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Contact a Family provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. We've gathered the details of some of these in your area. For the details of  local groups in Scotland call our office on 0131 659 2930. 

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Call 0131 659 2930 or email to find out more.

Partnerships, policy and research reports

We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to make sure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a wide range of research reports and are actively involved in several policy, parliamentary and advisory groups. We are also a committed member of the for Scotland's Disabled Children coalition.

We also have been involved in a wide range of research. Browse our research section for a full list of Scottish reports.

Contact a Family Scotland E-bulletin

Contact a Family produces a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.


Office address

Contact a Family Scotland, Craigmillar Social Enterprise & Arts Centre, 11/20 Harewood Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4NT, 0131 659 2930, scotland.office@cafamily.org.uk

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email Susan for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email Donna for newsletter and information (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Susan Brogan; email Susan for volunteering opportunities with us (Tuesday).

News for Scotland

Strengthening families through support groups

The team at Contact a Family Scotland have been working on identifying how we can grow our help and reach to parent support groups in 2016. We have been funded by the Robertson Trust to further develop and identify new ways to help group members in the provision of support and information and the kinds of support that groups would like going forward.

If you run a parent support group, we would like to hear from you.

It may be that your group would like printed copies of our parent carer factsheets; that you would like us to provide workshops on sleep, guardianship, benefits; or perhaps information on rights, funding or guidance on how to develop your group. We are open to all ideas! 

Tell us what you would like help with by filling out our survey, which has twelve short questions (mostly tick boxes) and will take approximately five minutes to complete:


You can fill the survey out individually or ideally discuss with your group at your next meeting to get as many parents' views and ideas as possible and put into the one survey response. 

If you would like hard copies sent by post then please just send an email to donna.tomlin@cafamily.org.uk


Listening Books - free membership offer

Listening Books is a national charity that provides a postal and online audiobook library service to children and adults who struggle to read or hold a book due to an illness, disability, mental health issue or learning difficulty such as dyslexia. They currently have funding to offer a number of free memberships to people living in Scotland who would find the usual membership fees (ranging from £20 to £45 per year) a barrier to joining the service.

The library has a huge range of fiction, non-fiction and educational audiobooks from bestselling authors available across three easily accessible formats: MP3 CDs sent through the post (all postage is included in the membership), downloads from the website, which can be transferred to a portable device such as a tablet or smart phone, and online streaming through a Windows PC, Mac or compatible device.  

If you would like to apply for a free membership or have any questions, please contact Jo Cord at Listening Books on 020 7407 9417 or email jcord@listening-books.org.uk. You can also register via their website: https://www.listening-books.org.uk/join-us.aspx


The Carers (Scotland) Act

The Carers (Scotland) Bill was passed on 4 February 2016. The Bill will become an Act following Royal Assent and will be implemented in 2017.

When it published the Bill, the Scottish Government was keen to ensure that Scotland's carers and young carers should be better supported on a more consistent basis so that they could continue to care, if they wish, be in good health and have a life alongside caring. In addition, for young carers, the intention was also to ensure that young carers should have a childhood similar to their non-carer peers. The Bill was to be "founded on a preventative approach."

You can find out more about the Act from the Shared Care Scotland Website.

Creative Breaks programme 2016 - now open for applications from third sector organisations

If your organisation works with unpaid carers or with people who depend on care from family and friends then you can apply for this funding by application form. 

The aim of the fund is to improve the range, choice and availability of short breaks that benefit carers and those they care for who are aged 21 years and above. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government.

Organisations can apply for grants either to develop short break services or for funding to establish their own small grant scheme for carers so that carers can then fund the short break that's right for them. There is further information on the Shared Care Scotland Website, where you can download the application forms and guidance for applicants.

The deadline for applications is noon on Friday 20 May 2016.


The Contact a Family Scotland March/April e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland March/April 2016 e-newsletter.

To sign up to receive the Contact a Family e-bulletin just click on  subscribe now.

If you would like to share local information that would benefit other families, just email details to donna.tomlin@cafamily.org.uk.

Local events

Dad's autism information session

Wednesday 25 May, 5.30pm - 8.30pm
Beatlie Campus, Livingston

This session is for dads who usually work during the day, and feel that they might want to know more about how autism affects their child - topics covered will include understanding autism, useful strategies to help your child, identifying behaviour triggers and avoiding melt-downs, and much more. There will also be opportunities to share your experiences with other dads and learn from one another. 

To book a place on this session, please call us on 01506 431123, or email us at info-officer@signpost-online.co.uk, giving us your name, address oremail address, and a contact number.


Preparing Families for Hospital and Improving Health Literacy Conference

Monday 9 May, 9.30am-3.30pm
Hanover Conference Centre, 95 McDonald Road, Edinburgh

The What? Why? Children in Hospital (WWCIH) free conference will provide opportunities to share best practice around preparing children for hospital. It will address child and parental anxiety for hospital and offer the opportunity to discuss how age and ability-appropriate explanations could help children of different ages and children with learning difficulties.

WWCIH are keen to hear the experiences of parents of a child with a learning disability on how best to prepare your child for hospital. Prior registration is required. Contact a Family will also be presenting on the information needed when a disabled child needs medical care.  Please visit the WWCIH website for the conference programme and registration details.


Yoga for the Special Child, Mondays, 4pm, Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy

A weekly session of Yoga for the Special Child during term time, on the Mezzanine at the Birks Cinema. The session will be lead by Judy Cameron, developed by Sonia Sumar and includes a step by step, integrated system of yoga poses designed to increase cognitive and motor skills in children with learning and developmental disabilities. It will also involve specialist breathing exercises and relaxation techniques to improve concentration and reduce hyperactivity.

If you would like further details, please email Fiona MacEwan community@birkscinema.co.uk

Parent support group events 

If you are a parent who runs a support group in Scotland or are considering starting a local group and would like information to help you get going then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can join our Local Group Network and we can provide you with factsheets, newsletters and respond to your group enquiries or you can contact us about holding an information event in your area. Just email Donna for further information at scotland.office@cafamily.org.uk

Find local services at


Our SENDirect service is a website where families of children with disabilities or special educational needs can search for and compare local support, activities and services.