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Volunteer for Us

How can I volunteer?

 

Would you like some support from an Independent Parental Supporter?

An Independent Parental Supporter (IPS) is somebody who volunteers their time to support families and who is wholly independent of the local authority.

The IPS role was created under the previous SEN Code of Practice 2001 and sadly, in many areas of the UK, IPSs are no longer available. In Staffordshire, we still have a small number of IPSs who we recruit, train and supervise, to carry out this role.

They may be able to:

  • Help you to express your views, wishes and feelings in writing.
     
  • Provide you with information, advice and support to enable you to participate in decisions made about your child.
  • Support you in a meeting about your child if you need it. 
  •  
  • Assist us in increasing awareness of our service by distributing leaflets and attending events in the community.

Typically, an IPS might support parents at an informal meeting with their child’s school or a multi-agency meeting; they might also help with submitting parental views for an EHC Needs Assessment request, preparing for and attending an EHC Needs Assessment meeting, an annual review or maybe even a mediation meeting.

Our IPSs are often (but not always) parents of a child with SEND. IPSs might come from a broad range of backgrounds and each one brings their own knowledge, skills and experiences to the role. They are fully trained to carry out the role, including confidentiality, safeguarding awareness and are DBS checked.

Confidentiality and impartiality

We provide a confidential and impartial service across Staffordshire. See the documents below for more information:

To request support from a volunteer IPS, please call our helpline and ask for a referral

 

How can I volunteer?

Do you have some time to spare during the day?

Could you be flexible with the time that you are available?

Would you like to support Staffordshire families who have children with special educational needs or disabilities?

We are continually recruiting and training volunteers to act as Independent Parental Supporters (IPS). They help provide information, advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people (aged 0 - 25 years) who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

We have been recruiting, training and using volunteers since 2001.

We are looking for people who can offer support to parents and carers in a confident, reassuring and non-judgemental manner. In return, we will provide full and ongoing training on matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities.  

Volunteers will be reimbursed for expenses incurred during visits or other work undertaken for the service (mileage, parking, etc).

Training 

The focus of the volunteer training will be on the skills needed for the role. The areas covered in the training will be:

  •  Introduction to the role of an IPS
          
  •  Support for children and young people with additional needs
          
  •  Looking at the parents' perspective
          
  •  Listening and communication skills
          
  •  Resolution of disagreements
          
  •  Education Health and Care assessment
          
  •  Supporting parents to express their views
          
  •  Attending meetings and taking notes
          
  •  Supporting parents and carers to access relevant information and services

Training involves approximately 18 hours of face-to-face training in 3-hour sessions. There will also be opportunities to shadow existing staff and observe the way we work.

Volunteers will have on-going support and supervision and are required to attend refresher training sessions.

Interested? 

Complete the form below:

Further information

Please see the document below:

You can contact us if you need more information:

Phone: 01785 356921
Email: sfps@staffordshire.gov.uk

 

 

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