Families SEND Support Team

Families SEND Support Team

What does it do?

The Families SEND Support Team offers Portage and a range of bespoke programmes and workshops designed to guide, support, and empower families who have children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Through our range of support, we aim to listen, understand, and help you develop your skills and knowledge to feel more confident in raising a child or young person with special need and/or disability.

We focus on children’s/young people’s strengths, looking at what they can do and enjoy. We look at ways to help you support your child/young person in achieving next steps in their development.

Who can access the service?

Families living in Bradford and Airedale who have a child or young person aged 0-25 with Special Educational needs and Disabilities.

Children/Young People do not require a diagnosis to access most of our programmes.

We offer Autism specific training as listed below.


 How to refer?

Complete the referral form https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/Schools/PortageReferral/default.aspx


Programmes and Workshops available


  • Portage (ages 0-5)

Portage is an education service for pre-school aged children with additional support needs and their families.

Portage sessions can take place at home or in a group. We work in partnership with parents/carers to identify what a child can do, celebrate their strengths and plan play activities to help achieve next steps in learning.

We work with other agencies involved and support transition to nursey or school.

More information about Portage can be found here https://www.portage.org.uk/

Bradford Portage referral criteria: 

A severe developmental delay in two areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Areas of learning: Communication. Personal, social and emotional development. Cognition (thinking). Physical development. 

Bradford Portage offer:  

Portage works flexibly to meet the needs of children and families. The offer is subject to change. 

Our core offer is: 

  • Portage Home Visits

Children aged 0-5 who are not accessing free childcare can receive up 12 Portage Home Visits. 

  • Portage Groups

Children aged 0-5 who are accessing 15 hours free childcare will be offered a place at a Portage Group for up to 8 sessions.

 Portage is not available to children who are accessing 30 hours free childcare.

 A re-referral may be considered if further support is required. 

Bradford Portage is a registered service with the National Portage Association  www.portage.org.uk



Portage in Bradford Video: 


Programmes for parents and carers


SEND Together Programme - Mini virtual programme for ALL parents of children with SEND who do NOT have an Autism diagnosis.

3 x 3 hour sessions to help parents and carers understand their children and young persons sensory needs, communication differences and support behaviour.

  • Understanding senses
  • Your child’s sensory portrait
  • Strategies and resources to support sensory differences
  • How children receive and use communication
  • Supporting children to develop communication
  • Strategies and resources that can be used at home
  • A range of information and strategies to help parent’s/carer’s understand and manage their children’s behaviour.

Early Bird -  Approx 11 weeks. 2hrs online and 2.5hrs face to face. Maximum of 2 places per child

  • The EarlyBird Parent Programme supports parents and carers of pre-school aged children (under five years) who are on the pathway for an assessment for autism. EarlyBird helps parents and carers to: understand autism and how children experience the world around them, develop interaction and communication and understand behaviour.

Cygnet core programme – 7 weeks. 2.5hrs online and 3hrs face to face

  • A support programme for parents and carers of children and young people aged between 5-18yearswith a diagnosis of autism. Cygnet provides a space to connect with others who share similar experiences, whilst developing further understanding of autism and gathering practical solutions to support their children.

Following on from Cygnet parents then have the opportunity to attend additional sessions on sleep, supporting siblings and puberty, sexual well-being and relationships.

Cygnet Siblings Workshop – 3hrs online and face to face

  • A workshop to offer parents and carers the space to reflect, consider and focus on the siblings of children and young people with autism. An opportunity to look through siblings eyes.

Cygnet Sleep Workshop – 2.5hrs online and 3hrs face to face

  • This workshop offers healthy sleep information. Strategies to support sleep concerns such as settling and rising, frequent night awakenings, attachment, and separation, with the aim to create a regular sleeping pattern.

Cygnet Puberty, Sex and Relationships –3 x 3hr face to face sessions

  • This three session course is designed for parents of children/young people with autism aged between7-18, to help them develop their understanding and confidence relating to puberty, sexual wellbeing and relationships and how they impact children on the autistic spectrum.




Families SEND Support Team 
Margaret McMillan Tower 
Princes Way

Tel: 01274 439444

Referral form: https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/Schools/PortageReferral/default.aspx

Email: sendsupport@bradford.gov.uk


Team Manager: Janine Wood

Coordinator: Nicola Rothwell 

Portage Home Visitors: Wakhida Akhtar, Erum Iqbal, Lisa Haley, Rebekah Braid, Suzanne Palmer, Charlene Hamilton, Christine Browne, Lucy Collins, Jeannine Balson, Francesca Finch, Paula Chapman. 

SEND Programme Facilitators: Noor Khan, Amelia Rose.  







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