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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

for Scotland's Disabled Children launches new website

Contact a Family Scotland is one of the founding members of for Scotland's Disabled Children (fSDC) coalition which aims to turn the good intentions of policy and legislation into better lives for families with disabled children. The new website has information, news and policy developments in addition to updates from the fSDC co-ordination group members on four key areas - Parent Participation; Self Directed Support (SDS); Additional Support for Learning (ASL); Transitions.

Your experience as a parent carer is vital for shaping and influencing services and policy. The Co-ordination group members would like to hear from you and professionals across Scotland so visit  fSDC today to get involved.

Sleep Scotland launches new Sleep Support Line

If you are a parent carer of a child or young person living in Edinburgh or the Lothians who has sleep problems then call the new Sleep Scotland service for advice and support. You can speak to one of the Sleep Advisors by calling 0800 138 6565 from Monday to Thursday, 10am-4pm.

Love Learning Scotland - Support Strategy Program

Love Learning Scotland are offering a service designed to bridge the gap between social care and education by providing education to society's most vulnerable young people, who are often excluded from main stream education. They are looking for families to be involved in building this program for themselves and in turn this will also build a program for the future where young people's needs will be met and tailored to them. This support and strategy program is specifically for parents of children with additional support needs.

Families with or without a diagnosis are welcome. For more information please email info@lovelearningscotland.co.uk or call 01355 239 609.

A Guide for Carers - Understanding how law is made in Scotland

The National Carer Organisations have developed a straightforward guide for carers to inform and influence the legislative process in Scotland.  The content focuses on The Scottish Government and guidance; Devolved and Reserved matters; stages of a bill, petitions, Cross Party Groups and how you can get involved. To download a copy visit Carers UK.

John Swinney makes statement on Named Person Service 

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced on March 7th that he will bring forward a Bill, ahead of the summer recess, that will include new provisions on when and how information can be shared by and with the Named Person service.  Plans are in place to complete a three month engagement process between September and December 2017, meaning that the introduction of the Named Person is likely to be delayed until 2018.

The new provisions will require Named Person service providers and other individuals involved with children and young people to consider whether sharing information would promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person. Only if information can be shared consistently within data protection law, human rights and the law of confidentiality, will there be a power to share it and the legislation will make this clear.

For further information visit GIRFEC.

The Diamond Sensory Room at Airdrie FC

Airdrie F.C. have become the first football club in Scotland with a sensory room at home games, allowing children with Sensory Process Disorders such as autism to attend matches in comfort.

For more information and to book a place at the next home game, please email Dougy or Stevie at Airdrie Football Club.

Project SEARCH - opportunities for young people (18 -24) with learning disabilities and/or autism

Project SEARCH is an employability focused course working in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Supported Employment, City of Glasgow College and Autism Network Scotland. 

The aim of the course is to work with young people with learning disabilities and/or autism, to help them gain experience in real work situations while supporting and developing their skills. Project SEARCH is currently recruiting for interns for the next academic year.

For more information visit Project Search, email Siobhan Martin or call Helen on 07584 217872. To apply direct contact the City of Glasgow College Website

SIGN - Autism: A booklet for young people

SIGN have developed a new booklet for young people of high school age who may have autism, or have already been diagnosed with autism.  The booklet Autism: A booklet for young people explains advice for healthcare professionals on how to help people with autism.

Additional Support Needs in School Education - call for views

Over the past few months the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee has been looking in depth at school education and are seeking views specifically on Additional Support Needs.

The Committee would like to find out what is important to you and to hear your own experiences and would welcome views from parents, children and young people, teachers and school support staff etc. with direct experience of additional support needs in schools.

Your feedback can be sent by email, post or by sending a video.

Please email es.submissions@parliament.scot or write to the Education and Skills Committee, T3.40, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP.  For further details please visit the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee

Epilepsy Scotland

Are you looking for a parent support group in Edinburgh, or Glasgow? Epilepsy Scotland want to re-establish their group in Edinburgh, and if there is enough interest will consider starting up a similar group in Glasgow. The groups will be run by Michael Adair, an epilepsy social worker who has been supporting families affected by epilepsy for many years. If you are looking for a supportive and safe environment to talk to other parents and share experiences, to get more information on managing the condition, including help with sleep issues and behavioural issues, or to get one to one support, please email Michael madair@epilepsyscotland.org.uk, or phone 0131 659 4730 to find out more or to put your name down for these groups.

