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Children with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND)

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Autism - A term used to describe a developmental condition where people have difficulties understanding and interacting with others as well as difficulties interpreting inputs from the world around them.

BEAM Sandwell is a new emotional health service run by The Children's Society in partnership with a number of other agencies for young people aged up to 18 (or up to 25 for care leavers) living in the Sandwell area. The service offers advice, signposting and support with any low level concerns relating to emotional health and wellbeing. It provides advice and guidance particularly in the areas of anxiety, anger, family difficulties, mood management and self-esteem. However, clinical assessments, structured therapy, counselling sessions and family therapy will not be available.

There are a number of drop-in sessions across the borough (no need to book - just turn up): 

  • Monday 1pm - 4.30pm, Community Link, Cradley Heath, B64 5AH
  • Tuesday 2.30pm - 5pm, Langley Park Lodge, Oldbury, B69 4SL, and 3.30pm - 7pm, The Cafe (ground floor), Sandwell College Central Sixth campus, New Square, New Street, West Bromwich, B70 7PG

Follow the service on Twitter @BeamSandwell or email on

Becoming an adult - Find out here what choices your child has when they leave school

Benefits and financial support - Information about the benefits you could be entitled to including housing benefit, council tax benefit, education benefits as well as where to get advice and support. As well as the GOV.UK and Money Advice Service websites there are also a number of voluntary organisations that can give advice about benefits including:

Changing Places Toilets - Toilets that have been specially adapted to meet the needs of people with significant disabilities. In Sandwell there are Changing Places toilets at:

Childcare - Find out about the different types of childcare, how to find local childcare, free childcare places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and working in childcare

Children's centres - Find out where your local children centre is and what they have to offer

Children's Education Advisory Service - This is part of the Ministry of Defence and gives advice regarding the education of children in service families. This includes advice regarding SEND.

Children with Disabilities Team - Are a social care team that supports children and young people with disabilities up to the age of 18, and their families.

Connexions - Provides information, advice and guidance on making choices about learning jobs and careers

Contact - (previously known as Contact a Family) is a national organisation for families with disabled children. It has a wealth of information, advice and support that families can draw on. 

Diagnosis - Find here information and useful websites that can help you and your family through the process of diagnosis

Inclusion Support Early Years  - The Inclusion Support Early Years team support children in their early years who have individual or special educational needs (SEN) / disabilities.  

Family Information Service (FIS) - The FIS information hub has a wealth of information about services to support families (including those with SEND)

The Family Fund - The Family Fund is a charity providing grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Last year, it provided 88,407 grants and services worth over £33 million to families across the UK. It aims to make a difference to outcomes for disabled or seriously ill children and young people and the lives of the families raising them across the UK. It supports this aim by providing grants for essential items such as kitchen appliances, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets/computers, furniture and clothing. It can be a struggle financially, emotionally and physically for families raising a disabled or seriously ill child, and the grants can help break down many of the barriers families face, improving their quality of life and easing the additional daily pressures. It also provides a range of programmes and services, as well as information and advice to families that apply, in order to help them access more of the support that may be of help to them in raising their child or young person.
Find out more at, call us on 01904 550055, email us at or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
There are animated videos on how to apply and should I apply? for a snapshot of what is needed from the application form and their criteria.

Family support - All sorts of children and families can have problems. This could be because of disability or family breakdown or from difficulties that many parents face in responding to their child's changing needs. It could be from domestic violence, or issues of drug and alcohol misuse. 

Food safety - Find out about how to prevent food poisoning at home. 

Getting around - Find out about public transport, concessionary travel passes, school travel passes, where to find timetable information for all local buses, trains and the Metro and other schemes in Sandwell and nationally that can help you and your child get around.

Healthy Sandwell, healthy you - Find out about quitting smoking, alcohol and drugs support, getting active, mental health and wellbeing, local health services and healthy eating.

Housing - Find out about getting a council house, paying your rent, reporting a repair, housing associations, benefits and help for the homeless or at risk

Inclusion support - Works across Sandwell to improve the education, learning, development and mental health and wellbeing of all children and young people (ages 0 - 25) with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable and / or have special educational needs.

Leisure, parks and events - Find out about your local leisure centre, parks, libraries, museums, community centres, markets and allotments.

Local Offer - This is the term used to describe information about services which are available locally to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families

Road safety - Find out about staying safe and keeping your children safe on Sandwell's roads

Sandwell Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) - A local independent service, delivered by Action for Children, offering advice, information and support for parents and carers of children aged 0-19 with special educational needs. The service feeds information about the issues raised by parents into Sandwell Parent Voice. They can be contacted at Greets Green Children’s Centre, Off Claypit Lane opposite Turner Street, West Bromwich, B70 9EZ, Telephone: 0121 500 4010,  This video from the Council for Disabled Children gives more information about the role of SENDIASS

Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC) - Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children's (SPDC) core function is to provide play, leisure and social opportunities for disabled children with the inclusion of siblings and parents/carers and to work with other service providers to ensure that disabled children are included.

Sandwell Parent Voice - every Local Authority has a parent forum which encourages the participation of parents in the development of services for children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities. Sandwell Parent Voice is the parent forum in Sandwell. If you would like to be part of the group it can be contacted on  or by phone on 0121 555 1821. 

Sandwell Special Educational Needs Service - Find out how the Special Educational Needs service can help you if you are worried that your child is having difficulties learning at school

Schools and learning - Find out about the special schools, primary and secondary schools, pupil referral units and colleges in Sandwell, school admissions, term dates, school closures, adult learning, teaching, school meals and milk, special educational needs and school holiday activities

School holiday activities and events - Find out about the fun activities to do in Sandwell during the school holidays

SEND - This stands for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. The abbreviation is used to describe the children and young people who are served by the Local Offer (see above). The terms have specific legal definitions. More details can be found in the SEND Code of Practice

Short breaks - Can give you a break from their caring responsibilities and your child with a disability the opportunity to spend time away from their family and experience positive activities and form new relationships.

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