Reaching Families was established in 2008 by our project manager Brian O’Hagan. The organisation exists to “…empower, care for and inform parents and families of children with special needs in West Sussex.” We are achieving this through the delivery of high quality services that include:-
Access to information is one of the biggest challenges to parent-carers both locally and nationally. For that reason we published our parent-carer guide, Making Sense Of It All, which provides parents with information on a wide range of important subjects including diagnosis, benefits & money matters, special educational needs, accessing support from health and social care, etc. It also contains a directory of over 400 local and national organisations and an extensive jargon buster.
Transition to adult life is a notoriously challenging period for young people with special needs and disabilities and their families. Therefore, in addition to MSOIA, we published Making Sense of Adult Life, which brings together information on a wide variety of subjects in order to help parents support their child through this period of change.
Both of the above books are available to download for FREE as a PDF. Hard copies are available to order, free to parent-carers and £5 for professionals (P&P on both). Please visit our Guide page for further information.
We have published a diverse series of localized fact sheets on child disabilities and rare syndromes that combine clinical information on a condition with local information on relevant projects, services and support. We are also in the process of writing a second series of fact sheets covering a range of issues affecting parents and families including behaviour, bullying, benefits, education, sleep, etc. You can download any of the fact sheets in our series from our Fact Sheets page.
We deliver high quality workshops for parent-carers on a wide variety of subjects including:
Our training road-show has proved very popular as it allows us to repeat popular workshops at various locations across the county. Please visit our Training page or take a look at our most recent flyer to see when we will next be delivering workshops near you.
We deliver a monthly support group for parent-carers of children with special needs in Worthing, Billingshurst and Haywards Heath who attend mainstream schools. We are also trialing a group in Littlehampton. The groups are vital in helping isolated parents make connections with other parents in a similar situation. It also helps in signposting parents to other relevant projects and services. For further information regarding the Worthing and Littlehampton groups please contact Rosemary Hudson via email or phone her on
07704 037664. For Billingshurst and Haywards Heath please contact Michele Creed via email or phone her on 07470 005734.
We are active members of the local voluntary and community sector and work in partnership with a number of other local organisations in our field; for example, we work closely with colleagues at the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum with whom we jointly deliver the Parent Carer Conference (PACE).
Visit our Parent Guides page where
you can find out how to get hold of
your copy of Making Sense of It All
or Making Sense of Adult Life,
our guides to accessing services
and support for families of children
and young people with special needs
and disabilities in West Sussex.
Download our general flyer (293kb)
“Reaching Families offers a unique product in West Sussex. It is comforting to know that the organisation is parent carer led but offers practical tools to assist us in our day to day lives”