Go back a step

Scotland

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 acknowledges the support of the Scottish Government through the Children and Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund (core and project funding) and funding through The Robertsons Trust.

Getting It Right For Every Child is a national approach in Scotland aimed at supporting the wellbeing and improving outcomes for children and young people. Contact a Family Scotland works to the values and principles of GIRFEC.  

Contact a Family Scotland are also guided by the principles of the National Parenting Strategy.

We aim to promote and protect the rights of children in Scotland as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Contact a Family Scotland E-bulletin

Contact a Family produces a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. July/August E-Bulletin.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.

Contact

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).

Tracey Francis; email Tracey for information on the Preparing Parent Carers for Transition Project (Monday, Tuesday, half day Wednesday and Thursday)

News for Scotland

New Scotland transitions project up and running

A new Contact a Family Scotland project is under way to close the information gap around leaving school and next steps for parents and carers of young people living with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. We want to hear from families across Scotland with young people aged from 12 to 20. Their input will shape a new resource to better prepare families for the journey to adulthood.

Starting in September, families will be able to share their thoughts, questions and experiences through regional workshops, online discussion groups, or directly by email or telephone. Wherever possible one-to-one conversations will be offered using alternative communication styles, for example Talking Mats or BSL, so as many people as possible have the chance to contribute their views and ideas.

To take part, or be kept informed about the project, contact Tracey Francis at tracey.francis@cafamily.org.uk

Celebrating Life - a Photography Exhibition with Fife College

Following on from the success of theMy Family, Love, Life and Laughterexhibition held at the Dovecot Studio last year, Contact a Family Scotland have been working with Fife College to display the wonderful photos once more at the Aspire Unit at Fife College.  Families and college students had the opportunity to view these moving and uplifting images taken by professional photographer Rebecca Lee who joined us to share her experience of working with the families.  Alongside these were the inspiring and unique photographs submitted by over 20 families in Scotland who captured their own special family moments for us to share.  The event provided an opportunity for all the families and young people to catch up with each other again and share new experiences with the college students and their families.

A big thank you to all 100 people who attended including the staff of Aspire and to the Nicholson family, especially Matthew, who helped plan and shape this event from the beginning.

Scotland's Ten Year Strategy for the Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs 2017 - 2026

This Strategy aims to support improved outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs through strategic commissioning of national services with particular focus on the provision of education.

The strategy is based on recommendations made in the Doran Review and while it recognises the critical role played by social services and health in supporting educational outcomes, the strategy is set within the context of The Additional Support for Learning Act 2004.

The National Improvement Framework and Curriculum for Excellence apply to all children and young people including those with complex additional support needs. Given that these needs are of relatively low incidence and attract a high level of resourcing and require specialist input, Scottish education requires a particular strategy to ensure that the needs of this group are met. This strategy sets out how this will be addressed over the next decade.

The consultation, which closes on 28 August 2017, aims to gain feedback from professionals and parents/carers on whether the overall strategy is robust and will support the delivery of the aims and objectives and to gather views/opinions on how the strategy can build capacity - especially around the types of services that are needed. You can download the consultation called The Right Help at the Right Time in the Right Place  or find out more from The Scottish Government Website.

Why Holidays Matter

This summer Shared Care Scotland want to start a conversation on why holidays matter - to everyone. They would like to ask people about the importance of holidays and why for many carers and those they care for, having a break from their usual routine is simply not possible. Barriers to short breaks remain, and a 2012 report showed that more than half of carers surveyed had not had a break from their caring role. Financial concerns, lack of information on suitable breaks, or the complex logistics of organising equipment, accessible accommodation and suitable transport for a cared-for person, can all make a holiday seem an impossibility.

Through better information, support and entitlements Shared Care Scotland want carers to have the opportunity of a holiday too. For more information visit Why Holidays Matter or contact Kate Hogarth at Kate.hogarth@sharedcarescotland.com

Help shape new research into Learning Difficulties

This new project aims to find out what research is most important to people living with learning difficulties and those working alongside them. Across Scotland, the Salvesen Mindroom Centre are asking people who have learning difficulties, their families and the professionals working alongside them, to complete a short survey telling them what they would want researchers to find out about learning difficulties. The responses will identify the top 10 research priorities for learning difficulties amongst children and young people. The results will help inform future research work into learning difficulties.

The Research Priorities Survey can be completed online or a paper version is also available on request by emailing LD_Research@ed.ac.uk

Lead Scotland - New Support Project for Young Disabled People

Teresa Livingstone is the new Learning coordinator for Lead Scotland for a new project in the Highlands. The Project is funded to help people, currently not working, to improve the skills they need for employment so if you are 16 years old or above, would like to develop your skills and confidence and are disabled, living with a long term health condition, or a carer then get in touch.  Contact Teresa on 07768917502 or email tlivingstone@lead.org.uk to find out the options available.

