidays
Monday 09.00-17.00 09.00-17.00
Tuesday 09.00-17.00 09.00-17.00
Wednesday 09.00-17.00 09.00-17.00
Thursday 09.00-17.00 09.00-17.00
Friday 09.00-17.00  09.00-17.00
Saturday Closed Closed
Sunday Closed Closed

A meeting with an Independent Supporter can be arranged on an evening/weekend by prior arrangement.

How much does it cost?

This service is free.

How to access this service

KIDS operate an open referral system to this service.  Parents can ring or e-mail to make a referral into the service.


Karen MacVean

0117 947 6111

Acorn House, Kingswood Foundation Estate, Britannia Rd, Bristol, BS15 8DB

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