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Parent Views Count

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  1. Parent Views Count Do you know what benefits you are eligible to receive? Come and find out! PVC is hosting a ‘Marketplace’ event for parents/carers of children and young people with disabilities. There will be information stands on equipment and holiday grants, benefits advice, legal information, short breaks and much more. This is an excellent opportunity to gather information on a range of services in one place. Contact a Family, Cerebra, Parks for Play, Newlife, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Family Footings, Action for Children, and many others will be on hand to share information about services, grants, benefits and more. Date: 20th June 2012 Time: 9:30am – 2:00pm Venue: Carrs Lane Church Hall Carrs Lane B4 7SX There is also an opportunity to speak individually with an advisor about benefits that you may be entitled to and take away a printed list of these benefits. You must call to book an appointment and spaces are limited so don’t delay! Call us today on: 0121 236 9215 or 07795121281 to book. Newsletter: May 2012 www.parentviewscount.org

  2. PVC Notice Board Benefit Changes From April 2012 Working Tax Credit In the recent budget the government agreed to exempt carers from their plans to withdraw Working Tax Credits from families working between 16 and 23 hours. A couple can be eligible for Working Tax Credit as long as one parent works 16 hours and their partner is entitled to Carers Allowance. Tax Credits Backdating Reduction Following a new claim or a change or circumstances the tax credits office will only backdate the payment to 1 month. Also the timescale for notifying the Tax Credit Office about a Disability Living Allowance award for the purpose of getting full backdating of disability elements will also be reduced to 1 month. Scrapping ESA The government is scrapping Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) ‘in youth’ for new claimants on the 30th April. Most young people will be able to claim income related ESA instead but some may lose out. The government also intends to time limit payments of contributory ESA to 12 months for less severely disabled claimants. An organisation who are there to help you if you are concerned about any of these changes is: Contact a Family Freephone Helpline 0808 808 3555 New Resources SENAR and PVC have developed two leaflets for parents. One to help with the annual review process; to ensure children and young people are making progress in school. A second to help parents when choosing secondary schools. These are great resources. Contact SENAR or PVC if you would like a copy of either leaflet. SENAR: 0121 303 3525 PVC: 0121 236 9215 New Addresses: Parent Views Count: St Georges Community Hub Great Hampton Row Birmingham B19 3JG 0121 236 9215 Parent Partnership: SEN Parent Partnership New Heights, 108 Warren Farm Road Kingstanding Birmingham B44 0QN 0121 303 5004

  3. Have Your Say! PVC would like to take the opportunity to thank you for attending Parent Forum meetings and any other events or activities in 2011. Your views are helping to shape services for children, young people and families in Birmingham. It is important that we continue to put our views forward to ensure that our children, young people and our families continue to receive quality services. You can do this by sharing your views at Parent Forum meetings and local focus groups and by keeping informed and up to date on issues that may affect your child and family and responding to any proposed changes in services. If you have any concerns or issues and you are not sure how to respond or who to respond to, please contact Parent Views Count and we will do our best to assist you. Home to School Transport Have you had your say? Many of you will have responded to the first phase of the Home to School Transport consultation which ended on January 19, 2012. The Council has now published proposed policies which can be found on the BBC website: www.birmingham.gov.uk/transportconsultation As parents of children with disabilities and special educational needs, PVC parent representatives will be collectively and individually responding and we encourage you to read through the proposed policies, ensure that your views have been considered, consider how the proposed changes will affect your child and family and respond by June 18, 2012. You can complete the consultation in three ways: 1. Follow the link above to the consultation web page and download the response form which can be e-mailed back to educationtransport@birmingham.gov.uk 2.Complete the online consultation response form by visiting: www.surveymonkey.com/s/hometoschool 3. Request a paper copy of the documents and consultation response form by contacting: Home to School Transport Team Completed paper copies can be posted to: Council House Extension Home to School Transport Consultation Margaret Street Education Transport Service Birmingham B3 3BU FREEPOST 0121 303 4425/2450/4955 MID2259 Birmingham B4 7BR

  4. Your Views Count! Who are we? We are parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and SEN’s who are active participants in the development and evaluation of services across Birmingham. Parent Views Count was developed by parents and is run by parents. We influence positive change by hearing parents views at regular forum meetings and using these views to influence decisions and service design at a strategic level. Why should you get involved? Because Parent Views Count has been successfully influencing and shaping service design and delivery since 2006. Our aim is to make improve the lives of children and young people with disabilities and SEN’s and their families across Birmingham by representing the views of parents and carers at a strategic level. Are there different levels of involvement? Yes! You can sign up to receive our newsletter, share your views at Parent Forum Meetings and local events, volunteer with PVC or become a Parent Representative. Together we are making a difference. By joining PVC you can help make a difference too! Want to know more about PVC? If you are interested in receiving our newsletter, becoming involved in Parent Views Count or you would like more information please contact us on: 0121 236 9215 07795 121 281 e-mail us info@parentviewscount.org Or visit our website: www.parentviewscount.org • Some expenses incurred attending PVC Parent Forum meetings and events can be reimbursed. • If you have any questions about claiming expenses please contact PVC. To claim back expenses on the day of the Parent Forum meeting please ask for a member of staff at the front desk before you leave. If you are experiencing difficulties attending the Parent Forum meetings please contact us.

  5. Updates Short Breaks Playground Development Last September Parent Views Count facilitated two focus groups for parents of children and young people to give their views on how to allocate £240,000 of Short Breaks capital funding with the aim of improving access to parks and play areas. The unanimous decision of the parents involved was to invest the money on fitting inclusive playground equipment on a number of Birmingham City managed playgrounds in parks across the city, rather than inviting community-based bids. Parents expressed the importance of playgrounds having wheelchair accessible surfacing, being fenced, for seating to be placed next to the gates, and for car parking nearby. There was also discussion about the potential to employ Playworkers to spend time on the sites promoting positive use of the play equipment to ensure that disabled children do not get excluded. Funding opportunities for this are being explored. Cabinet approval to proceed with the investment to play areas was given on 5th April 2012 so over the next 2-3 months, the BCC Landscape Practice Group will select suppliers to install the new inclusive playground equipment in the following sites – Victoria Common in Northfield Ward Henry Barber Recreation Ground in Bordesley Green Ward Glebe Farm Recreation Ground in Shard End Ward Swanshurst Park in Springfield Ward Garrison Lane Park in Nechells Ward Wheeldon Recreation Ground in Kingstanding Ward Small Heath Park in South Yardley Ward The sites were chosen to ensure a reasonable spread across the city, factoring in the number of disabled children in each ward and similar works being carried out at other sites by the Play Portfolio Capital Programme. A few of the selected playgrounds have already had some equipment installed recently so the Short Breaks money will be used to buy smaller sensory pieces to enhance what is already there, the other sites will have larger inclusive equipment, such as swings and roundabouts, fitted. We will, where possible, consult via PVC, to find out what children and parents would like to see on the sites. Once the work is completed the refurbished sites will be included in the Family Information Service’s Disabled Children’s Directory. We are grateful to PVC for facilitating the focus groups which have shaped and influenced this project and believe the investment will deliver benefits to many families across the City, enabling disabled children to experience positive and inclusive play opportunities in their local communities, alongside their siblings and peers. - John Freeman, Directorate for Children, Young People & Families Children's Commissioning & Strategy If you have any questions contact John Freeman on 0121 675 7564 or John.Freeman@birmingham.gov.uk