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Spring Bulletin 2013 Welcome to our new Wales Workshop team

Contact a Family Wales has two new members of staff, Kate Wyke, Workshop Development Officer based in Wrexham ,and Kate Boddington ,Project Assistant based in Cardiff.

At these events, parents will have the opportunity to meet other parents and children and will be able to socialise and build friendships, fitting with our aims to help bring families together to share their experiences. We aim to hold 20 events over the next 12 months and already have 4 arranged in Conwy, Torfaen, Wrexham, and Caernarfon before April 2013. This includes a workshop on Welfare Benefits Reform, one Family Film showing and two Communication courses, which aim to help parents feel confident in future discussions regarding their children.

The Contact a Family Wales team was successful with an application to The Big Lottery Fund, which is kindly funding both posts over the next three years to run a series of projects in Wales. The aims of the project are to develop Contact a Family’s events in Wales, and include setting up family fun days, film showings and workshops for parents and professionals.

We would appreciate your thoughts and ideas as to what events you would like to see us put on; be that a workshop, a family film showing or a craft activity. We have created a short survey for future ideas. Please follow the link below to participate and have a chance of winning a ÂŁ20 gift voucher.

These events aim to strengthen and revitalise the community of families who are caring for disabled children, by increasing access to information, and by offering advice and support.

We plan to reduce the financial exclusion experienced by many families by increasing awareness, skills and capacity, to maximise income, and tackle debt and budgeting skills. In addition, the project will enable parents to feel less isolated by linking them to support networks, workshops and events, in an environment where they can feel relaxed and comfortable. As many children with disabilities or additional needs cannot, or do not access mainstream activities, we are attempting to address the isolation that this creates for families in Wales, and hope to change these negative experiences into more manageable positive experiences.

News: At the end of February Keith Bowen, our Wales Manager, will be leaving Contact a Family after 13 years to become the Director of Carers Wales. We wish him all the best in his new role.

Andrew Kirby Information and Enquiries Officer Enquiries, Newsletter and Database (Cardiff) 02920 396624 Monday - Wednesday Katherine Wyke, Workshop Development Officer, Workshops and Events (Wrexham) 01978 365426 Monday-Friday

Key Policy and Legislation in Wales

Special Education/Additional Needs Reforms. Following the consultation last year on the proposals for reform of the legislative framework for special educational needs, the Minister for Education and Skills announced in September that the timetable to introduce new legislation would be delayed.

2013 is going to be a busy year for policy and legislation in Wales, with a number of important developments for families with disabled children and young people. Here are some of the key issues to keep an eye on.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill to be published at the end of January, will introduce radical new legislation providing a completely new legal framework for social care in Wales. This will have major implications for families with disabled children and young people and how they access support services. The Bill aims to develop sustainable social services in Wales, give users a stronger voice and more control over the services they receive as well as enabling earlier intervention. The Bill will introduce greater integration of adult and children’s social services, the new definition of “people in need”, a national eligibility framework and a portable assessment of need to deliver greater consistency across Wales.

The Minister maintained a commitment to legislate during this Assembly but did not give any further details of when the new proposals will be published. Many parents and professionals have contributed to various pilots and numerous consultations over the years, so whilst it is important to get the details right it is crucial that momentum is not lost and the opportunity missed to deliver long overdue reform of the special education needs system. For more information go to:

Refreshing the Carers Strategy for Wales The Carers Strategy for Wales is being updated to reflect the Welsh Government’s renewed commitment to all carers, including families with disabled children. The new strategy will outline five key priority areas: health and social care, information, identification and consultation, young carers, support and employment.

Over the next six months, the new legislation will be scrutinised by a number of Assembly Committees, so there will be the opportunity to influence the progress of the Bill. As this is primary legislation which will set the legal basis for all social services, it will be vital to make sure that the detailed wording of the Bill is able to meet the ambitious aims of the Welsh Government for social care in Wales.

The new strategy will compliment the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 which put a duty on the Local Health Boards to improve information and consultation with carers and the Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children (Wales) Regulations 2012 which increased the duty on local authorities to provide breaks for families with disabled children.

For more information on the Bill please go to:

For more information go to:

Citizens Advice Bureau helping Families with Disabled Children

Direct Payments Support Services

Families with disabled children are more likely to be experiencing financial difficulties because of the higher costs involved in bringing up a child with a disability and the loss of income associated with either being a lone parent or in two parent families and the need in many cases for one of the parents to give up work.

