Parent Carer Representation & Co-Production

The Children and Families Act 2014 places a legal duty to involve parents and carers in how services are delivered.

Evidence demonstrates that working directly with people who use and access services to plan, commission and evaluate them leads to services that are:

  • Targeted where they will have the best impact
  • Better quality
  • Fit-for-purpose, and will
  • Improve outcomes for children and families.

By working in partnership with Essex Family Forum, together with our parent carers, you can make the services you plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children, young people and their families.

Within Essex we use our network of volunteer Family Champions who will all have lived experience as a parent or carer to a CYP with SEND up to the age of 25, alongside our virtual graffiti wall as our primary way to gather views from parents and carers to ensure we are representative of as many families as possible. We use this information to work in partnership with local authorities, education settings, health providers and other providers to highlight where local services, processes and commissioners are working well, or challenge when changes or improvements need to be made.

It’s important to note that as a PCF we are not able to advocate and support individual parents. Within Essex we are fortunate to have some fantastic charities and organisations that do so, and we work closely with them, and we have representatives of some that sit on management committee and volunteer as Family Champions. As a PCF we represent their unified voices at a strategic level.

If you would welcome the opportunity to explore how we might work together, then email us at hello@essexfamilyforum.org and we’ll be happy to help.

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