About the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS)

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The current situation with regards to SEND IASS in light of the Government’s advice around COVID-19 is as follows;

First and foremost the service continues to operate in providing you with high-quality information, advice and support around SEND. We realise that this might be a very worrying time for all families, but rest assured that we will continue to be available to support in any way we can.

The service is currently operating slightly differently, in that staff are not carrying out their duties from Limbrick Wood Centre. We are still contactable via the normal phone number 024 7669 4307. If no-one answers, please leave your name and number and someone will come back to you as soon as possible – we aim to get back to you within two working days and this will continue to be our service standard. Please be aware that “unknown number” may be displayed when we call back.

Alternatively, you can contact us by email at [email protected].

In line with Government guidance, we will be attempting to support you in ways that don’t involve face to face meetings, or people having to travel to different locations. This will be done through a suitable communication method for you, and can be discussed with a staff member. Whilst we understand that many people find meeting with staff beneficial, we are confident that we can maintain a high level of service to you through alternative means. 
Please do not attend Limbrick Wood Centre without notifying us first – there is a strong possibility that there will be no-one in the office.

Unfortunately, we have also had to make the difficult decision to cancel existing face-to-face groups that we are running. This will mainly affect:

  • SENDIASS coffee morning (the Facebook group will continue to be available)
  • Woodfield group 
  • Drop-in sessions
  • AmbasSENDors/youth groups

These will be cancelled until further notice.

We will be trying to offer as many of these activities as possible virtually and will continue to update via our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and through our mailing list. If you do not subscribe to this currently, please contact us and we will be happy to add you. ([email protected])

Resources

Coventry Local Authority

Coventry City Council has a range of information and guidance with regards to support in the local area, including information about:

  • feeling ill
  • getting hold of supplies
  • keeping yourself happy at home
  • or communicating with others in your community,

Coventry's SEND Support services have also gathered together some useful resources and information for families. 

Government guidance, updated 5 March 2021

Vicki Ford, the Minister for Children and Families, has written an open letter to parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, their
families, and those who support them. It contains information about support available to children and young people as they return to educational settings.

There is a range of Government guidance relating to education, health, and care issues. 

The Department for Education has also put out a guidance document about COVID19 and education issues

Social stories

With the current situation with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, children and young people may have a range of questions or concerns about what is happening. A number of social stories have been put together to help children and young people understand more:

  • Coventry's Complex Communication Team (CCT) have shared one that is particularly useful for basic understanding of the virus, and ways for people to help themselves and others. 
  • For older children and young people (and adults), Carol Gray has also produced one about pandemics and Coronavirus aimed at reducing anxieties about the virus and things like school closures. 

General resources for children and young people

The Government has enlisted the support of both the Council for Disabled Children and Contact to update sources of information for families of children and young people with SEND. You can visit them at:

Other resources include:

Mental health and wellbeing

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a huge change in our lives and this can create a lot of uncertainty for people. In trying to support yourself and others at this time, there are lots of resources aimed at supporting positive mental health.

  • The Mental Health Foundation
  • Anna Freud Centre - have produced a range of leaflets, videos and links to support well being for children, young people, parents and anyone supporting them. Included in their links are Mind, Young Minds and Childline.

Family Fund

On 19 May 2020, the Government announced it was adding an additional £10m to the Family Fund to support low-income families of disabled or critically ill children who are staying at home more than usual during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Families can apply directly to the Family Fund, or can be supported by a professional, support worker/social worker to make an application. Applications can be made for grants, typically worth £400-500, to support families with things like the cost of equipment, goods or services - from computers, tablets, washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

More information and details of how to apply or see our factsheet.

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