What is the Essex Family Forum?

The Essex Family Forum is a well-informed, connected and empowered community of families that includes children and young people up to the age of 25 with disabilities or additional needs. We will work in partnership with organisations, our Local Authority and health commissioners aiming for quality outcomes that meet the needs of all our families. We will also be part of the Eastern region and national network of forums.

Members of the forum will work collectively for all families, respect each other’s views and make the best of one another’s skills and resources. We aim to provide opportunities for our families to influence the decisions that affect them and to contribute to developing positive outcomes that meet the needs of families.

We believe all families need to feel valued, listened to, respected and acknowledged – we are experts because of our lived experiences. It is so important to get our voices heard.

Essex is a large diverse county and we have a responsibility to ensure that we reach a cross representation of the SEND population throughout the geographical spread of the county. So, in addition to the county wide Essex Family Forum there will be local area based meetings established for members to share the views and ensure their views are heard and considered. We will also have a pool of Family Champions who will be supported and trained.