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

Read the Contact a Family Scotland July 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

Forth Valley Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Workshops for Parent Carers

Tuesday 5 & Wednesday 13 September; Thursday 2 & Thursday 9 November

PBS is a way of supporting people whose behaviour is seen as challenging.  PBS helps people think about the way they support someone, and how they can give the person the right support. This workshop consists of 2 x 3hr sessions and you will need to be able to attend both to benefit from this training.  These sessions will also run in Fife.

Places are limited.  For further information and booking please contact: Sarah Cierans: 07889456725/ 01592 647712  or email sarah.cierans@enable.org.uk

Free Wheelchair Mobility Training for young people aged 2-18 withGo Kids Go!

Saturday 12 August, 10am-3pm,Hutchesons' Grammar School, 21 Beaton Road,Glasgow

A great chance to meet other young wheelchair-users and to learn skills to help you become more independent. Extra wheelchairs provided for mums, dads, brothers and sisters to join in with the games.  For more information visit Go Kids Go or to reserve a place email roy@gokidsgo.org.uk or call 01482 887163

Help shape new research into Learning Difficulties

This new project aims to find out what research is most important to people living with learning difficulties and those working alongside them. Across Scotland, the Salvesen Mindroom Centre are asking people who have learning difficulties, their families and the professionals working alongside them, to complete a short survey telling them what they would want researchers to find out about learning difficulties. The responses will identify the top 10 research priorities for learning difficulties amongst children and young people. The results will help inform future research work into learning difficulties.

The Research Priorities Survey can be completed online or a paper version is also available on request by emailing LD_Research@ed.ac.uk

New Kinship Care DVD

Action for Sick Children Scotland, with support from Children 1st, have developed a new DVD for kinship carers about health issues for the children in their care. The film, entitledHealth Matters for Children and Young People in Kinship Care, is presented by kinship carers from the Grandparents Parenting Again and Kinship Carers Midlothian group. It combines real-life experiences of kinship care families with advice and guidance from professionals and experts about how to ensure kinship children have their health needs met.

The DVD is available from Action for Sick Children Scotland

Blue Room Treatment

A treatment designed by Dr Jeremy Parr and colleagues at Newcastle University has shown to lead to improvements in tackling fears and phobias for children with ASD aged 7-17. The Blue Room Treatment provides an immersive virtual reality setting in which a therapist works with a young person on strategies to help deal with their specific anxiety, without needing goggles.  Examples of situations and phobias that have been treated include fear of dogs, going shopping and crossing a bridge. The treatment is provided by the Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders Service (CNDS) for Children and Young People. It is now available as an NHS service, with referrals accepted from all over the UK. For more information visit CNDS or email NTAWNT.cnds@nhs.net

Introduction to Self-Directed Support - Edinburgh

Wednesday 9 August, 10am-12.30pm, Vocal Carer Centre, 8-13 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh

The way that services are being provided and arranged is changing as Self-Directed Support is being introduced carers and the people they support are or will be offered the option to arrange their own packages of care. The course will focus on how SDS works and is for carers who are supporting someone who receives a package of care/services to help them live at home and carers who would like to access a package of care.

For further details visit the Carers Training Website or call 0131 622 6666.

Free Wheelchair Mobility Training for young people aged 2-18 withGo Kids Go!

Saturday 12 August, 10am-3pm,Hutchesons' Grammar School, 21 Beaton Road,Glasgow

A great chance to meet other young wheelchair-users and to learn skills to help you become more independent. Extra wheelchairs provided for mums, dads, brothers and sisters to join in with the games.  For more information visit Go Kids Go or to reserve a place email roy@gokidsgo.org.uk or call 01482 887163

Signpost - Summer Lego Club

Wednesday afternoons 1.30pm-3pm during summer holidays Beatlie School Campus, Livingston, EH54 5ED

Signpost has been awarded a grant to run a LEGO summer club. The Club is for children aged 7-12 with a diagnosis of ASD and their siblings to provide an interesting and safe environment to allow interaction with peers while focusing on 'fun with LEGO'.

There will also be time for parents/carers to stay and have a coffee and an opportunity to meet other parents. Cost is a £20 fee for 7 weekly sessions.

For further information contact Signpost or email enquiries@signpost-online.co.uk

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

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

Volunteering

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  

 

Going forward - Preparing Parents for Transition

Scotland transitions flyerNew project gets under way

Tracey Francis is now in place as Contact A Family's new transitions officer, with the job of overseeing the new two-year project Preparing Parents for Transition, funded by the Scottish Government. Download the flyer for the project [PDF].

Over the summer, she will be contacting groups around Scotland to develop a series of information workshops for parents on key aspects of transitions planning and processes. She will also be putting everything in place to underpin a major consultation with families and young people, starting in September and running until December.

To be part of this, sign up now by contacting tracey.francis@cafamily.org.uk and you'll receive more information when everything's good to go. Or simply keep checking the website for the latest news and updates.

Scotland government logo

We acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government through a CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund grant.

Visit our Facebook page

Take me there now

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