The Contact a Family Scotland February e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland February 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

The Principles of Good Transitions

Wednesday, 26 April, 7-9pm, Quarriers, Wardes Road, Inverurie

Friday, 28th April, 10-12am, Ellon Academy Community Campus, Kellie Pearl Way, Ellon

A free workshop for parents and carers of young people with additional supports needs organised by the Galaxy Group in partnership with the Scottish Transitions Forum.  The event will look ahead to when a young person with additional support needs will leave school and children's services for adult life, whether continued education, employment or adult social services. The presentation will help you to answer some key questions in relation to transitions.

To reserve a place please email ctatransitions@hotmail.co.uk or call the Galaxy Group on 07516 852814.

Parent Workshops in Fort William

Managing Challenging Behaviour - Tuesday, 4 April, 10am-2.30pm, Sugar and Spice, High Street, Fort William

Your Child's Rights within the Education System - Tuesday, 2 May, 10am-2.30pm, Caol Community Centre, Glenkingie Street, Caol, Fort William

CHIP+ will be holding two information events in spring for parents and carers.  The first in April will focus on managing challenging behaviour and the second will be an opportunity to find out about your child's rights within the education system with Iain Nisbet as guest speaker. At each workshop there will be information stands, the opportunity to talk with CHIP Information and Support Officers, stress management and relaxation techniques. Lunch is included. For further details or to book a place please email info@chipplus.org.uk

Diagnosed with autism?

Mindroom, together with NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh, are looking for families who have children with a diagnosis of Autism (birth to age 12) to help develop  Autism Diagnostic Schedule (ADOS) assessment training materials at the new Salvesen Mindroom Centre (SMC) in Edinburgh.  ADOS can be used to determine whether a child, young person or adult has autism spectrum disorder and by taking part you can help improve training for professionals which will in turn improve the experience and outcomes for people being assessed. A £20 gift voucher will be given to every person with autism taking part.

Contact Donna O'Brien on 0I31 536 0827 or email donna.obrien@ed.ac.uk for more details.

Would you like your disabled child to be more involved in your local community in East Lothian?

Children Inc East Lothian work to promote awareness and inclusion of disabled children in their community by finding out what works for families and supporting positive change.

To find out more and to get involved call 07435750274 or email childrenincel@gmail.com


Tailor Ed Foundation - Dad's Group

Tailor Ed Foundation run an informal group just for Dads which is usually held in a pub and offers a chance for Dads to meet up with other Dads who have a child referred to Tailor Ed.

Hosted by a male project worker this provides an opportunity for Dads to relax and build an informal support network. For more information email Pete at Tailor Ed Foundation.

Borders Carers Centre - 2017 Workshops

The Carers Centre at Brewerybrig, Low Buckholmside Galashiels 

The Borders Carers Centre provides free independent help and support to unpaid family carers (aged 18+) of people with all types of illness and disability throughout the Scottish Borders. All workshops take place at the Carers Centre, starting with Managing Anger on Tuesday 28 March, 11am. Call 01896 752431 for further details on the full programme.

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


Supporting Contact a Family Scotland  - 3 cheers for Janet!

A big thank you to our Volunteer, Janet, who will be leaving us after a year helping us provide key information to families in Scotland.  We have appreciated the time and energy and enjoyed sharing ideas on support through our work. 

Volunteering for Contact a Family Scotland

  • Our volunteers have a defined place in the structure of the organisation and are treated equally within Contact a Family
  • We recognise the individual skills each person brings to the organisation.  We encourage volunteers to develop and build on existing skills and knowledge.
  • We endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
  • We recognise the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.

Would you like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland? 

My name is Susan Brogan and I am the volunteer coordinator at Contact a Family Scotland. We currently have a volunteer helping at our office, a local volunteer in Fife, raising awareness of the work we do, and five National Council members.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and are currently seeking volunteers for the following roles:

Parent/carer volunteer 

We value the knowledge and experience a parent carer has and would love to have your help in shaping our information service for families with disabled children in Scotland.

This could involve sharing your views and ideas when we are putting together our publications andfactsheets, raising awareness of our service in your local community, helping at information stands or being part of a parent carer focus group. We also actively seek to involve parent carers on our National Council, which may be something you would be interested in.

National Council volunteer

The role of the National Council Member is to advise and support Contact a Family's work in Scotland. We would love to hear from parents or professionals who may be interested in joining our current members.

If you would like find out more about one of the above roles or explore other possibilities for volunteering, I would be happy to chat to you. Please note I only work one day a week, but if you leave your details I will get back in touch with you. You can contact me on 0131 659 2931 or email susan.brogan@cafamily.org.uk  


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Visit our online advice and support or read all about diagnosis.

You can also call us if you need information or advice on any aspect of caring for a disabled child. Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm.

0808 808 3555 or helpline@cafamily.org.uk