We are a parent led, voluntary group of parents, carers and grandparents of children and young people (CYP) aged 0-25 with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities); our CYP have a variety of SEND.
Our aim is to give parent carers a voice in how services for CYP with SEND are shaped and delivered in the City of Sunderland, as well as an opportunity to come together and talk in a relaxed atmosphere.
We do this by organising events, coffee mornings, information sessions and training events. Our parent reps attend meetings with various organisations in health, education and social care, as well as local charity groups.
SPCF are one of 152 parent carer forums in England who are members of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums; the NNPCF has 9 regions, and we are part of the North East & Cumbria Region PCFs.
Our parent reps attend regular regional meetings, and currently our Chair is co-chair of the National Network, and regularly attends meetings in London. Parent reps also get the opportunity to attend regional and national conferences.
This means that the voice of parent carers in Sunderland help influence services for children and young people with SEND locally, regionally and nationally!
No-one! We represent parent carers but are entirely independent of any statutory organisation. We are all volunteers.
No, we receive a grant from the DfE (Department for Education) for parent participation (More about participation later!)
No, we are a participation group but we will try and signpost you to a support group.
No, but we acknowledge the important role that campaign groups have in helping to get the parent voice heard. At the forum we are happy to work with campaign groups by providing them information and feeding back the issues they raise.
We promote parent voice through participation and co-production. We sit on working groups and attend meetings with statutory organisations. We run coffee mornings and events such as the SEND Information Day; these give families the opportunity to get together, see what help is out there and feedback their experiences. We can also provide information and training to parent carers.Click here to see some of the work we have done.
YOU can do a lot! YOU are an expert in your child, YOU know what they need. Join us at one of our coffee mornings and add your voice and experiences. You can be involved as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.
Parent carer participation is when parents and professionals work together, recognising each other’s expert knowledge, to design, develop and improve services for disabled children in the local area.
Contact (formerly Contact A Family) has some good resources around parent participation for anyone wanting more information on what this means. You can also visit HERE to see who we have participated with over the years.
Co-production – Parents & professionals working jointly together to develop, decide, design & do as equal partners.
Participation – Parents & professionals working in groups to decide what should happen to shape services.
Consultation – Parents are given options and the professionals decide what happens
Information – Parents Carers are provided with information from or about the service providers.
No engagement – Parents do not have a working relationship with service providers and/or don’t know who to contact