Note: The Independent Support programme was a government funded initiative aimed to support parents with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) during the transition to a new system of assessment and support, which came into force September 2014. The programme has been a time limited initiative and will finish on 31st July 2018.
Who is an Independent Supporter?
An Independent Supporter provides time limited impartial information and support to families and young people with special educational needs who are going through the process of developing an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.
An Independent Supporter is someone who has been appointed, supported and supervised by a local service provider or the Information, Advice and Support Service, both under contract with us. They would have completed accredited training provided by the Council for Disabled Children before offering impartial information and support to families and young people.
When can you use an Independent Supporter?
An Independent Supporter can support you at any stage of the EHC planning process.
What can an Independent Supporter do to help?
- Explain the EHC Assessment and how an EHC plan is developed
- Explain who does what and when
- Help you to recognise the difference between goals, aspirations and outcomes
- Help you to navigate the Local Offer found on the local authority website
- Ensure you have all the information you need to make a decision e.g. how to request a personal budget, how to choose a school or setting
- Provide impartial information and support for you to be confident to express your views
- Be a point of contact throughout the EHC Assessment, with your Key Worker if you wish
How does an Independent Supporter help?
- They make sure you have all the information you need for the EHC Assessment
- Help to produce your Family Journey and One Page Profile
- Help you prepare for and support you at meetings during the planning process
- Translate any jargon
- Review the proposed EHC plan with you
- Signpost to further advice and support such as the local Information, Advice and Support Service
What can’t an Independent Supporter do?
An Independent Supporter cannot prepare your EHC plan for you. They provide a guidance and support role to help you do this. Parents and young people who require additional support outside the remit of an Independent Supporter are referred to their local Information, Advice and Support Service.