The Alafia Family Support Service works with families from ethnic minority backgrounds caring for a child or children aged between 0 – 25 years with a disability or special educational needs. The aim of the service is to ‘reduce social isolation; signpost/refer and facilitate access to mainstream services, and to facilitate peer support by holding family support group meetings.

Why work with Alafia: The Alafia Family Support Service understands the specific cultural needs of the various minority ethnic communities in Reading, and the services are provided in a culturally sensitive way. Most of the hardest hit families are also among the most vulnerable and invariably are reluctant to seek statutory support because of language, or cultural sensitivities. Our outreach advice and guidance service works proactively for our clients by engaging with groups in their cultural settings, events and places of worship, and this enables us to discover and eventually support families. We work with all minority families, including those from European, Asian, African, Caribbean, and mixed heritage children from these communities. Alafia always work in partnership with local statutory, voluntary and community organisations to facilitate access to services.

Referral Eligibility Criteria: Alafia works in partnerships with local statutory, voluntary and community organisations to facilitate access to services by BME families in the Reading Borough Council area. In order for our clients to fully maximise the Alafia support services, we solely support families from the Greater Reading area. Statutory agencies, Voluntary and Community organisations can signpost/refer their service users to Alafia. Alternatively families can self refer as long as their child meets the service criteria.