The importance of early intervention in supporting children’s development is well established in evidence and practice, especially for those deemed to be at risk.

Children with a learning disability are at greater risk of many health and social inequalities.

The Mencap Family Support programme supports families with children aged 0 to 7 with a learning disability, global developmental delay and / or autism. 

Children do not need to have a diagnosis to access the Family Support Programme. 

The Family Support Programme offers a range of centre and community based interventions and the family support sites are located at our Mencap Centre in Belfast and in Derry/Londonderry.

Family Support engagement includes:

  • Listening ear service / one-to-one support and signposting
  • Makaton sessions
  • Information sessions on a range of topics including carers rights, benefits advice and statementing process
  • Bespoke workshops to support parents to support their child’s learning and development
  • Self-care and wellbeing sessions
  • Parent and Toddler Programme for 0 to 3 year olds
  • Family Days
  • Information Fairs
  • Closed Facebook groups
  • E-PAtS 8 week parent support programme covering key areas including communication, sleep and behaviours that challenge 
  • Online resource to support families: www.positiveapproachestosupport.co.uk / www.epats.org.ukDuring the Covid-19 crisis Mencap worked in partnership with a number of family carers, practitioners and researchers to produce this resource for families who care for children, young people or adults with a learning disability. It contains information about effective communication techniques, ideas for creating choice and independence, strategies to reduce behaviours that challenge and tools to support well-being. There are also a range of videos and printable resources available.

To find out more about availability and access to the above services please contact the family support team at familysupport@mencap.org.uk.