Parent support groups are a great way to meet other parents for practical and emotional support. There are face-to-face groups and virtual ones through social media platforms. Support groups are often set up and run by parents and carers of children with additional needs who want to reach out and help others. Some professionals and organisations also run their own groups.

Groups can offer

  • Friendship
  • Opportunities to socialise
  • Information and advice
  • Emotional and moral support
  • A listening ear
  • A regular meeting place
  • Activities, such as a crèche for siblings or family days out

Somerset’s SEND Local Offer includes both local and national groups which may be useful for local families. You can search for support groups.

Local support groups

Local groups vary by the type of service they offer and can be open to parents and carers of children with any disability. Others are for parents whose children have the same condition. It is worth trying different ones because they vary.

Local support groups can attend the Support Group Forum (run by Somerset Parent Carer Forum) to get together and share the general concerns and experiences parents with SEND children and young people are having.  The Head of SEND from Somerset Council and the Designated Clinical Officer from NHS Somerset also attend this forum. Local support group details can also be shared with families by using our Local Offer update form or events calendar form.

National support groups

National support groups are usually for parents of children with specific conditions. National groups offer support in a range of ways, which might include:

  • Providing good quality information
  • Creating opportunities to get in touch with other families of children with the same condition
  • Running family events
  • Producing newsletters


Some services and support groups run events. You can find the latest events that are taking place on our SEND events page.

Last reviewed: January 3, 2024 by Gemma

Next review due: July 3, 2024

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