Working together with parents and carers - at the heart of our approach to support children and young people with SEND
A “Working Together” borough-wide Charter to enable children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families to get involved in shaping and improving local services available to them has been recently launched by Telford & Wrekin Council, PODS (Parents Opening Doors) and NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
The SEND “Working Together” Charter is structured around four co-production principles to build “trust”: “Feel Valued and Included”, “Open Communication”, “Feel Welcomed and Cared for”, “Working in Partnership”.
These principles ensure that the borough families and their children and young people with special needs and disabilities are listened to and cared for by all local organisations who signed the Charter as well as engaged in co-producing the changes, developments and improvements of local services that affect them.
Councillor Shirley Reynolds (Lab), cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “The work that Parents Opening Doors (PODS) does, together with their volunteers, providing face to face support for families, reducing isolation and influencing the improvement of services is incredibly important to support children and young people with special needs in our borough.
“We are delighted to work together with PODS, our NHS partners and any borough family who wishes to get involved - to help children and young people with SEND lead happier lives. We are on their side, we want them to be our equal partner, to feel valued, cared for and to make their voice heard in the decision making for services that matter to them.
“This project will strengthen the Co-production journey in Telford and Wrekin. We will encourage other organisations across the borough, such as schools, health providers and other settings to sign up to the SEND Co-Production charter and to embed its principles in everyday tasks, so we can all keep the involvement of families at the heart of everything we do. “
Jayne Stevens, Strategic Co-ordinator PODS Parent Carer Forum , says: "We are excited to have developed the SEND “Working Together” Charter with our parents, carers, wider families and local partners.
“The Charter values our families as genuine partners and ensures they have a voice where it matters most, so children and young people with special needs have positive experience throughout their lives.
“Thank you for all your involvement, we look forward to 'Making A Difference' together".
The SEBD "Working Together" Charter can be downloaded from the Council's website.
To find out more about the Working Together Charter and Co-production in Telford & Wrekin - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0777 534 2092.
For families who wish to join PODS Parent Carer Forum or find out more about their wider Charity offers including activities and groups, befriending and support - please contact email@example.com
PODS (Parents Opening Doors) has been set up in 2008 and is a parent carer/peer led charity in Telford and Wrekin, with staff and volunteers who have the relevant ‘real life’ experience to support families who have a child with a disability or additional need (aged 0 – 25 years).
The charity delivers a unique offer to families by involving them in decisions about how services are developed and co-produced.
PODS has been recognised with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2022, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year.
Photo caption (from the right): Jayne Stevens, Strategic Co-ordinator PODS Parent Carer Forum with Councillor Shirley Reynolds (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families (second, centre) and PODS members of staff and volunteers