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Working Group 3 - Engagement and Co-production

Chair - Charlotte Wright

Vice Chair - Harry Harrison

Written Statement of Action (Area 4) - Aims to re-establish and strengthen parents and carers trust and faith in the local area’s work.

Written Statement of Action (Area 5) - Aims to establish and develop ways to ensure the close involvement of children, young people and their families in the co-production of the services, resources and support they need.


Key message

How does this impact families? How does it link to the Written Statement of Action (WSoA)?

We are increasing resources to help co-produce and deliver improvements.

We have a new Strategic Lead coming on board in Sian Rees.  Sian has significant experience in delivering improvements to  Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services, most recently in the Lancashire area. We have also appointed a dedicated Engagement and Communications Officer to the programme in Hayley Stewart, who is a SEND parent and has been very active in the Improvement Programme as a Parent Representative since the beginning. Finally  we have appointed a dedicated Business Support Officer to the programme in Marie Davidson. These appointments strengthen the team and our ability to identify and deliver the improvements that families need more quickly.

Work to create a new Parent Carer Forum is ongoing. We have a statutory duty to involve and consult with parents and carers of disabled children and, more than that, we recognise how much we all benefit from the vast experience and expertise that parents, carers and children and young people themselves can bring.  4 engagement sessions have now been held, and a survey was sent out which received 95 responses. More than 20 parents and carers expressed an interest in being on the committee of the new Forum once it is set up. The next step is to present a blueprint for what happens next, based on what parents told us, to the Improvement Board. The national charity Contact will then help parents to set up the new Forum in a way that works for them, and there will be more news about how you can get involved with this in coming newsletters.

The new Parent Carer Forum will build a strong effective voice for families and improve service design and delivery through co-production.

We have held a recorded conversation with parents and carers and Senior Leaders, talking about the results of the Joint Strategic  Needs Assessment (JSNA) Deep Dive into mental health and wellbeing. This conversation is the first in what will be a series of Deep Dive Conversations, each focusing on the results of a Deep Dive into a different aspect of the SEND system.

The conversation improved understanding of local need, improved leaders understanding of families lived experiences, and increased opportunities for families to design and influence service improvements.

We are working with school councils on a project called Pupil Voice, which looks to discuss and then increase SEND pupil representation on school councils.

This will increase engagement with children and young people with SEND,  and increase the level of influence they have over their own school’s work, direction and special projects.

We are developing an Engagement Plan for the coming months.

This strategic work will ensure co-production begins to be embedded as the go to tool for all work where reviewing, shaping and considering new services happen.

An Early Years Engagement Plan is being developed to include a survey, online discussions, focus groups, Facebook live discussions, questionnaires and comments boards.

The findings will be used to co-produce and shape the Cumbria Together Learning Readiness Approach, resources for exploring your local area (50 things to see and do), redesign service provision and commission new services.

We are redesigning the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnostic pathway. North and South Cumbria have different Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) but they are working together to make the pathway better and ensure that, even though implementation may differ because of the different organisations involved, the outcomes for children, young people and their families are consistent, no matter which part of the County they are in. Some work has already been done with families to co-produce a new diagnostic pathway, and more is planned. NHS England have commissioned North Cumbria CCG & Triple A to hold dedicated focus groups on the ASD Diagnostic Pathway in North Cumbria. Details of how parents and carers can get involved will follow.

The focus groups, co-production and engagement in 2021 will help to shape a new diagnostic pathway for ASD that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of this cohort of families going forwards.

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