Support SEND Kids is a charity that uses technology to provide free, accurate guidance to those interpreting (and advising on) SEND law and other laws that affect SEND families.
We are a small charity that helps SEND families travel across the many legal landscapes during their child’s education, from simply asking for support and assessment, to applying for an EHCP, wrestling with discrimination, and in some cases dealing with exclusion, isolation, tricky transitions and sometimes even the Court of Protection. We support parents to advocate for their children and themselves by providing free, accurate and useful information online, assisted by a crowd of legal volunteers.
Sometimes, even helping themselves into the legal process can be too hard for SEND parents, particularly those who are carers.
We have therefore agreed to collaborate with the global law firm Reed Smith to help connect these parents with lawyers who can help them with the tricky forms to fill out and the processes that follow.
The first of these collaborations is with respect to the issue of accessing Child Trust Funds.
If your child has "impaired decision making capacity", you as their parent cannot access the money in their Child Trust Fund without being appointed a "deputy" by the Court of Protection (unless you hold a Lasting Power of Attorney with relevant powers (which is unlikely)).
We have the offer of free help from Reed Smith lawyers to work with parents on a one-to-one basis to fill out the relevant forms and apply to the Court of Protection for your child's money. Please read on if you would like to take part in this trial and access the support.
What will it take from you?
- Making time to work online with a Reed Smith lawyer to fill out the forms
- Fill out any information (known as KYC or Know Your Customer) that Reed Smith will need to confirm your identity
- Submit the forms (with the help of the Reed Smith lawyers)
- Give us feedback afterwards about the project - this is to support a report that we and Reed Smith and some other lawyers will give to the Court of Protection
Why do it?
Our initial assessment is that the process for applying to the Court of Protection is not always easy for non-lawyers to understand and navigate, and that this may be having a serious and unfortunate impact on the people the Court should be protecting. We intend to use feedback generated by the application process – both from you and from Reed Smith’s lawyers – to help us produce a guide which will be accessible to parents who may be making applications in the future. We also hope to provide feedback to the Court of Protection in the hope that it will help them to make their processes more accessible. it might help us drive lasting change.
Who will it benefit?
We hope it will benefit you but also anyone else who can't manage to take part in a trial like this. We hope the outcome of testing the process is that, whether through our guide or improvements in the Court’s processes themselves, the process will get better for SEND families.
Why are we and Reed Smith helping?
It’s in Support SEND Kids’ core strategy to make the complex SEND legal frameworks accessible to everyone. We have identified a potential issue with the current Court of Protection system and believe we can help resolve it. Reed Smith are partnering with us on this project on a pro bono basis.
Please answer the 3 questions below and you will be contacted by email.
Thank you for helping.
Trustee, Support SEND KIds