The Chair of Derbyshire Parent Carer Voice, has shared her brief story on her challenges through education with her son:
Today is a very poignant day in our lives as a family of two children with complex needs and disability. Today, marks the 5th anniversary of our eldest child embarking on his specialist school journey after being out of school for a year and what seemed like an endless fight to get his voice heard. This last five years has been the making of him, so much so that we made the decision to move back into mainstream education just over a year ago. The specialist support he received made this possible, along with his sheer determination to never give up.
As the parents, we lived the trauma, fought the battles and those scars don’t go away but they do fade. However, days like today bring it flooding back as if it was yesterday. This is a brief insight into our story, unique to us but not uncommon. It is an unfortunate reality that practically every family of a child with SEND goes through some sort of battle because there isn’t a straightforward pathway to meet needs.
Derbyshire Parent Carer Voice (DPCV) helped us to learn the ropes, receive training to manage difficult situations and most of all connect us with people that had been on that battlefield and had a story to tell. As some of you might know, I have worked professionally in the field for over 20 years, qualified to MA level in Autism but that was of limited value in such personal circumstances. After a process of recovery, it was important to me to give something back and use our experience to help others and that is why I became a trustee and later the Chair of DPCV.
I know that you are reading this and either reliving your battle, worrying about your next step or daunted by the whole concept of speaking up for your child as their journey begins. At DPCV we want to hear you and make all of our voices heard to influence change in Derbyshire. We can only do this by working together, sharing our experiences with each other and presenting the lived reality. I ask that you contact us by email, messenger, through the surveys, attending events (when we can do this again) and become involved. If you don’t tell us what your struggle is, we don’t know. If we don’t know, we can’t represent. You can be involved as little or as much as you wish, there is no pressure. Let’s use this forum together to make it the best it can be so that our children and young people have a pathway with firm foundations built by parents and carers that have been heard.
Chair of DPCV
To check out new government guidance for Children and Young People check out this link HERE
As some of you may be aware there have been some temporary changes to the 2014 Childrens and Families Act.
Derbyshire have put the following document together to explain the changes and how Derbyshire are implementing those changes.
Click HERE for the information.
A letter to families has been published to inform of the changes or relaxation of certain parts of the Children’s and Families Act due to COVID-19. A copy of the letter is below, which contains further links to .gov website with further information.
Is a free online Mental Health and Wellbeing resource for parents and carers of young people under the age of 18 that requires no formal referral, instead only requiring the user to set up an account on the website. Available 365 days of the year via mobile, tablet and desktop devices from 12 noon to 10pm Monday-Friday and 6pm-10pm at weekends, the service provides access to accredited counselling support, peer support via online forums and relevant articles detailing a variety of topics.
To sign up, please visit www.qwell.io/
Mind have published a page on their website specifically about the Coronavirus and Your Wellbeing: MIND Website
“Contact Share Information”
The following news story has just been released on our website and we wanted to draw parent carer forums’ attention to it: https://contact.org.uk/news-and-blogs/covid-19-and-families-with-disabled-children/
“We know that families caring for disabled children may be particularly worried about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
You might find it helpful to read these two resources from WellChild and Carers UK:
The health and wellbeing of our families is paramount to Contact.
We are following the latest guidance from the Government and Public Health England, and advise our families (and parent carer forums) to do the same”.