Forum resources

This page contains recorded online learning, training videos and the latest reports on parent carer participation.

In this article

2023-24 virtual conference recordings now available

We’re pleased to be able to share recordings from the November 2023 Contact & NNPCF Joint Virtual Conference which took place across 14, 15, and 16 November. See our dedicated conference page.

Recorded online learning

All recorded online learning sessions have now been organised into playlists by topic on the parent carer forum online learning from Contact YouTube account.

Recent recorded online learning sessions

Leading your forum through change. This session, presented by Kath Bromfield the NNPCF North West Regional Steering Group Member and Kate Lovelace-Collins Contact Operations Lead, and Adviser for the South West, talks about planning for change within a forum. Whether it’s a shift in roles, stepping back or taking the lead. How as forums do we navigate and support each other to plan for the future? The session covers: Where to start, looking at strengths and where you need help. The importance of shared vision and how to reach one. Recognising when things may need to change for you or your forum and how to navigate that. Some tools and strategies to lead your forum through change and tricky times. View the recording of the session along with the presentation.

Self Evaluation Framework, Safety Valve and Delivering Better Value. This session is presented by Andre Imich, SEN and Disability Professional Adviser. The DfE published a summary of evidence supporting the Tranche 2 interim findings. This is available on the DBV programme website www.dbvinsend.com/insights. This session covers;
Delivering Better Value and Safety Valve: What they are, What they’re expected to achieve, Which local authorities are involved, Tiers and phases, Funding available to local authorities, The role of forums and how they should be involved. Self Evaluation Framework: What it is and why it’s important, How PCFs should be involved, Key indicators of a strong SEF. View the recording of the session along with the presentation.

Supported living for people with learning disabilities and autism.  Aimed at people who are looking to make long term plans who are currently in, or approaching transition into adult services.  This session was presented by Steve Harris from Progress Housing Group and covers; how supported living works for people who want choice and control over where they live and how they are supported, the transition period and options for young people and families including residential care and supported living, how housing, care and support works together, specialist organisations and services they can offer and LA and NHS responsibilities, funding housing and support and how this links with housing and support provision. View the recording of this session along with the presentation.

Small Forums and Contracts. Presented by John Wilson from Community Matters this session outlines the responsibilities for parent carer forums who are unincorporated associations (constituted groups) when paying people. View the recording of the session, download the presentation and the additional resource on insurance for forums.

Financial planning for the transition to adulthood. The session presented by Rhainnon Gogh from PlanitFuture outlines the top 5 things parent carers of children with SEND need to know. How and when to plan for post-18 finances; Decision-making and mental capacity; Impact on residential care and means-tested support; Managing bank accounts; Pensions for young adults and Child Trust Funds and saving plans. View the recording of the session and download the presentation. Further relevant links include – Help with fees for Deputyship and Help with fees for Lasting Power of Attorney.

Employer Responsibilities. The session presented by Cally Butler, Payroll Consultant and Tracey McCarthy, HR Consultant covers; Preparing to employ people -Determining employment status, Registering as an employer with HMRC, Setting up a payroll system, Pensions and automatic enrolment and Health and Safety Liability insurance Safer recruitment practices. Managing employees – Employment contracts, Policies, Managing hours and absences, Running the payroll, payslip requirements, Paying HMRC and Ending the employment. View the recording of the session and download the presentation.

Using your DfE Grant. This session presented by Kate Lovelace-Collins and Sarah Lee from Contact, covers; the Purpose of the Grant, what you can use the grant for, what you can’t use the grant for, examples from other forums, links to the managing your Grant handbook and other resources. View the recording of the session and download the presentation from the session.

Grants Online Learning 2023 24. The grants team guide you through the grant application and monitoring process providing helpful hints on how best to complete your application and monitoring forms and outlining any changes that have been made to the process this year, followed by a Q&A Session. View the recording of the session.

Lets Get Digitally Inclusive! This session, presented by Lisa Aldred from Contact will help you to create digital content that is accessible and inclusive, learn about basic skills and tools that can increase accessibility, remove barriers to the information you provide, find out about screen readers, translators colour combinations to alt text and beyond! View the recording of the session and download the presentation from the session.

Dynamic support registers and Care, Education and Treatment Reviews – what the new policy means for forums and families’ online learning session. In this session find out what the updated policy means for autistic and learning-disabled children most at risk of hospital admission. With officials from the NHS England’s National Learning Disability and Autism, NNPFC and Contact. View the recording of the session and download the presentation.

