Skip to main content

The Special Parenting Service

The Special Parenting Service (SPS) supports parents with a learning disability or difficulty. Our team helps parents by providing specialist assessment and intervention to help them achieve their parenting potential and improve outcomes for their children. The service also provides specialist consultation to health and social care professionals working with parents to ensure parent’s needs are understood and parents can access universal and targeted services.


Whilst the service accepts referrals from all sources, we prioritise referrals from health professionals.

How We Work

Depending on the level of need and the complexity of the issues, we offer a flexible, needs led response, based on the referrer and client’s perception of their difficulties and needs.  


All referrals to the service that meet the specified criteria receive an assessment.  Most parents receive a detailed psychological assessment to help understand their parenting strengths and needs and how best they can be supported.

Home Based Intervention Programmes

We provide support and interventions to families with learning needs. These are developed according to the specific needs of the family and may include:

·      healthy lifestyles

·      emotional health and stress managements

·      routines for children and managing the home

·      play skills and understanding child development

·      how to keep children safe

·      behavioural management

·      support and resources

·      relationships

Video Interaction Guidance

This client-led, evidence-based intervention supports parents to understand and improve their communication and interaction with their child. The good moments from the video are shown to the parent, which helps them build on their strengths.

Early Intervention

We aim to offer parents with a learning disability assessment and early help as part of preventative support, rather than when safeguarding issues have developed.

The service focuses on early interventions by assessing parenting needs and supporting parents to prepare for parenthood.

Working closely with health visitors and midwives, support is then provided to address any areas of need during the early stages of a child’s development.

This can be the key to promoting better outcomes for children and family preservation.

‘Parents Opening Doors Course’

The Special Parenting Service and Cornwall College ‘Parents Opening Doors Course’ provides a course to support parents with literacy, numeracy, life skills and employment skills. There are also topics related to parenting, which include healthy lifestyles, relationships and personal development.


The service offers support through a group held each year at the college course. The group topics are chosen by the parents.

Sessions have been held on subjects such as assertiveness, play and behaviour management and emotional health and well-being.

Parents also offer each other support through attending the group.

Training and Presentations

SPS provides professional training and presentations about best practice in working with parents with learning disabilities and co-ordinates the interagency working group for parents with learning disabilities.

Consultation and Child Safeguarding

SPS provides a consultation service to professionals of all agencies to help them develop a psychological formulation of a parents needs and develop a better understanding of how to most effectively support parents to meet their child’s needs.

SPS work within statutory child safeguarding guidelines to safeguard children whilst offering specialist assessment and support to parents.

Who to contact

Contact name
Debbie Hunter
Contact position
Manager/Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Where to go

Special Parenting Service
Penryn Street
TR15 2SP

Time / date details

When is it on?
Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00
Time of day

Other details


Referral required

Last updated: 06/10/2015

Back to top
Powered by Open Objects ©