How can I volunteer? 

Would you like some support from an Independent Parental Supporter?

VolunteerAn Independent Parental Supporter (IPS) is somebody who volunteers their time to support families and who is wholly independent of the local authority.

The IPS role was created under the previous SEN Code of Practice 2001 and sadly, in many areas of the UK, IPSs are no longer available. In Staffordshire, we still have a small number of IPSs who we recruit, train and supervise, to carry out this role.

They may be able to:

  • Help you to express your views, wishes and feelings in writing.
  • Provide you with information, advice and support to enable you to participate in decisions made about your child.
  • Support you in a meeting about your child if you need it.
  • Assist us in increasing awareness of our service by distributing leaflets and attending events in the community.

Typically, an IPS might support parents at an informal meeting with their child’s school or a multi-agency meeting; they might also help with submitting parental views for an EHC Needs Assessment request, preparing for and attending an EHC Needs Assessment meeting, an annual review or maybe even a mediation meeting.

Our IPSs are often (but not always) parents of a child with SEND. IPSs might come from a broad range of backgrounds and each one brings their own knowledge, skills and experiences to the role. They are fully trained to carry out the role, including confidentiality, safeguarding awareness and are DBS checked.

How can I volunteer?

  • Do you have some time to spare during the day?
  • Could you be flexible with the time that you are available?
  • Would you like to support Staffordshire families who have children with special educational needs or disabilities?

We are continually recruiting and training volunteers to act as Independent Parental Supporters (IPS). They help provide information, advice and support to ;parents and carers of children and young people (aged 0 - 25 years) who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

We have been recruiting, training and using volunteers since 2001.

We are looking for people who can offer support to parents and carers in a confident, reassuring and non-judgemental manner. In return, we will provide full and ongoing training on matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities.  

Volunteers will be reimbursed for expenses incurred during visits or other work undertaken for the service (mileage, parking, etc).


Please see the document below:

 What's involved? (139 KB)

You can contact us if you need more information:

Phone: 01785 356921
Email: sfps@staffordshire.gov.uk