What is Parent Carer Participation?

Parent carers can often pinpoint problems frequently experienced by families with children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This knowledge is useful to professionals as they plan services to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. 

Parent carers participation is when parents and professionals work together, recognising each other’s expert knowledge, to design, develop and improve services for children and young people with SEND in the local area. The way parent carers work with professionals is by becoming Steering Group members and forming groups called parent carer forums. 

What is a parent carer forum?

We are the delivery partner of the Department for Education and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums in supporting parent carer participation in England. The way parent carers work with professionals is by forming groups called parent carer forums. A parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of children and young people with SEND. Their aim is to make sure the services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and their families.  

They do this by gathering the views of local families and then working in partnership with local authorities, education settings, health providers and other providers to highlight where local services, processes and commissioners are working well, or challenge when changes or improvements need to be made.

We are ‘experts by experience’. As a Parent Carer, you will be able to attend Steering Group meetings, forums and external events.

Why do we need Steering Group Members?

– Forum members get to have a good understanding by attending forum meetings
– The experiences and challenges of other parents and carers
– The services and the law
– Good practice and ways of working
– The Professionals working in Service Provision work in a culture that makes its own demands and can be unaware of the real pressures facing families in their everyday lives 
– The importance of working with the people who receive services to shape and improve services has been well researched and proven to improve outcomes
– The United Nations, Governments and Local Authorities have recognised this and pledge to enable participation of people receiving services
– We have a right to be heard!

How to Join Nottingham City Parent Carer Voice

New Steering Group members from the Nottingham City are always welcome, please email our Engage Team at engage@rainbowpcf.org.uk if you are interested in joining or if you have any questions. For details of the next meeting, please see our calendar.

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