Telephone and email support

DIAS enquiry line staff and DIAS Officers give telephone and email support. Here’s what you can expect if you call or email us.

Email enquiries

You can email us at any time with a query about SEND support.

When you email, it’s helpful if you can give us some basic information about you (if you’re a young person) or your child. It helps us to know:

  • Where you live in Devon.
  • The main issue you’re contacting us about.
  • Your age (if you’re a young person) or your child’s age.
  • If you need us to get back to you urgently (for example if you have a deadline, or your child has just been excluded).

If it’s straightforward question or request, you’ll get a reply directly from one of our enquiry line staff.

If it looks like what you’re asking is complicated, needs a discussion or you might need more support, we’ll pass it on to a DIAS Officer. DIAS Officers cover different areas of Devon, so your local officer will usually be the one to get in touch. If the service is very busy, you might sometimes hear from a DIAS Officer from another area.

Your DIAS Officer might talk with you by email, and send you some information or links to other resources or organisations. Or, they might ask if they can call you for a chat instead, as sometimes a phone call is easier and more helpful for you.

Email enquiries: devonias@devon.org.uk

“Thank you for all the input and support you have given which has been helpful and useful. Your support has kept me going at times when I was flagging. By providing me with links and information I could look into things myself and find out more and you have helped me to keep positive.”

Telephone enquiries

We have a dedicated enquiry line open between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. It’s open all year round, not just in term time. Sometimes the service can be very busy, so if you can’t get through (you should hear a message saying the line is busy), please call back.
Outside of the enquiry line opening hours, you’ll be able to leave a message.

When you first call us, you’re most likely to speak to one of our enquiry line staff. They have a good level of knowledge about general SEND issues, and may be able to help you there and then with the information you need. They can:

  • give you details of other helpful organisations or resources
  • send you leaflets and factsheets by email or post
  • tell you where you can find information on our website
  • give you some basic information about SEND support

Our enquiry line staff are Georgie Cridland and Vanessa Johnson.

If what you’re asking about needs a discussion, or you need specific support, we’ll ask a DIAS Officer to contact you.

We’ll ask for your contact details and some information about you and your child, such as what school year your child is in. It’s helpful for us to know why you’re calling and what you would like help with.

Your enquiry is passed on to a DIAS Officer. They cover different areas of Devon, so your local officer will usually be the one to get in touch.

“With all the information swirling around it was good to get some perspective on what needs to be done. The DIAS Officer was patient, calm and listened to my frazzled issues then slowly peeled back the emotion to get to the point; that being what is best for the child and what can we do for the child.”

We operate on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and usually contact people in the order in which they’ve contacted us (unless you need to speak to someone urgently).

We try and get back to callers within a week, but when the service is busy it may be longer than this. We’ll try and give you an idea how long it’s likely to be before an Officer gets in touch and send you information to read in the meantime. Please bear in mind that all of the DIAS Officers work part-time, so they aren’t available every day.

DIAS officers often give telephone support over a few weeks or months. We aim to help you understand more about SEND support, the law and what you can do to make a difference. We give support to:

  • help you to feel confident and knowledgeable when you talk to professionals
  • develop new skills
  • feel well prepared for meetings, discussions and appeals.

Please note
We always do our best to help you as soon as we can, but we aren’t a crisis or emergency service! We know that sometimes things happen very quickly, for example, if a child is permanently excluded. If you need to speak to us urgently, we will contact you as soon as we can. In the meantime we’ll try and give you information that tells you what you need to do next.

 

Page last updated: January 2018
Page due for review: January 2020

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