When parents and professionals work together, recognising each other’s expert knowledge, informed decisions are made that make the best use of people’s time and money. Working together helps:
- Professionals understand how to develop services that meet the needs of families
- Parents understand complexities and challenges faced by those providing / commissioning services
- Parents and professionals to find solutions that work.
- Education settings are often the first point of contact for parents. Parents should be fully involved in the development of any school-based response to their child’s needs, understand the purpose of any intervention or programme of action, and be informed of local Parent Support Services
- Parents have a vital role to play in supporting their child’s education, and schools should take into account the views of parents regarding their child’s needs. All parents of children with SEND should be treated as partners
- When talking with professionals about their child, parents can sometimes feel intimidated. Professionals should take time to build good relationships with parents
- For schools to work effectively with parents, they should:
o Have a positive, open and user-friendly approach, recognising the importance of parental views
o Provide jargon free information and straightforward procedure.
For further information see Good Practice in working with parents of disabled children.
- LAs and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) must make arrangements for children and young people with SEND and their parents to be provided with independent information and advice. This should be provided through a dedicated and easily identifiable service.
- This must include joint consideration of what information and advice is to be provided and by whom. This should:
- Be provided at arm’s length from the LA / CCG
- Be free, accurate and confidential
- Help promote independence and self-advocacy.
- Those providing information, advice and support should:
- Work in partnership.
- Ensure the views of children, and parents inform the development of policy and practice.
Islington SEND Community Support Service (Family Action)
Family Action was jointly commissioned by Education, Health and Care Services in Islington to deliver a SEND Community Support Service from April 2016 to March 2019. Islington SEND Community Support provide the following services:
The Service provides impartial support, advice and information on SEND matters for parents / carers and children and young people up to the age of 25 who live in Islington. Contact the SEND Community Support Service.
Islington Parents Forum
Islington Parents Forum is an independent voice run by Islington parents of children with SEND. Parents have an opportunity to discuss issues affecting children with SEND with professionals and the Council.
Members of the Parent Forum Steering Group collate the views of the Forum and represent those views to the Islington Children with Disability Strategy Board.
The group is facilitated by Centre 404, a local voluntary organisation. There are six sessions a year. Find dates and contact information.