Reaching Families was first established in 2008 by parent-carers to “…empower, inform and support parents and families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in West Sussex”.  Reaching Families run a number of projects and services which parents and families of children with SEND continue to find really helpful;

Making Sense of it All – a parent-carer guide covering issues from birth to adulthood, available in paperback and e-book format

Fact Sheets – covering a wide range of issues including major childhood disabilities & associated subjects.  They have been localised to West Sussex to ensure that parent-carers can find out about relevant services & resources here in West Sussex

Animations –  on various issues to help parents who may not be able to attend training or who like things in a visual format

Training Workshops – free half-day workshops on a variety of subjects, including anxiety, ADHD, Autism, behaviour, benefits, EHCP, sensory issues, sleep etc.  Delivered live and via zoom

Training Courses – 2 multi-session training courses Making Sense of All (Foundation course) designed for new parent-carers and Making Sense of Wellbeing covering anxiety, self-care, resilience etc

Face 2 Face – provides emotional &  practical support to parent-carers of children during the period of their child’s diagnosis.  A team of specially trained befrienders can help parent-carers learn more about their child’s diagnosis, share their experience of caring for a child with additional needs, find out about and access other services and prepare for the journey ahead

Counselling – they currently provide subsidised counselling to parent-carers across West Sussex and can offer 3-6 sessions at a subsidised rate of £10 per session (£5 for parents in receipt of work related benefits). Sessions can be accessed in person, by phone or by by Zoom.  Counselling is provided by a BACP accredited practice

Umbrellas – to help parent-carers build networks of mutual support, there are four parent support in Billingshurst, Littlehampton, Worthing and weekly, via Zoom.  The groups provide an informative, supportive, relaxed and non-judgemental environment within which parent-carers can swap life experiences, share hints and tips, seek advice and share information and resources

Facebook Group – Reaching Families Facebook group is the largest of its kind in West Sussex, an engaging and supportive forum of over 4,500 parent-carers providing hints, tips, discussion and advice on an array of subjects including benefits, education and schools, mental health and wellbeing and specific disabilities.

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