If your child requires more care from you than other children of the same age and they are likely to need you to care for them for the rest of their lives, you are probably a parent carer.
Your child may have a physical disability, autism, a hearing impairment, learning difficulties or complex health needs.
A parent carer caring for a child, whether under or over 18 years, can access our services. If you call and register with us on 0800 181 4118, these services may include (depending on your situation):
- Our carer cafes & support groups. We have a monthly group for parent carers in Devizes. Find out when they take place here; https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/. Our virtual evening parent carer group runs on the first Wednesday of every month, 7.30-8.30pm. Please feel free to drop in at any point. If you’d like to receive the link for this please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Access to speakers who attend our support group most months from various support organisations around Wiltshire
- Through our internal grants process we are able to offer parents access to services, including ones to support wellbeing
- Signposting to other useful support agencies, including the Carers Project at Citizens’ Advice Bureau who may be able to offer you advice around benefits that you are eligible for
- Information about services for young carers aged 5 – 18
- Transition assessments for carers of children who are turning 18
- If you care for a child over the age of 18, we can advise you about the support you could access
Other services that may help
- If you are concerned about your child’s education health or care needs, you can find out more information by contacting the early help advice team at Wiltshire Council: 0300 456 0108 or visit Wiltshire Local Officer’s website; http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/local-offer. You can also contact the Wiltshire SENDIASS (https://www.kids.org.uk/wisa) team on 01225 255266, who can provide support with EHCP’s and school related issues.
Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC)
The WPCC is a consultation and participation service for parent carers that works alongside Wiltshire Council, the NHS, and other services, to help shape better services for young people, aged 0-25 years with special education needs (SEN) and/ or disabilities. The services they offer include:
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Service (SENDIS). This is a ‘one-stop’ shop which offers a wealth of information as well as signposting users to specialist services which support families raising a child with SEN and/or disabilities. You can find more information on the WPCC website; http://www.wiltshireparentcarercouncil.co.uk/en/Home_Page
- SENDIS Outreach Service which works 1-2-1 with parent carers who would normally find it difficult to access WPCC support by telephone or internet
Contacting Wiltshire Parent Carer Council
You can contact them by emailing email@example.com or by calling them on 01225 764647 (option 1).
Council for Disabled Children
The Council for Disabled Children (https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/) has information and advice for parents of disabled children and those with special educational needs.
This WPCC booklet is for those caring for someone aged 0-25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities; https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/app/uploads/2021/10/WPCC-Booklet-8PP-2017.pdf.
This Home Start guide aims to support and friendship for families; https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/app/uploads/2021/10/Home-Start-guide.pdf.
The Family Fund supports families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people. As well as grants, there are other ways that Family Fund can support you, including help with money and benefits; https://www.familyfund.org.uk/family-fund-support.
Carers Trust has help and advice on their website, including about how carers can access grants and discounts; https://carers.org/grants-and-discounts/introduction.
Great Western Hospital ‘Little Journey’ app – for if your child is having an operation at GWH
They also use the Little Journey app for younger patients who are coming into hospital for an operation. Little Journey is a digital eSupport platform that psychologically prepares, informs and supports children and family before, during and after healthcare procedures, all from the comfort and safety of their own home. It includes virtual tours of the children’s ward, theatres and recovery areas for children to watch, interactive games and relaxation and breathing animations.
The app is bespoke to Great Western Hospitals, designed to support children with additional needs such as autism or ADHD, and can be translated into 16 different languages. Children being booked in for surgery will be provided with a QR code on their booking letter to take them directly to the app. Or you can download it by searching for the Little Journey app and selecting Great Western Hospitals.
Family Connections free courses
Do you have a loved one troubled by intense emotions they can’t control or regulate?
Does your loved one self harm, become suicidal, lash out or use alcohol or drugs because of the intensity of their emotions?
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) is providing Family Connections courses that might be helpful for you. Family Connections is a ‘carers course’ for those that have a relative or friend who is a former or current AWP service user and has:
- intense and volatile emotions (such as shame, anger, sadness and anxiety)
- chaotic relationships
- fear of abandonment
- impulsivity and/or engages in self-harm or suicidal behaviour
Family Connections courses have a good evidence base in relieving the burden of caregiving for those with a relative experiencing the difficulties noted above. It has been developed and promoted by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD). You can find out more on their website; https://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/.
Family Connections is designed to help you have a better understanding of your loved-one’s experience and behaviour and, most importantly, to develop skills to improve your own well-being in a supportive peer environment.
The course consists of twelve, 2-hour, weekly classes delivered through video conferencing. The courses are led by mental health clinicians, who have specialist skills and knowledge in working with people troubled by emotion intensity, and carers, who themselves have attended Family Connections. All AWP Family Connections course leaders have completed NEABPD approved training in leading Family Connections courses.
For more information or to sign up for Family Connections, contact AWP’s Wiltshire Psychological Therapies Service, Tel: 01722 820121