Who are we?
Gloucestershire Parent Carer Forum is a group of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs who work with local authorities, education settings, health providers and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families in the county. We hear about the experiences of families with a range of conditions/disabilities. We are then able to represent the voice of our members when we talk to and work alongside service providers and commissioners.
Gloucestershire Parent Carer Forum is a member of The National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF), which is made up of all of the parent carer forums from across England. The NNPCF ensures that local parent carer forums are aware of national developments and promotes opportunities for the voice of parent carers to influence at a national level.
We are supported by Contact, the national charity for families of children with disabilities. Contact are the delivery partner of the Department for Education (DfE) in supporting parent carer participation in England. Working in partnership with the NNPCF, Contact offer a range of support to all parent carer forums in England including administering a grant to forums on behalf of the DfE.
Gloucestershire Parent Carer Forum will be a well-informed, connected and empowered community of families of children with disabilities or additional needs, offering support to each other and working in partnership with service providers to create quality services that meet the needs of all parent carers and their children.
Parent Carer Participation. It is when parents and practitioners work together, recognising each other’s expert knowledge, to make informed decisions about children’s services that make the best use of people’s time and money.
Gloucestershire Parent Carer Forum work collectively for all families, respect each other’s views & make best use of one another’s skills & resources.
We aim to provide opportunities for parent carers to influence the decisions that affect their families and to contribute to developing and improving services that meet the needs of their families.
Co-production takes participation further. It happens when service providers recognise the benefits of working in true partnership with other practitioners, service users and commissioners. They adopt this process ‘from the start’ when planning developing, implementing or reviewing a service.
We facilitate two–way communication between parent carers and services users. We provide feedback on services, offer constructive challenge to current services and input into decision making and planning for future service provision to help them improve how children’s services are delivered so they better meet families’ needs.
We do this:
- Through regular communication with parents and carers ensuring they are able to decide whether to be involved in a piece of work/consultation.
- Through regular contact with our network we identify problems frequently experienced.
- By attracting as many parents as possible to be members. Ensuring a diverse forum membership and representation from all backgrounds and sectors of the community.