Independent Supporters help families who have a child or young person with a disability or special educational needs, whilst they have an assessment of what extra help is needed. This used to be known as ‘being statemented’, but on 1 September 2014 ‘Statements’ were replaced by a new type of assessment called Education Health and Care Plans (EHC Plan).
The government created the role of Independent Supporters to help families going through this new assessment process, from request, through appraisal of whether an EHC Plan would help, up to the agreement of the EHC Plan. The amount of support given will depend on each family’s circumstances.
The views of the child or young person who is going to benefit from the ECH Plan are also very important. An essential part of the role of an Independent Supporter is to make sure that the EHC Plan respects and reflects what they want for their future.
Herefordshire Carers Support wanted to deliver Independent Support services in Herefordshire because it complements our existing Information, Support and Advice services, which we offer to around 800 Parent Carers who are already registered with HCS. We also have a strong track record of working in partnership with key service providers.
HCS has recruited a dedicated coordinator to manage the new team of Independent Supporters who have all completed a nationally accredited, specialist training course. Existing HCS staff have also been trained so that they can give the right advice to families over the phone.
Independent Support and the EHC Plan were only introduced on 1 September 2014. It will take time for everyone to get used to how the new system works. We will be adding information to our website as the new ways of working evolve.
In the meantime, the following flow charts might help you to understand the new process and the support available –
Other sources of information include –
For information about being a Carer, employing a PA, status issues, and other tax matters click here
To access a guide for parents and carers about special educational needs and disability click here
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