The Rhondda Cynon Taf Parent and Carer Network provides help and support to parents and carers who are bringing up a disabled child and who live in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
To register with the Network, the person you care for must be aged between 0 & 25 but you don’t have to be receiving services to be eligible for support.
The Network aims to support parents in a variety of ways and includes:
- Provision of information about services, events and activities in the area.
- Opportunities for training, which may help to support you in your caring role.
- Signposting to services with other agencies, which may be able to help with specific difficulties or issues that you are experiencing.
Age Range 0-25
Referral to Service: No referral is necessary just completion of a registration form
Contact: Network Officer
Telephone: 01443 668839
Latest Information, Training and Events
Support for Families with children with Down's Syndrome
The Down's Syndrome South East Wales Support Group has launched a new Facebook group. It is a closed group, but any parent or professional wishing to join can send a request to secure information, news and support.
Find out more on Facebook
There is a general website with information and upcoming events. Find out more on the Down's Syndrome website.
Carers' Digital Stories
Four inspirational RCT Council Carers have created unique digital stories to explain more about life as a carer and the valuable roles they carry out.
Each of the stories is very different, as are each of our carers. It is hoped that by sharing with you their very real experiences, it will offer support, maybe allow you to find out things you never knew before and, more importantly, celebrate just how special each and every one of our carers is.
Kyle is a Young Carer he says: "My family care for me, my friends care for me, I care for them." Enjoy his digital story.
Tina is a Young Adult Carer who has cared for both of her parents and is known as "the miracle child" for more than one good reason! Enjoy her digital story.
Sue and her husband care for each other. She says "We look after each other, we support each other". Watch her lovely digital story here
Wendy is a parent carer and dedicates her time to her daughter, Emily, 21, who has Down's Syndrome. "It's not catching", Wendy says. Enjoy her digital story here
The Spring 2015 Carers' Newsletter is out now - enjoy!
Smalltalk Newletter is out now!
Get the latest copy here
Drop in sessions with SNAP Cymru
Snap Cymru, which provides support for families with additional learning needs is holding a series of fun information sessions for parents. They are the perfect way to meet other people and speak with local officers. Grab a coffee, come for a chat and let us help you with any issues you may with to address about your child, their development or issues in schools. There will also be updates on new SEN reform. The sessions take place on the first Monday of every month at Aberdare Library, the second Tuesday of every month at Pontypridd Library and the third Thursday of every month at Treorchy Library. All run from 10am to 12.30pm. Find out more on the information leaflet.
Contact a Family
Contact a Family's latest newsletter is out now, with updates on bedroom tax, events, news on the new chief executive, budget matters and so on. Find out more in the newsletter
Care Matters is an excellent round-up of news and information for carers. Enjoy the latest edition here
The Carers' Newsletter is also a great way to keep up to date on what is on offer for you and your family. Enjoy the latest edition of the Carers' Newsletter
Carers' Support Programme sessions
The Carers' Support Programme also has an extensive programme of events, including creative writing, peer support, mental health forums and more. Download the Programme to find out more.
Challenging Behaviour Support Group
This group meets every other Thursday in the new cafe at St Catherine's Church in Pontypridd from 10am to 12pm (evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm during school holidays).
The group is run by parents and carers, for parents and carers. No diagnosis is necessary. It allows you to discuss more about your child, their behaviour, where to seek help and services that are on offer. It offers peer support in a friendly atmosphere. Find out more in the information leaflet.
Autism-friendly films are shown in nearby cinemas.
There are also monthly autism-friendly films in a cinema near you! For more information about the great films showing near you, visit the Dimensions website
Upbeat Music Specialist
Upbeat Music provide specialist, structured music sessions for people with learning disabilities of all ages. Sessions offer anyone with a learning disability the opportunity to enjoy music at their own level. Along with developing musical skills, the sessions also include opportunities to work individually and as part of a group, develop social skills and communication, gain confidence and self-esteem, perform at organised concerts/events and work with qualified/experienced staff.
Upbeat is now running adult and children's basic skills music sessions weekly on Tuesdays in Tonteg Community Centre.
Adults: 2 - 3pm and children: 4.30 - 5.30pm.
