If you think an official has told you something that’s incorrect or inappropriate, you can use this letter to ask the council/health body to confirm whether the comment is true or not.
If the authorities can’t agree on who’s responsible for helping your family, don’t try and work it out yourself – use our template letter to complain about them both for failing to work together.
You can use this letter to make a complaint about a council or health body, for example if you’re unhappy with the amount of support available to your family or the way decisions have been made.
One challenge that parents have told us that they struggle with is dealing with statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. We listened to this concern and have funded research to explore practical and effective ways of resolving the commonly occurring problems families face when dealing with public bodies. As a result we produced our Accessing Public Services toolkit and started running workshops alongside our toolkit.
Following on from the success of both the toolkit and accompanying workshop, the toolkit has been adapted so that it is relevant for families who have a child with a brain condition who live in Scotland. The toolkit is free to download from our website.
To help us run our Scottish toolkit workshops we are delighted to have taken on 5 parent/carers, all of whom have children with a brain condition and who have also experienced the difficulties that many families face in accessing public services.
We value their experience, skills and knowledge of disabled children and the Scottish social care system. This is our opportunity to introduce them to you.
If you are an organisation in Scotland and would like to hold one of our workshops, please get in touch with Beverley Hitchcock on email@example.com.
My name is Gail McKeitch. Whilst born and bred in Glasgow, I now live in Aberdeenshire and have done for 30yrs. I’m married with three adult sons, two of whom have an autistic spectrum disorder. I have previously worked within HMRC, National Autistic Society, VSA Carers Centre and more recently with a private social care company. As a volunteer I facilitate an autism specific support group known as NAS Ellon Branch as well having my own autism consultancy. Yes, I like to keep busy and thrive on a challenge. Looking forward to meeting you.
I am mum to Tom who is 5, and has a range of complex medical issues including cardiac, respiratory and epilepsy. Tom would fall into the category of a child with exceptional health care needs, so needs round the clock highly specialised medical care. We have had some very positive experiences with accessing support, but also some extremely challenging ones. I am currently part of the Exceptional Families project working with Kindred and the CEN clinical network to improve the services and support available for families like ours. In order to be a strong advocate for Tom, I have had to arm myself with as much information as I could, be very clear about articulating his needs, and not be afraid to have difficult and sometimes emotional conversations with professionals. I’m hoping to help other parents to do the same.
Hi, I’m Sam and I live near Auchterarder with my husband, 12 year old son, 9 year old daughter and 2 cats! I spend my time caring for my son who was initially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 2, re-diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia at 6, being a Mum, working as a volunteer adviser with Citizien’s Advice and trying (badly) to get fit. Before kids, I spent many years working as an IT Consultant including doing lots of facilitation. I’m really looking forward to helping to run the new workshops in Scotland.
I’m Sharron Farrell and I’m the mother of 6 children (think Old Woman who lived in a Shoe!). My eldest son has severe autism and attends a Communication Base in a Mainstream School. I have personal, voluntary, and professional experience regarding the challenges families face in order to access the services they need. I have a background in Biochemistry, Teaching, IT, and Autism.
Hi, my name is Judith Knox and I live in Fife with my husband and 10 year old son. My son has complex needs and I am his main advocate in ensuring he receives the support he requires to fully meet his needs. Having been employed within both the NHS and local authority Social Work Service for many years I was fortunate to have an understanding of the local landscape and systems. This has been a great help in navigating my way through the bureaucracy. To have had access to a resource like the Cerebra Accessing Public Services Toolkit at that time would have been so helpful. My journey to access services and appropriate support for my son continues. I am currently on a year’s career break to allow me to concentrate on accessing appropriate educational placement for my son. I am thrilled to be part of the team bringing this Toolkit to life across Scotland.
Would you like the opportunity to help families get the knowledge they need to secure appropriate health, social care and education services to help their disabled child achieve the best possible outcomes?
We’re the charity that works with families who include children with brain conditions. We listen to them, we learn from them, we work with them. We carry out research, we design and innovate, we make and share. What we discover together makes everyone’s life better. Join us on our journey, and who knows what we could find?
Our research shows that disabled people and their families experience great difficulties accessing support services from public bodies. Our Accessing Public Services Toolkit aims to unpick these difficulties and suggest effective strategies for resolving them. It’s based on the idea that it’s not in the best interests of public bodies to have these commonly occurring problems and that most of these problems are capable of being resolved without involving lawyers and great expense.
After receiving such positive feedback on the Toolkit in England, and in response to requests from north of the border, we’ve adapted our Toolkit to make it relevant to Scotland. We now want to roll out workshops across Scotland to assist parent/carers in using this new toolkit. It can be daunting, exhausting and sometimes intimidating to challenge public officials so by running these workshops we want to empower parent/carers to not feel fearful about complaining.