Many East Sussex parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will remember completing a survey earlier this year which asked about your family’s views and experiences of SEND services in East Sussex. This parent carer survey fed into the SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). This looks at health and wellbeing needs of our children and young people, what is currently available, what’s working well, and what improvements are needed.
We know it’s a hefty document so you may particularly want to look at the conclusions and recommendations on pages 141-148.
ESPCF stressed the need for parent carer voice to be authentically captured within the JSNA process. The resulting survey, which we co-produced with Public Health and Amaze, and to which so many parents and carers responded, produced a rich and powerful dataset. A huge thank you to the 725 parents and carers who responded and helped ensure our voices were heard clearly.
Whilst some assets were identified – including the Front Door referral system, CLASS (Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service), and support from the charities and voluntary sector – the conclusions in the report identify a number of areas for improvement. These include access to services; early identification and intervention; EHCP processes, inconsistency of support in schools; inconsistent joint working between services; and families’ voices not being effectively listened to.
We already know from our membership feedback that change is needed to address these important issues, so it’s positive to see that a number of the recommendations made in the report align with the forum’s existing priorities. This includes the critical issues around mental health support, as well as challenges around EHCP processes.
The publication of the JSNA report should help focus change where it is needed, and the findings will also inform the East Sussex SEND strategy for the coming years. It is positive that work is already underway that will address some of the recommendations, with some fantastic parent carer reps involved. We’re pleased to see the importance of co-production highlighted in the report, and ESPCF will strive to work in partnership with ESCC, NHS CCGs, and other partners to ensure that all parents/carers “the voices of children and their families are at the heart of service planning and delivery”, as per the report.
Please get in touch and let us know your views on the findings in the report.
Message via the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EastSussexParentCarerForum
Or give us a call (though it may take us a little longer to get back to you over the school holidays!) 0300 770 1367