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‘Working with Families’ Workshop North East Regional SEND Pathfinder Champion Event 18 th September 2013.

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‘Working with Families’ Workshop

North East Regional

SEND Pathfinder Champion Event

18th September 2013


Contact a Family - Provides advice, information and support to all UK families with disabled children. Through a national helpline and family support service, we provide advice on any aspects of caring for a disabled child. In addition to this we are also one of the strategic delivery partners contracted by the Department for Education to support specifically around the SEN and Disability Reforms. The focus of this work is around strengthening parent carer participation.

The programme is working in partnership with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums to strengthen and develop Parent Carer Participation and ensure that parent carers become effective partners in strategic planning, decision making and evaluation.


National Network of Parent Carer Forums – Is a parent Carer led organisation whose membership is made up of all of the Parent Carer Forums that are eligible to receive a parent participation grant from the Department for Education.

Over the last five years, the Department for Education have supported and funded the development of parent carer forums in every area across England. It is essential that Parent Carer Forums are involved in co-producing plans and implementation of the SEN and Disability reforms.

The NNPCF steering group is made up of parent carers from each region who are able to represent the voice of parent carers in their regions and ensure information about national developments is disseminated and that parent carer participation is strengthened and embedded.


The SEND Reforms

Subject to Parliamentary approval of provisions in the Children and Families Bill, all areas will need to implement the SEND reforms from September 2014.

The experience of the pathfinders has shown that the workforce development and culture change needed to implement the reforms takes time.

Services and professionals across education, health and care for children and adults need to work together closely, putting families and young people at the centre of commissioning, assessment and planning.


Working with Families – The Big Picture

1. Engagement of individual disabled children and young people

Working in a person centred approach enables disabled children and young people to have an active part in their own assessment, service planning and delivery

2. Engagement of individual parent carers and families

Working with and enabling a meaningful participation of parent carers and families in relation to the assessment, service planning and delivery of services for their own individual disabled child and young person


Working with Families – The Big Picture

3. Strategic participation of parent carers

The participation and co-production with representative parents carers in strategic planning, decision making, commissioning and service evaluation.

4. Strategic participation of disabled children and young people

In some areas, there are representative groups of disabled children and young people who are enabled to be involved in strategic decision making. EPIC – a national group of disabled children and young people are currently working with the DfE and DH to model and embed this approach.


How do we make sure that families remain

at the heart of the reforms?

A Person Centred Approach, Participation,

Partnership Working and Coproduction.....

A short video – Working Together


Small group discussions –

  • Discuss in groups the work have you done in your local area around engaging and working in partnership with parent carers, children and young people?
  • What’s worked? What’s not worked?
  • What support and information would you like, over the coming months from the Pathfinder Champion to help you prepare for the reforms?