Direct Payments can be complicated so councils provide Direct Payments Support Services which are available to people who receive Direct Payments and to anyone who is interested and wants to find out more.

Around 29,000 families with disabled children in Wales are not claiming the Disability Living Allowance they are entitled to.

The Support Services are delivered either by the council or by organisations such as Shaw Trust and provide information and guidance on all aspects of Direct Payments. Shaw Trust currently provides 3 Direct Payments Support Services in Wales :

This means that 62 per cent of those who are eligible are not claiming money that they are entitled to.


The Welsh Government funded Better Advice, Better Lives service gives access to CAB advice from a variety of over 150 healthcare settings in Wales. So, if your enquiry cannot be sorted out on the phone, there is probably a location near you where you can talk to an adviser face-to-face.

Each Shaw Trust Support Service will give you information so you can decide if Direct Payments are right for you. They can provide:

The Better Advice, Better Health Advisers may also be able to provide you with a home visit in special circumstances . To see if you could be eligible to receive some additional financial support or if you have any queries about your current circumstances please contact one of the 23 Citizens Advice Bureaux across Wales, delivering quality assured advice from 247 locations. You can get advice, in Welsh or English

Neath Port Talbot Swansea

training on becoming an employer and employment law

help with recruiting staff (personal assistants)

access to training for personal assistants

access to a payroll service to take away the worry of tax and National Insurance

a network of peer support including a local support group and a newsletter.

support to ILF & self funders

For more information, please contact them by: email at or telephone them on 01792 325303

by phoning Adviceline Cymru on 08444 772020 or 

online at

Or face-to-face with an adviser locally.

If the Shaw Trust doesn't provide the service in your area, visit the Disability Wales website where you will find a list of all Direct Payments Support Services.

In your area A Wheelie Good Idea!

Daffodils - Flintshire

Disused wheelchairs are gaining a new lease of life after being saved and refurbished at Clynfyw Farm, Pembrokeshire.

Daffodils is a disabled and additional needs children’s charity in Flintshire for Flintshire families who have a child/young person under 25 years with additional needs.

They use old and unwanted independent living aids and mobility equipment which are collected and refurbished for export to Africa, Asia and other parts of the developing world.

The charity provides leisure and recreational activities for the whole family to enjoy. These events take place at weekends, evenings and throughout the school holidays.

Much of the equipment comes through personal donations and also surplus/ damaged items from local council stores.

The current range of events and activities are: 

ice skating, team games e.g. football, hockey and basket ball

A lot of usable equipment ends up in landfill where it could be a life changing piece of kit to someone who has nothing.

craft workshop events

youth club

Excursions e.g. Drayton Manor

If you have any equipment you no longer need and would like it to get to a good home, get in touch. Clynfyw offers a flexible day service and accessible holiday cottages open all the year round. They would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved! Contact Jim Bowen on 07980 290522 or email him at

NAS Conwy & Denbighshire Branch Internet Cafe Provides information and support for people with autism and Asperger syndrome, their families, friends and carers. They offer outreach and information in the community; as well as social and peer support of group members and their families with monthly meetings and periodic social activities. They run an Internet Café at “Tape”, Berthes Road, Old Colwyn 2-4pm on the second Saturday of each month, for the whole family, free of charge. They have internet access, Wi-Fi, computers, games and a Blu Ray TV. For more information contact them by email at or telephoning them on 07990 914901

It can be a chance to have a chat over a cup of tea, gain information from other Carers, get help, advice and support from staff but most of all to have fun with the whole family in a safe and secure environment. To find more out please contact Anita James on 01352 250147 or email them at

The Children & Young People’s Network - Powys The Network enables voluntary organisations to link with each other to help influence the decision making processes of local and national policy, plans and developments. They have a small number of Voluntary Sector Representatives who attend meetings to plan services for children and their families. These Representatives act as a direct link between the policy makers and the Children & Young People’s Network. Keep up to date with information, events, training and policy by going to the children & young people’s blog at: PAVOfamiliesnetwork Or contact Yvonne Owen-Newns by email at or telephone her on 01597 822191

Wales Spring Newsletter 2013  

Newsletter for families of disabled children in Wales. This our spring 2013 edition of our newsletter. English version

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