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Children and families support officers

Photo: Our children and families support officers are here for you

Our children and families support officers are based around the UK. Their role is to empower deaf children, young people and their families to make informed choices. They provide information and support on a range of topics including education, welfare benefits, social care, discrimination, independence and communication.

Children and families support officers

We support over 2000 deaf children, young people and their families each year and reach hundreds more through our local work with a range of community groups.

Referrals to the team generally come via our helpline, who may be able to help with the query initially but can also refer you to a children and families support officer when appropriate.

We work directly with individuals and families, supporting them to understand their options, empowering them so they feel confident when making decisions.

You may also meet a children and families support officer in settings such as meetings, events, schools, your local Deaf Children’s Society events and at audiology clinics.

Children and families support officers will
  • help you to find as much information as possible about your concern
  • do what they can to make sure that your voice is heard and that you are given the opportunity to share your views
  • help to explain your views to other people who may be working with your family when you are finding this difficult yourself
  • help you to understand information that you’ve received about your child’s deafness
  • talk to you about local services
  • highlight useful information in our publications to use when discussing your child’s needs with other professionals
  • keep in touch with you while you are working together
  • contact you using an interpreter in your preferred language, if English is not your first language
Children and families support officers will not
  • make choices for you or try to influence your decisions in anyway
  • write letters, fill in forms, or make telephone calls if you are able to do this yourself
  • write their own report or make their own assessment of your child’s needs
What you will need to do

To be able to provide you with the best possible support, you will need to tell your children and families support officers about:

  • any deadlines as soon as you know the dates
  • any urgent letters and paperwork as soon as you receive them
  • what kind of support you want
  • any other professionals who may be helping you with the same issue.

If you would like to learn more about our children and families' support officers, or get a referral to speak to one yourself, call our Freephone Helpline* on 0808 800 8880 or email our team at [email protected]. We also offer a Live Chat service.

*Calls are free from landlines and all major phone providers. Cost from mobiles may vary.

Do you need free independent advice? Contact the Helpline

Landline: 0808 800 8880

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Free from all UK landlines and major UK mobile providers

SMS: 0786 00 22 888 (SMS)

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Texts are charged at your standard network rate or taken from your monthly allowance

BSL Interpreter: BSL Interpreter Now

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Contact us by making a free video call with a BSL interpreter

Enquiry Form: Contact form

Complete our online contact form at any time and receive a response within 10 days

Live Chat: Live chat

Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Chat to a member of the Helpline team online for free