3 mins read

Monday 29 November 2021

Tags: parent carer forums, NNPCF, Participation

Today sees the start of the National Parent Carer Participation conference organised by Contact and the National Network for Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF).

Parent carers from 152 parent carer forums across England will meet at the three-day virtual conference starting today to look back at an extraordinary year and share their challenges and ideas through interactive information sessions, workshops and networking.

The action-packed conference also includes keynote speeches from ministers the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Children and Families, Will Quince MP. In addition to this, conference attendees will have the opportunity to put their questions to Suzy Powell, deputy director of SEND policy and strategy at the Department for Education.

Gail Walshe, Director of Parent Carer Participation at Contact, says: “The passion and persistence of parent carer forums in the face of the barriers they face never ceases to amaze. 2020-21 threw up challenges that no one could have imagined as parents running forums juggled schooling, caring, self isolation and lockdowns. Despite this, forums across the country continued to champion the needs of families with disabled children by keeping their voices on the government’s radar by feeding back how the pandemic and government and local decisions affected families. At the same time forums found new ways of working in order to reach new parent carers, reduce isolation and strengthen the voice of families in their communities. We are delighted to host the 2021 Annual National Conference of Parent Carer Forums with the NNPCF and over the next three days hope to celebrate all the parent carers whose opinions and views have helped to make improvements to services across local areas in England. Contact is proud to support Parent Carer Forums and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and we are committed to listening to what they need to make them strong and sustainable for whatever the future brings.”

Tina Emery, Co-chair of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums says: “It’s great to be co-hosting our conference with Contact again this year.It is a fantastic opportunity for parent carer forum members across England to come together, albeit virtually, to gain more knowledge, to support one another, share their ideas and their experiences, but it’s also a chance to celebrate everyone’s achievements through what has been another year with COVID at the forefront.

Your contributions have made a massive difference to the feedback we give at a National level,  which is integral to NNPCF’s success. We’re really looking forward to bringing parent carers together for what promises to be an engaging and informative three days.”

Contact’s support for Forums

Find out more about how Contact supports Parent Carer Forums.

Parent carer participation annual review 2020-21

Our Parent carer participation annual review for 2020-21 is now published! Read more about how we support parent carer forums and the impact that parent carer forums had on the Covid response and locally.

Watch our videos

What is a parent carer forum and what do they do?, explains more about parent carer forums, parent participation and how parents across England are helping improve local and national services for children with SEND.

Making a difference, why should I join my local parent carer forum? In this video you’ll hear from parent carer forum members talking about why they got involved and the difference they make to children with SEND and their families.