The report was commissioned by Haringey Council and Contact. It looked at how well parents and carers were involved in shaping services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The review included a survey and focus groups with a total of 89 parent carers and interviews with 25 professionals in different sectors. It found a lack of continuity in leadership, high staff turnover and inconsistent practice.
There is currently no formal route for parent participation in Haringey following the decommissioning of the parent carer forum ‘Involve’ in 2019. There has been insufficient local investment, and families have reported that there has been little in the way of action following their input.
However, there was some positive feedback from parents and staff. They singled out the ‘Transitions Reference Group’, which is managed by Public Voice and delivered through Healthwatch Haringey, as an example of good practice. The reference group provides a pathway for families whose children are moving on to post-18 adult SEND services. The group worked to ensure co-production of services, with parent carers and staff working together.
Real participation feels like a partnership where you are listened to and respected, with good communication and expertise.
Focus group comment
The report sets out a wide range of key recommendations including:
- The need to develop a parent carer forum in Haringey.
- Senior management at Haringey Council to lead on fostering a collaborative culture of honesty and transparency.
- Co-production of a training programme around participation with parents for all client facing staff.
- Appropriate tools, systems and support for staff.
- Faster assessments from social care teams
Download the report here.
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