Visit the Upbeat Music website or the Upbeat Music Facebook page . You can also contact Liz Upham on 07583 639 281or email her
Sherman Theatre Group:
Inc Youth Theatre Group is a regular theatre group for those aged 15 to 22, with or without learning disabilities, offering a chance to improve their skills, meet new people and perform in a professional theatre. Due the massive success of the theatre's first Inclusive Youth Group, it is now running a second sessio and is inviting new members to attend from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. For more information, contact Kelly Barr, Creative Learning Assistant at the Sherman Cymru, Senghenydd Road, Cardiff. Tel: 02920 646983 or email@example.com
follow the theatre on twitter @shermancymru or Sherman Cymru on Facebook. Visit www.shermancymru.co.uk
Sports classes and support groups:
Weightloss and healthy eating class launched. The Weight For It group in Ferndale focuses on healthy eating and cooking on a budget. It's not what you lose, it's what you gain! Find out more in the information poster
New ADHD/ASD Parent Support Group
A new support group is open to all at Aberdare Rugby Club. It runs from 10am to 12.30pm every Wednesday in term times and will host guest speakers such as SNAP Cymru, Behaviour Support, Cerebera and more.This is your chance to get together with your peers, enjoy a cuppa and share experiences and skills.Download the information leaflet.
aged 14+ living with disabilities and additional learning needs in Rhondda Cynon Taf have an opportunity to take part in a brand new creative dance and movement class every Tuesday in St Catherine's Church, Pontypridd. The class will be run by Artis Community and our Service has been guaranteed a small number of places so hurry up and book your place because they will run out quickly! ! For more information email Lowri on Lowri.M.Owen2@rctcbc.gov.uk
Weekly Moving MOJO - Dance Sessions for Children with Disabilities
Sessions are held on Tuesdays from 5pm-6pm at Capel Farm Resource Centre, Tonyrefail, CF39 8LW. For more information call Michelle on 07719 832345 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Moving MOJO dance sessions for children with disabilities
Michael Sobell Sport Centre and Llantrisant Leisure Centre. Instructor: Alwyn Heath - 6th Dan. Disability Wales Insport Bronze level club
Tel: 07974 650274
South Wales Pirates Wheelchair Rugby
Llantrisant Leisure Centre Training Tuesday 10am-1pm. Contact Amanda Thomas
Tel: 07950 545014
RCT Tigers Football Club
The RCT Tigers train every Saturday and the players range from 6 years of age and up.
Tel: 07581 161066
Provide bicycles, mountain bikes and specially adapted bikes, trikes and go-karts for hire on a safe cycle route at Rhondda Sports Centre and Michael Sobell Sport Centre.
Tel: 07786 523587
Cwm Gymnastics: Based in Abercynon Sports Centre. It is an inclusive club that welcomes participants with any disability.
Tel: 07983 460110
Children's Disability Swimming Class at Abercynon Sport Centre:
This class is free to attend and siblings are also welcome. It takes place from 4pm to 5pm on Sundays.
Tel: Angela Ellis 07814905096
Information and support
Real Opportunities works across South Wales, providing support for those aged 14 to 19 with severe and complex needs,a learning disability or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their latest newsletter is out now
Family Fund Grants:
Family Fund is the UK's largest grant provider to low-income families who are raising disabled or seriously-ill children and young people. Last year, it helped with essential items such as washing machines, fridge-freezers, clothing, bedding, contributions towards the cost of hospital visits and even much-needed family breaks. The scheme can also help with tablets, laptops and sensory toys to help children with education and play needs.Family Fund can provide assistance once every 12 months for families with children aged 17 and under, so those who have received funding before, can apply again. To find out about upcoming events in Wales as well as details of how to apply, visit www.familyfund.org.uk or contact email: email@example.com - Tel: 0844 974 4099
New information for parents:
A new guide for parents on developmental delay has been launched. This much-needed guide is for parents and carers who think their child is not developing as they ought to be, or who have been told that their child has developmental delay. It contains information on:
- How children progress in the early years
- What developmental delay is
- Why a child might be slower in development and how parents can help their child
- Top tips from parents who have gone through similar.
It also contains a pull-out poster with important milestones in a child's development.
