The Children and Families Act (2014) requires local authorities to provide children, young people and parents with information, advice and support about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and to work with them to develop a local offer.
Where children and young people are going through an education, health and care needs assessment, their parents or carers are able to get help from the local information, advice and support (IAS) service which is a useful source of information to help them understand the process and participate fully in it. There are IAS services in every local area and can be found through this link: https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/information-advice-and-support-services-network/find-your-local-ias-service. Between June 2018 and March 2020, the government is providing £20 million to improve the quality of IAS services.
The government also funds parent carer forums (PCFs). These forums bring parents together to help support other parents of disabled children, and as a way to work with the local authority to influence local SEND provision. We are continuing to provide funding for PCFs, with £15,000 per forum (£2.3 million in total) in 2019-20.