Sarah Baker, joint Chair of Voice4Parents and Alison Baggs Co-production Officer, attended the National Network of Parent Carer Forums annual conference in Manchester on 28th November. It was a great opportunity to meet other parent carer forums from across the region and hear how co-production is making a real difference in local areas.
Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State for Children and Families addressed the conference via video link during which he made the following comments.
“Section 19 of the Children and Families Act embodies the principle of engagement and co-production in law”
“This is a model of working I want to see in place across the country and I strongly encourage any area where this is not happening to devote more priority to it."
"It is now unthinkable that we would make policy changes without parent carers and getting their thoughts."
You can listen to the full video message on the link here
We also heard from Anne Gross -Director of Life Skills, Disadvantage and SEND from the Department for Education and the new accountability framework for the successful delivery of the SEND system. The following were highlighted as key priorities:
• Ensuring the successful delivery of the SEN Support process (for those children and young people without Education, Health and Care Plans.)
• Improving quality of experiences and outcomes for families
• Ensuring that funding for children and young people with SEND is used effectively
• Continue partnership working, particularly with Health and Social Care
• On-going support from the Government for Parent Carer Forums and participation
Nigel Thompson, Head of Inspections – Children’s Health and Justice CQC, gave an update about the Local Area SEND Inspections to date. Nigel highlighting the value of the new inspection framework, whilst recognising that there was still some way to go to ensure that parent carer engagement in the inspection process is effective. Key messages and findings from Inspections that have taken place so far along with some inspection myths can be found in Nigel’s presentation Nigel Thompson, Head of Inspections – Children's Health and Justice, CQC
Here are other presentations from key note speakers at the conference.