Shropshire Council

Update from Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS)

29 November 2021 Last updated at 02:35

The Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS) is a free and independent service who provide information, advice and support to parents and carers of children aged 0 to 25, children, and young people aged 16 to 25 who have, or may have, special educational needs or disabilities. We will listen to your concerns and provide you with relevant information, including SEND law, to help you explore your options and make informed decisions regarding your child’s education. We can support you to prepare for upcoming meetings, including annual reviews, and also explain reports written by professionals. We can help you to develop positive relationships and improve communication with schools and the local authority, and also signpost you to other relevant organisations or sources of information.

The delivery of our service had to change during the pandemic and we had to adapt the way we work whilst doing our best to ensure that we could still provide the same level of support to Shropshire families. So, like many organisations, we moved into the virtual world to deliver much or our advice and information. Whilst we continue to offer advice over the phone and via email, we also spent some time updating our website, Facebook page and developing our parent online training packages. Now, you will find a whole range of information on our website including a number of factsheets on various educational, social and health issues free to read, download and print. You will also find a link to our You Tube channel where you can watch our online training videos. This channel is relatively new, and we plan to continue to add new videos around various topics. Let us know if there is a subject that you think we should cover, and we always appreciate feedback on our work, so if you have an opinion about one of our videos, please let us know!

We have found lots of positives from this new way of working, however, it did take away the opportunities for parents to meet us, and other parents face to face. We know through our own experience professionally and feedback from the families we work with just how valuable this contact can be. For this reason, we have recently started to trial some online virtual meet ups via Microsoft Teams. These meet ups are an informal opportunity to talk to IASS and other parents of children or young people with SEND. Our next meet up is Wednesday 19th January and we would love to see some old and new faces. If you are interested in attending this event, please keep an eye on our Facebook page for further details or drop us an email.

We do find the majority of our calls come from parents, however, we are always striving to engage and support young people directly. We are lucky enough to have our own qualified youth worker on the team, Lynne. Her role within IASS is to work with young people directly. She can talk through any concerns they might have or be experiencing at school or college, or work experience for example. She can support them with paperwork, such as their contribution to the annual review or attend a meeting to help them get their views across. You or your child can contact Lynne via the Young IASS Facebook page, text, phone or email.

To contact us, please call and leave a message for IASS on the answerphone of Citizens Advice, where we are based, or email us directly. If you need to discuss your child with us, please leave your contact details and our admin team will get back to you for initial details.

Tel: 01743 280019
To contact Lynne, please call or text: 07706 069739