How we support forums in England

We are the delivery partner of the Department for Education in supporting parent carer participation in England. Working in partnership with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF), we offer a range of support to all parent carer forums in England, including administering a grant to forums on behalf of the Department for Education.

Parent carer participation advisers

All parent carer forums have a named regional parent carer participation adviser who can assist with providing information, advice, and support. Find your local regional adviser [PDF].

Learning and development

Please go to the learning and events for forums page or email helen.reid@contact.org.uk.

Training Marketplace

Please see our online Training Marketplace [PDF] which lists courses and trainers who either we have used or who come recommended by other forums and groups. If you are a trainer who is interested in joining our marketplace, please email Helen Reid at helen.reid@contact.org.uk, who will be able to explain more about our quality assurance process. 

We would also welcome contact from parent carer forums and other organisations who offer training to parent carer forums and voluntary organisations, in order to make your training available to others. View the requirements for being on our training provider list [.docx], which includes providing feedback received about courses from a forum or volunteer group previously in receipt of the training. Alternatively contact Helen Reid at helen.reid@contact.org.uk for more information.

Forum2Forum support

Forum2Forum support is about forums sharing experiences, knowledge and information with each other to help strengthen the local, regional and national structure of parent carer participation. All forums are unique but many find themselves tackling similar challenges or issues, so it makes sense to have routes to share the rich catalogue of experience that is building up across the country.

Learn more about how to become a supporting forum [PDF] and how to take up support from another forum in the future.

Forum2Forum web entry form [.docx] to be returned to helen.reid@contact.org.uk for forums wishing to support other forums.

Recommended remuneration agreement [docx] for Forum2Forum support, to be signed by both forums before commencing support

Support from a parent carer participation associate

If forums are experiencing particular challenges that mean they may benefit from some individual support and advice. We have a pool of 30 associates who work with us, who have particular skills, knowledge and experience in working with parent carer forums, local authorities, and other partners. If your forum would like more information about this, please contact your regional parent carer participation adviser in the first instance to discuss this.

Collecting information about interesting and innovative practice

We are always looking for examples about how parent carer participation makes a difference. If you have a resource or good practice example which would be of interest to others please contact your regional adviser [PDF]

The Contact and NNPCF parent carer participation bulletin (England)

Contact and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) produce a joint parent carer participation bulletin. This bulletin contains key information about the development of parent carer participation, information about important changes across health services, special education and social care in England, news for local forums, the latest news from the NNPCF and opportunities for forums to participate. Sign up for the parent carer participation joint bulletin.

Listing on SENDirect

All parent carer forums are listed on our SENDirect website, where families of children with disabilities or special educational needs can search for and compare accessible support, activities and services.

If you're a member of a forum, you can take control of your listing by registering your organisation for free. You'll be able to keep your information up to date and accurate, and you'll have the option of listing additional services.

Once you've added your forum, don't forget to let our SENDirect team know by emailing info@sendirect.org.uk so they can remove any duplicates.

For more information, call the SENDirect team on 020 7608 8709 or email info@sendirect.org.uk.