A parent guide
SENDirect was created to help support you and your family by providing you with information and where you can see all the services that are available in your area, all in one place. You can use SENDirect to contact providers of these services and negotiate a package that better suits your child. Your account lets you keep track of your conversations and lets you buy services, once you have agreed them.
Creating your account
It's easy to create your account following the walk through registration pages. Once you have created your account make sure you add the details of your child or young person so you can find services more easily.
You can click on any of the 'Information' buttons on the homepage to get to the Information landing page. You could choose to look through the categories listed there, or you could use the magnifying glass button at the top of the page (next to the log in button) to search for a specific information page like 'childminders' or 'information on benefits'.
Looking for a service
You can search for a local service either by browsing the categories on the home page, or by typing in the name of the service you are looking for in the search bar on the home page. Once you have done a search and found some options, you can filter them using the options in the left hand column. You can use the details of your child here - it will automatically filter the results to meet the needs you stated when you created your account.
If you can't find what you are looking for, then please fill in our feedback form. When we get these, we will actively look for the service you need. We'll ask our family networks, and use our social media presence to try and find them. If it seems like they don't exist, then we will know there's a need and we will use this to influence local service providers or to campaign on a larger scale for the right services in the right places.
Contacting a provider
If you like the look of a listed service, you can then contact the provider by clicking on the purple 'View...details' button. You can then choose to view other services, report a misleading service, or contact the service provider to ask them more questions or to see if they can tailor their services to suit you better. You can share your child's details if you want to at this point, but you don't have to.
Your enquiries will appear back in your account homepage, and this is where answers to your questions will appear and be saved for future reference. If you agree a customised service with a provider (changed hours or pricing for example) and you prefer to pay via SENDirect, these 'custom options' will also come up on your home page in the menu on the left (under Addresses). You can also buy a service as it has been listed if you don't need to personalise it.
Once you have discussed a customised service, the provider will send it through to your account page where you can check it and pay for it. You can use your bank or credit card or Paypal. Your account page will keep a record of all the services you have bought on SENDirect.
Leaving a review
If you have used a service, it's really useful if you can then write a review of it so other families can read it and know what you think of it. Was it supportive of your child's needs? Did they enjoy themselves? What could be improved? All these things help other families make good choices when they are searching themselves. They are also useful to us - if you are leaving bad reviews, we will know where things need to be improved and can tell people how to do it so we can help make things better for everyone - read our guidance on review writing!
Closing an account
If you want to close your account, you just need to go to the 'Account Details' section on your account homepage. There is a red 'Close Account' button - this will give you the details of deleting your account and what happens to the data you had saved on SENDirect.