Independent Support

Independent Support for families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) living in Essex. [iSEssex]

InterAct is delighted to be leading Independent Support Essex [iSEssex] to deliver the Independent Support service across Essex. This is a new partnership between InterAct and local voluntary organisations Families InFocus (Essex), ecdp, and the parent/carer forum FACE (Families Acting for Change in Essex).

What we do

Independent Support Essex provides trained Independent Supporters to work directly with young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities aged 0-25, and their parents, as they go through the new assessment and planning processes for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). 

What is an EHC Plan?

EHC Plans are being phased in, replacing Statements of Special Educational Needs for those in schools, and replacing Learning Disability Assessments for those in Further Education. This is a key part of the Government’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Reforms, within the Children and Families Act 2014.

What has changed?

The main differences are that an EHC Plan is:

·      More person-centred, with more engagement and involvement from parents, carers, children and young people in the process

·      More co-ordinated assessment process across education, health and care services

·      Focusses on outcomes to be achieved for each child/young person

·      Runs from birth to age 25 (whilst the young person remains in education or training)

·      Includes parents, carers, children and young people at the heart of the changes

·      The legislation applies equally to all schools including academies and free schools

Indepndent Supporters will enable parents and young people to understand how to access the best and most appropriate education, health and care services available locally.

When is Independent Support available? 

Independent Support is running from Autumn 2014 until the end of March 2016, with funding from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC), on behalf of the Department for Education.

Who is involved?

Independent Support Essex partners: InterAct, Families InFocus (Essex), ecdp, and FACE parent/carer forum. Working in partnership with Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (formerly Essex Parent Partnership Service), key statutory agencies and other local organisations, ISEssex will provide the service through a mix of volunteer and paid Independent Supporters.

For more information please contact the Independent Support Essex Team:

Tel: 01245 608300      or Text: 07506 566856 


Further information is available on the Independent Support Essex website:

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