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Meet our Family Consultants

Our Family Consultants are there to help families express concerns, to act as intermediaries to help bridge the communications gaps that can sometimes exist between providers and families, and to champion the rights of families across Discovery.

The role of family consultant was developed to ensure the voice of families is heard at every level of the organisation and beyond. It is varied and responsive; it can involve quality checking services, supporting local families and bringing a family perspective to Discovery’s strategy, policy development, service improvement and campaign work. Sometimes, indeed, to act as a ‘stone in our shoe.’

Amanda Watson

Amanda’s son is supported by Dimensions in his own home in Dorset. He has autism and learning disabilities and communicates without speech. Amanda is one of the pilot team of ‘family expert’ quality checkers and will continue to fill this role alongside associate family consultant work. She manages a Direct Payment on behalf of her son and has successfully advocated for him to move closer to the family. She has had to become an expert in managing risks associated with challenging behaviour.

Using her own experience, Amanda is here to support Discovery families to work with Discovery Support Workers and Management to get the best possible outcomes for their family members. Amanda can provide guidance on topics like, supported living, deputyship, person-centred Support and end-of-life planning.

Jess Heslop

We’re also very pleased to have Jess Heslop join us from the Hft Family Carer Support Service, and are delighted to be joined by a woman who understands the law so well and can make sure that people we support and families know their rights! Jess is mum to Jude, a 10 year old boy with learning disabilities, autism, and epilepsy who is registered blind. Like Amanda, Jess understands very well the challenges faced by families in day-to-day life.

If there is anything that you are uncertain of, uncomfortable with, or curious about don’t hesitate to ask.