Last autumn, the Sheffield Carers Centre ceased to provide an information, advice and advocacy service for parents of disabled children and young people, which it had been running for many years. This was due to a city-wide reorganisation of carer support contracts, in addition to non-council grant funding coming to an end. The Carers Centre is now only funded to support carers of adults.
Both the Carers Centre and the Parent Carer Forum voiced concerns about this development. Since October 2012, Sheffield City Council has been providing an interim service through a dedicated worker and telephone line (0114 261 8765). This service currently sits with the Parent Partnership Service, an “arm’s length” council service which normally only helps with education-related issues. The interim service can provide information, advice and support for parents of disabled children in relation to health services, social care, and welfare benefits.
As part of an evidence-gathering exercise, the council has asked the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum to find out what sort of information, advice and support parent carers need the most – and whether they are currently getting it. Do they need legal advice? Help with benefit applications? Sorting out problems with direct payments? What support is already being provided? And if there are gaps, what is the best way to fill them?
Please help us answer these and other questions by completing our online questionnaire. Alternatively, call us on 0300 321 4721 to request a hardcopy. The deadline for responses is the 30th of April 2013.
We know that questionnaires only tell us part of the story. To dig a little deeper, we’ve also arranged a series of consultation meetings:
Each participant will receive a £15 shopping voucher as a thank you (limited to one voucher per family, 10 participants per meeting). Booking essential, please contact us to book your place.