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Parent Carer Voice

Having your say as a parent carer

We are committed to listening to the voice of parent carers and working with them to secure good outcomes for children and young people who live in Somerset, with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Through engagement events, surveys and consultations we seek feedback about local services to help us improve them and to make sure they meet the needs of local families. See our ‘Having your voice heard‘ page for more information.

A local partnership agreement between Somerset Parent Carer Forum, Somerset County Council and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been agreed, recognising the forum as the area’s strategic voice for parent carers. Through this, there is parent representation on many SEND workstreams and this means that parents’ voices are at the centre of what we do. When parents and professionals work together, recognising each other’s expert knowledge, informed decisions are made which make the best use of people’s time and money.

Somerset Parent Carer Forum is the independent forum for parents and carers of children with disabilities in Somerset. The Department for Education funds the forum so that Somerset’s parent carers have their say on how services are run and that decisions are made.

Any parent or carer who has or looks after a child or young person (age 0 to 25) with a special educational need or disability (SEND) can join and raise issues through the forum. The forum is run by and for parents and carers.

During 2018 to 19 Somerset County Council is supported in parent-carer engagement through the Somerset Parent Carer Forum

Engagement work this year is expected to include:

  • Support with the Local Offer redesign
  • Running parent-carer workshops to provide feedback on Local Offer content
  • Co-delivering training to SENCos
  • Working together to collect parent and carer feedback of SEND provision through the 360 survey
  • Advising on the use of plain English for leaflets and letters about SEN, which are aimed at parents
  • Representing parents on steering groups (for example, the SEND intervention Board)
  • Holding short breaks engagement events
  • Supporting in the Autism Strategy refresh
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