Project information

Family support for disabled children/ young people

Our Family and Parenting Support (FPS) service provides practical, holistic support, empowering families who have disabled child/children and young people up to 19 years to reduce stress and gain control of their lives so that they can live as normally as possible..

September 2012 - September 2013

Charity information: Three Wings Trust

Three Wings Trust logo
  • Need


    Families with a child/young person with disabilities have many critical needs that include financial pressures, family breakdown, social isolation as a family and for the child with disability, worries about the long term future of their child with the disability, siblings who feel ‘deprived’, stress surrounding obtaining the right support and education packages etc.
    We seek to help the families alleviate these needs and live as much like 'normal' families as possible within their community.


    Our Family & Parenting Support Officer (in conjunction with the rest of the TWT team) works with the family to co-develop the right strategies to meet their needs, agree a ‘contract’ specifying who will do what and by when and the planned outcomes to be achieved. This approach enables the family to take more control of their lives and reduces their stress. The FPS officer acts as their constant point of contact and advocate where necessary throughout the whole process.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help families with complex needs develop better coping strategies for the whole family


    » Co-develop plan with the whole family which identifies the needs and clear objectives for each member.
    » Implement the plan over the agreed timescale using the resources identified through our in depth knowledge and resources internally and externally.

    Success will be completion of the goals identified in contract such that the family are more able to cope, feel integrated into the community and cease to need external support.

    Aim 2

    Provide an active social life for the disabled child/young person leading to enhanced self esteem.


    » Design an activity programme according to needs - sport, art, etc - and suitable for the age and disability.
    » Provide a befriender to accompany the child/young person to the activity thus building independence for the child and providing respite for family.

    Success will be the child is confident about going out without the family (if appropriate) and has developed a social network of their own with shared common interests.

  • Impact


    The family are able to manage their lives more effectively and have not become dependent on support from social services which is the risk if they do not receive the type of early intervention they we provide.

    We maintain monitoring of the progress with each family based on the contract agreed at the outset. Demonstrable success is the family unit in maintained, is happier together and all the children confident in their school and social lives.


    The key risk is that the family become dependent on our interventions and never make progress towards the goals agreed. We mitigate this risk through maintaining rigorous review of progress and time-scales plus and use of purpose designed support tools to guide the family towards independence and taking control of the outcomes on a continuous basis.

    A further risk is that the needs are not identified correctly at the start. We have addressed this through having regular reviews as above.


    A summary of all cases is maintained together with the contact log which forms the annual monitoring summary. This is used to produce summary reports to donors on a anonymous basis.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £70,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £35,000 FPS Officer Lead contact for each family
      £15,000 Other TWT staff Sitting co-ordinator, Counsellor, etc
      £5,000 Management Supervision of team
      £5,000 Marketing & coms Publicity and web site
      £6,500 O'heads Accommodation & communications
      £3,500 Parent events Training and networking for parents
  • Background


    Families in the London boroughs of Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston


    Over the 12 months our FSW service is targeted to work with c.50 families with complex needs who have a child/young person/s with a disability. We work with children and young people up to the age of 19 (and occasionally up to 25 years). We have a broad ethnic mix including a large proportion of BME families especially in parts of Hounslow.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    TWT have successfully piloted this holistic approach over the past 15 months. The families have been referred to us by social workers and other agencies because we are totally independent (which the families really appreciate as they are often resistant to ‘state’ involvement); are able to examine all the areas of concern to the whole family; identify practical solutions from other agencies as well as our own services and able to gain the confidence of the parents who are often at breaking point

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Family And Parenting Support Officer

    Works with the family to identify needs and develop plan to address them. Becomes their constant point of contact and their advocate with others.

    Sitting And Befriending Co-Ordinator

    Organises our sitters and befrienders who support the disabled child or young person. She carefully matches the sitter/befriender to the child.

    Parent Partnership Worker

    Support parents with obtaining an educational statement of need and helps them select the right education place for their child.

    Counsellor/Play Therapist

    Helps the child with disability and their siblings address their emotional problems and develop social skills