HPCI network update 30th March 21

We do hope that you and your family are able to get out and enjoy the sunshine and meet up outside with others this Easter. In this week’s update we have:

  1. Changes to the IAS services from HCC
  2. Shielding paused for Extremely Clinically Vulnerable
  3. New health guides from contact on hearing care, eye care and dental care
  4. Autism Education Trust free resources
  5. University of Birmingham research into wellbeing and mental health for young people with autism and their parents/carers.

Please note: There won’t be an update next week as I am taking some leave!

Changes to the Information, Advice and Support Offer for SEND Families

A review of how Herts County Council (HCC) offer information, advice and support (IAS) to families and young people about SEND has been ongoing since 2016 but is now coming to a close.  HPCI has been closely involved in the project over the last 5 years.
From the consultation held at the beginning of the review one clear message received from families was that they wanted a single point of contact for IAS.  HCC had commissioned two services, with overlapping offers, for IAS. One was KIDS Hubs and the other was SENDIASS (SEND Information, advice and support service). SENDIASS is a statutory service which means that HCC is legally required to have this.  KIDS Hubs was not a statutory service and the contract was coming to an end so after a further public consultation in 2020 and with the majority of those respondents in favour of the proposals, it was decided not to renew the KIDS Hub contract.

On March 31st the KIDS Hubs will close and will not be taking any further enquiries from families or professionals.  The funding is being transferred to SENDIASS and all the KIDS Hub staff have been offered a new position in SENDIASS.  This change enables HCC to offer the single access point that families had asked for and to enhance the offer from SENDIASS.

In the review a complete analysis was undertaken of all activity offered by KIDS Hubs.  All of the types of activity and support offered by KIDS Hubs will either be offered by SENDIASS or are available from other Hertfordshire organisations.
KIDS Hubs ran a toy and equipment library which was not funded by HCC.  This will now be offered through the SEND voluntary organisation SPACE and available county wide.  Email SPACE for details at lendingspace.herts@gmail.com

There is a blog on these changes on the SEND Local Offer which you may like to read.

SENDIASS offers confidential, accurate and impartial SEND information and advice across education, health and social care services including:

  • support for parents/carers to prepare for meetings;
  • help with completing forms
  • webinars offering information and guidance,
  • one to one virtual or telephone conversations
  • signposting to many helpful universal SEND services.
  • advice on resolving disagreements,

Contact SENDIASS via email: sendiass@hertfordshire.gov.uk or phone: 01992 555847

Shielding guidance paused for extremely clinically vulnerable children and young people.

The government has announced that shielding will end from 1st April.  There is an update on the SEND Local Offer for further information: SEND Local Offer Coronavirus updates page

New guides from Contact on accessing, preparing for and supporting your child with hearing care, eye care and dental care.

National Charity, Contact, has worked with parent carers and charities SeeAbility and the National Deaf Children’s Society on these 3 new guides for families.

Autism Education Trust Resources

AET is funded by the Department for Education and run by the National Autistic Society and Ambitious About Autism charities. The programme provides materials and training to support autistic children and young people up to the age of 25.

The Autism Education Trust, is aiming to support COVID-19 recovery by providing useful resources for education settings and home-schooling parents to help equip them to continue supporting the education of all children and young people.

University of Birmingham research project on wellbeing and mental health in autistic young people between the ages of 14-25 years.

University of Birmingham is inviting young people with autism who do not have an intellectual/learning disability to take part in the research which will involve completing an online survey.
They also want to hear about family wellbeing and so are also inviting parents/caregivers to take part.  Where the young person is under 16 then the parents must complete the parent survey before their child can participate.

Further information: Lucy Licence LAL277@student.bham.ac.uk or alternatively find the surveys:
Young person (14-25) HERE
Parent/carer     HERE