09/11/2023 - Permalink

Views sought on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) the Information Advice and Support Service (IASS)

Related topics: Children's services

Families and professionals in Shropshire are being asked to give their views on the Shropshire Information Advice and Support Service (IASS) offered to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Citizens Advice Shropshire currently provide the Shropshire SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)  on behalf of Shropshire Council and NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Feedback from the survey will be used to help shape the service, which is due to be re-tendered (where bids will be invited from interested providers to deliver the service), from September 2024, when the current contract ends.

This survey is for:

  • parents/carers whose children have or may have an additional need or disability.
  • children and young people aged up to 25 years who have or may have an additional need or disability.
  • Practitioners that work with or on behalf of children and young people with SEND and their families.
  • people that have used the service and also for those that have not.

The service offers information, advice and support on a wide range of services for SEND children and young people from birth to 25 years and their parents, that empowers and gives them the confidence to resolve concerns and matters independently.  IASS also supports those unable to resolve concerns themselves.

The service provides:

  • Information and support around issues relating to education, health and social care provided by professionally trained staff. This includes SEN / disability law & national and local policy.
  • A listening ear to concerns, and explain options, rights and responsibilities.
  • Help with paperwork and preparation for meetings, including deciding what questions to ask and empowering those to share their views.
  • Signposting to additional local and national sources of information, including local parent support groups.
  • Support to resolve issues including any concerns and complaints, appeal decisions and support to develop good communication between individuals/families and services including schools, Shropshire Council and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System.
  • Individual casework where needed, including support to prepare for meetings, making the individuals/family contribution towards assessments for Education, Health and Care Plans and Annual Reviews.

Councillor Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Cabinet Member for Children and Education said:

“Children and their families should be at the heart of any decision made about their education and support.

“As a council we are committed to engaging with our SEND community to ensure that all services they receive, reflects the voices of children and young people with SEND and their families. Our IASS service is one of many services that we are currently reviewing and which we’ll be asking our SEND community for their views to ensure they continue to meet their needs.

“We want to hear from anyone that has had some experience of the SEND IASS service as well as those who have not used the service. This will help us better understand what is working well and what could be improved in the future to better meet people’s needs.

“I really want to encourage everyone to get involved and have your say.”

Gareth Robinson, Executive Director of Delivery and Transformation of NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said:

“Listening to the views and feedback of children and families means we can make better decisions about service changes.

“It helps us to understand people’s needs and develop solutions shaped by the information and insight they share.

“We want to hear from as many people as of possible to ensure that the service is right for our whole SEND community.”

All survey answers will be confidential and anonymised and will not affect any entitlement to other services.

The survey will take about 12 minutes to complete. To take part go to SEND Information, Advice and Support Services Survey | Shropshire Council

Deadline for responses is Wednesday 6 December.