Becoming Involved - What is Parent Participation?
Parent participation means parents and professionals working together to improve services and the delivery of services so that they better meet families’ needs.
By working together and using the knowledge and expertise parents have gained through their experience with disabled/SEN children, they can make informed and positive decisions which will benefit their own families and the lives of others.
Parents and carers understand the problems and issues that families with disabled children face, and this knowledge can be used practically in shaping services.
Professionals are beginning to recognise how important parent participation is as services work more efficiently and support the needs of the people using them more effectively.
Why is Parent Participation So Important?
Parent participation isn’t just important - it is critical - in shaping services and ensuring that these meet the needs of the children and young people that use them and their families.
Professionals can make decisions based upon what they believe to be the problems and issues facing families, however, a parent understands these problems in a far more personal way – they live with the problems every day.
Parent participation isn’t necessarily confrontational – it is about respecting each other and respecting the knowledge that both sides contribute. It is about trust and working together to improve outcomes.
How Can I Participate?
There are lots of ways that you, as a parent or carer, can become involved in the decision-making process. Here are a few examples of how you can get involved:
- Comment on this website or on our Facebook page (address needed) about an issue or concern that you have
- Take part in parent surveys which are sent to you or published on websites (these can be from HPCN, Parent Voice, your local authority, local or national charities)
- HPCN may ask you to send a letter or email to your local MP or councillor
- Speak to us at an event or meeting
- Joining an affiliated support group – or encourage your support group to become an affiliate! Join Here!
- Contact us by phone, email, text or letter – whichever you feel most happy with. Contact Us
- Join the HPCN as an area representative or committee member
- Go to a consultation meeting and offer your views
- Come along to our monthly meetings and AGM
- Become a parent representative for HPCN
I Don’t Really Have Much Time. Can I Still Participate?
Yes of course, participation isn’t necessarily about being able to go to lots of meetings or spending hours putting together reports and mission statements. For example, you can participate by leaving comments on the HPCN Facebook page (need address), complete parent surveys, or simply email us. If your views are heard, you are more likely to improve your situation and the situation of families like yours.