In the guide, the main message for parents is that support should be put in place early on to help a child with developmental delay develop skills. This should not be dependent on the child being diagnosed with a named medical condition.
Download the new guide for Families
Ask Autism Training
To celebrate the launch of Ask Autism training courses half price courses are being offered. For more information please follow the link. http://www.autism.org.uk/
Early Birds Healthy Minds
The Early Bird Healthy Minds programme is a six-session parent support programme to help promote good mental health in children with autism (including Asperger syndrome). Please email your details to RCTParentandCarerNetwork@rctcbc.gov.uk for referral onto the Early Bird Course.
Cerebra Pro Bono Programme
The laws of the four nations of the UK place enforceable duties on public bodies to provide education, health and social care support for disabled children.
The research evidence suggests that disabled children and their families experience considerable difficulties in accessing these rights and, in consequence, in receiving good quality health and social care, and educational provision.
It is against this background that the Cerebra Pro Bono Programme has been established at Cardiff Law School.
The Programme will provide legal support for disabled children and their families. Cardiff University law students will be the programme’s advisers.
This work will be supervised by qualified staff as well as by firms of solicitors. If more specialist advice is needed guidance will be given about getting that support. The service is free of charge.
Please contact our helpline for more information 0800 32 81 159 or email: info@Cerebra.org.uk
Please note that the Cerebra Pro Bono programme is not able to help with clinical negligence or personal injury claims.
Click this useful link if you have a child with a disability who is looking at going into further education or about to look for employment. http://www.greatwithdisability.com/index.php
Caudwell Children’s Family Support
This programme offers families with a disabled or seriously ill child (0-18) the support they need. The free service works around the needs of families, using skilled volunteers to help with practical necessities like applying for grants, finding local support groups and information about medical conditions. Find out more in their information leaflet
Contact a Family
The organisation has produced an information guide on benefits, tax credits and other financial help, focussing on those aspects that affect families with disabled children. View the information guide online
Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety: A Guide For Parents
Are your children safe online? Dowload Cerebra's information booklet for more information
The popular Gelli venue runs a fun social group for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 12+ living in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Download the poster for more information .
Team Around the Family (TAF)
This Rhondda Cynon Taf Council initiative is a new way of working together with children, young people and their families to overcome challenges and to bring about positive change. It is being delivered by Fframwaith, which is the partnership that brings together all the services that are working to improve life in RCT for children and their families. Visit the dedicated Fframwaith webpages to find out more
It has been rolled out across the county borough to help as many families as possible. Visit the dedicated Fframwaith pages to find out more
This is our new and unique bilingual website and mobile app for 14-25 year olds in Wales for your Apple or Android device. It offers practical solutions via their survival guides, live messaging and secure forums. Find out more and download the app now!
Deaf for Equality and Fair Opportunities (DEFFO!)
Deffo has produced a DVD called Children and Young People’s Rights, which explains young deaf people’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in British Sign Language. It includes youth-led filming with examples of real life scenes made by deaf young people. Enjoy the film and find out more about it
Are you aware of the Code of Practice for Social Care?
The Code of Practice sets out the standards of conduct that service users can expect to receive from a social care worker. Find out more on the Care Council for Wales website
Adult Autism Advice
This is a new information service designed for adults with High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome living in Rhondda Cynon Taf, who do not meet the criteria to access traditional support services. You do not need a diagnosis to contact Adult Autism Advice. Visit the dedicated Adult Autism Advice web pages to find out more.
Have Your Say - Current Consultations and the chance to share your views
Children's Commissioner for Wales needs your views on short breaks
Are you affected by short breaks? Would you like to have your say? The Children’s Commissioner for Wales is undertaking a key piece of work that will examine the short breaks provision in Wales. As well as providing support to parent carers and other carers, short breaks have an important role in offering disabled children and young people opportunities to enjoy the rights associated with social activities. During the next few months, the Commissioner will be meeting with disabled children and young people and their carers to hear their views about the short breaks provision. Anyone affected by short breaks are asked to take part in an online survey available on the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ website If you would like to contribute, you can complete the survey online
A paper questionnaire, if preferred, is also available by calling 01792 765600. All responses will remain anonymous.
All current consultation can be found on the Consultations Page - we would love to hear from you!