Support from Contact and the NNPCF. This session was presented by Kath Bromfield the North West steering group member for the NNPCF and Kate Lovelace-Collins the Operations Lead for Contact. Are you new to your parent carer forum?  Are you a new forum just starting out?  This session is designed to give a warm welcome from the NNPCF and Contact and give you an overview of our roles and what support we can offer.  We’ll signpost to support and information that might be useful and much more.  View the recording of the session, download the presentation along with a signposting document and online personal safety tips as mentioned in the session.

Setting up and running payroll with Community Matters. This session is presented by John Wilson of Community Matters and covers how to set up and run payroll and choosing a payroll provider if you decide you don’t want to run it. View the recording or download the presentation from the session.

Fundraising tips and guidance for Parent Carer Forums. This session was presented by Contacts Fundraising Team and covers: Recommended sources of funding; How and when to apply; Types of funding available and Creating a strong Case for Support and potential areas to collaborate with Contact. View the recording or download the presentation from the session.

Remuneration and Employing People for Forums. This interactive session was presented by John Wilson from Community Matters and covers; Good Practice when paying people; Aspects of legislation that cover how people can be paid; How your forums legal structure can impact on who you can pay and what you can pay people for; Implications for forums; What you need to consider when making decisions to pay people; Tools and help available and how you can ensure that  people really are self employed in the eyes of HMRC and what you will have to do if you decide they are an employee. View the recording of the session, download the presentation and view examples of payroll providers.

Resources to help you run your forum

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

All parent carer forums aspire to be inclusive and representative of the families in their areas so that they can effectively represent all parent carers’ voices.

See our Diversity and Inclusion toolkit which will support forums to develop a welcoming and inclusive culture:

Summary Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

We also have a new summary version of the Diversity & Inclusion toolkit which would help new forums to put on inclusive events and meetings to grow their memberships and to be welcoming and inclusive to all from the start. Use the summary toolkit on its own or alongside the full toolkit.

We have developed some template Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policies for parent carer forums to adapt for their own use:

These templates are to help parent carer forums to develop policies which are right for them at their stage of development.  Individual forums will need to ensure that the policy meets their needs and enables them to develop a fully inclusive culture.

Cyber Security

Information and tips for forums on cyber security

This is not intended to be exhaustive, but we hope you find it a useful starting point.

Running a forum online workshops

Summary versions of training sessions held across the country are available on YouTube. Some of the sessions also have supporting documentation.

Subscribe to the Contact and NNPCF parent carer participation newsletter. 

Coproduction resources

Introduction to co-production

Watch this co-production video or watch the subtitled version, where forums, local authorities, health providers and commissioners share their experiences of working in co-production and how it helped them improve services.

Online learning

How associate support helped embed coproduction in Herefordshire.  As part of Coproduction Week 2020, in this short webinar we hear from Max Bassett (Vice Chair of Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire) ;Kate Rowe (Contact Associate) and Sue Mennear (Regional Parent Participation Adviser) about how associate support helped embed coproduction and a new way of working in Herefordshire.  Download the associated presentation. See the following link to Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire’s Coproduction Charterhttps://pcvh.co.uk/coproduction-charter/

Co-production, Campaigning & the Independence of Parent Carer Forums presented by Mrunal Sisodia NNPCF Co-Chair, Kate Hurn and Sue Mennear, Contact, with contribution from Carol Kelsey (Co-ordinator at Herts Parent Carer Involvement.) The webinar includes; How parent carer forums can work with campaign groups for better outcomes for families, What parent carer forums can and can’t do to support campaigns, A good practice case study from Herts Parent Carer Involvement about the Nascot Lawn Campaign… and much more. Download the associated presentation.  Other related documents include the recently updated Co-production and Campaigning Guidance , along with overview of HPCI for professionalsHPCI statement on campaigning, a short case study about Nascot Lawn.

Quality Indicators for co-production – a framework and self-evaluation tool.

Contact hosted the National Alliance for Partnership Working (NAPW), a consortium of delivery partners across SEND who worked together to develop a common language around co-production.

Using the Quality Indicators of co-production framework [.doc] should help develop a shared level of understanding and expectation to which all local area partners can aspire.

The Quality Indicators draw on the four principles of co-production which measure how Local Areas are working and help identify next steps on the journey to embedding a culture of co-production in working with families of children and young people with SEND.

For more information or support to improve and develop co-production, please contact parent.participation@contact.org.uk

Parent Carer Participation Annual Reports

Other Reports

Case studies and more support

You might also find these web pages useful:

Subscribe to the Contact and NNPCF parent carer participation newsletter

By subscibing to the newsletter you will be kept up to date with new resources for your parent carer forum – https://action.contact.org.uk/page/62794/subscribe/1