Who are the Sunderland Parent Carer Forum?
Firstly, we are all parent carers or grandparents of children and young people who have a special education need and/or disability; we voluntarily run the forum in our spare time. Everyone on the steering group is a parent rep, but some also have additional roles such as chair person.
We arrange training for new parent reps if required, and buddying up with more experienced members.
Sunderland Parent Carer Forum are part of the NE & Cumbria Regional Parent Carer Forum (13 forums), and we are all part of the National Network of Parent Carer Forum, which consists of over 150 forums all over England. We meet regularly with other forums in the region, for support, advice, training opportunities and news about what is happening in the area. Each region has a national rep, who attends meetings in London, feeding back what is happening in their region, and bringing back the latest news and developments to the region. Every year there are regional and national conferences that forum members are invited to attend, giving us all another chance to catch up with parent carers from around the region and country.
This means that parent carers in Sunderland can influence SEND services locally, regionally and nationally.