How we support forums in England
We are the delivery partner of the Department for Education in supporting parent carer participation in England.
In this article
Contact’s core offer for 2022-23 to parent carer forums
Contact offers the support below to parent carer forums.
(At the moment, our training will remain online so that cancellations will not be necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There may be a face-to-face conference later in the year if it is safe to go ahead).
- Supporting the work of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and working in partnership with the NNPCF on national projects.
- A named parent carer participation adviser for each forum able to offer virtual, telephone, and email advice and support.
- Support and advice to forums in relation to the grant process and completion of forms. Management of the grant process including grant application approval and grant monitoring approval.
- Management of the priority grant processes (subject to current year underspend being available).
- An annual conference hosted by Contact and the NNPCF which is open to all parent carer forums – Covid-19 permitting; we will explore online options with the NNPCF if necessary.
- Eight online learning sessions on the topics that forums need most and including the annual grants session – keep feeding in suggestions to your adviser.
- CiC Assistance Programme for all forums to access telephone and face to face counselling, financial and legal helplines, family care advice and signposting, wellbeing portal and app, support for managers (for forums with staff), guidance on HR issues, policies, and procedures, ‘everyday matters’ information sourcing, whistle-blowing support.
- Subscription for all forums to Community Matters Yorkshire’s knowledgebank. Community Matters provide advice, information, and support with governance and legal issues.
- Website and online resources. We will keep our webpages up to date and offer resources for parent carer forums, including our dedicated PCF YouTube channel.
- Support and attendance at regional network or cluster meetings, either face to face or virtual.
- Regular news and updates on the issues that matter to forums including good practice examples, consultations, follow-up information, changes to legislation, training, events etc.
- Information and resources to support forums’ engagement with health partners locally, and routes to provide feedback on experiences to NHS England and other national health bodies via our Strategic Health Lead.
- Forum training three online training opportunities on Compassionate Communication, and either Leading your Forum, being a parent representative and or DARE Resilience.
- Revision of the Forum Handbook to reflect where forums are now and to be a useful resource to new forums just starting out.
- Develop a sustainable peer support model with forums.
- Diversity training will be offered to all forums during 2022-23 and attendance (of two key forum members) will be necessary to secure the second tranche of the grant.
- Support to develop Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policies, use the Diversity and Inclusion toolkit,and to plan for an inclusive forum culture.
- Annual report on strengthening the parent carer participation movement.
Contact’s enhanced offer of support to forums experiencing challenges:
- Intensive support through our associate pool or mediators when significant issues arise. Associates can support with a wide range of issues, you can read more about this in our frequently asked questions about working with Contact Associates. Take a look at this webinar from Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire about how an Associate supported them to embed Coproduction in their area.
- Intensive or bespoke support from Community Matters on complex governance or policy issues on an Associate basis.
- Support to forums’ strategic partners including the local authority and health agencies and raising the profile of participation and co-production amongst these partners.
Additional paid options:
- Support from Community Matters on policy review, organisational development, finance, GDPR and data, complaints, governance issues, and training on key topics.
- DARE resilience and wellbeing training to help forum members to balance the challenges of their personal lives and the running of the forum; this course was co-produced with forums and is available for forums/regions to purchase.
- Leading your Forum training for forum leaders – forums/regions can buy in individually if they wish to.
Learning and development
For details of upcoming learning and development opportunities, go to the learning and events for forums page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a dedicated parent carer forum YouTube channel that includes all past learning for PCF members to access.
The Contact and NNPCF parent carer participation newsletter (England)
Contact and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) produce a joint parent carer participation newsletter.
This newsletter contains key information about the development of parent carer participation, information about 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 newsletter.
Download past versions of the newsletter:
Read our latest annual review (2020-21) to find out how Contact supported parent carer forums last year, and about the impact that forums have on services in their areas.
Read our last annual review (2019-20) to find out how Contact supported parent carer forums that year, and about the impact that forums have on services in their areas.