How to get support

You can contact us to ask for support by:

• telephoning our helpline (0800 121 7772)
• emailing us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
• writing to us at our office address (Clarendon Chambers, 32 Clarendon Street, Nottingham, NG1 5LN)
• leaving a message on our 24 hour answering machine

We aim to speak at length with all those who contact us within 2 working days, although this can be longer in periods of high demand or staff absence.

On your first contact, your details will be taken by an administrator, and the helpline advisor will call you back.  This means that we bear the cost of what could be a lengthy telephone conversation, and it enables the helpline advisor to plan their work more effectively, with opportunities to make some follow-up calls around ongoing cases in between calls to parents contacting the service with a new case.  It also means you only need to call us once, rather than trying to find a time when the helpline advisor is free to speak to you.

The helpline advisor will discuss your situation and provide you with information and advice as to the most helpful options.  We have lots of leaflets written specially for parents, and we can also suggest other agencies or organisations which might be useful for you to contact.  The helpline advisor may suggest contacting school or one of the advisory services or some other action, but will not do anything or discuss your child with anyone without your permission.  All staff are bound by our strict confidentiality policy.

If the helpline advisor feels it would be helpful, you will be referred on to another member of staff for further support.  Most of our face-to-face support is provided by a team of trained volunteers, called Independent Parental Supporters (IPS), who are managed by the Volunteer Co-ordinator.  An IPS is linked to a parent to provide specific support eg to attend a meeting at school, or to provide guidance through an assessment process.  The Volunteer Co-ordinator will match an IPS to a case, and introduce the IPS to the parent(s), ensuring that each understands what work is to be undertaken and how long the link is likely to last.  The Volunteer Co-ordinator monitors the work of each IPS and provides any necessary support or advice to them.

When your IPS feels the piece of work is completed, they will discuss this with you.  Sometimes it is obvious when the period of support can be ended but occasionally a parent will want further support with a problem which has arisen along the way.  The IPS will go back to the Volunteer Co-ordinator and describe what work has been completed and whether you (the parent) are happy for the IPS to withdraw.  It is the Volunteer Co-ordinator’s decision as to whether the IPS should move on to another case or remain linked to provide further support.