HPCI Parent network update – 23rd July

Welcome to this week’s HPCI parent network update and my final one as HPCI Coordinator.

Having helped to set up, run and develop HPCI for over 10 years it is tough to step aside but it is the right thing to do for both myself and the forum. HPCI has a great team of committed people who can take the organisation onward and upward.  Over the last 10 years I have met and worked with lots of amazing SEND parents and dedicated professionals who want to make a difference for our children. There have been many challenges along the way but I still firmly believe that we can make change happen by working alongside not only those who run and manage services but also other parent groups who want change.

This week’s update has 8 items – 4 local and 4 national

Update on speech and language therapy
The speech and language therapy service will be directly contacting a large number of families who are awaiting speech and language assessments to offer them an appointment over the summer holidays. This is in order to help reduce the waiting list.  If you receive one of these letters then we would urge you take up the appointment.  The service will try to be flexible if appointments aren’t convenient.  They will also be running some extra clinics and learning sessions.

Potential Kids summer events
Take a look at the range of holiday activities local charity, Potential Kids, has on offer such as Yoga & relaxation for SEND parents, Minecraft Java Edition sessions, Learn to Cycle, Summer Garden drop in, Girls Groups, family cooking sessions and monthly Tech Club at Hatfield Galleria.
ALSO: Coming in September a twice monthly trampolining club at Gosling Sports Park in WGC Booking and further info on all these  HERE

Delivering Specialist Provision Locally (DSPL) – area 8 – Dacorum
A new booklet outlining the courses and sessions that are being run by DSPL 8 is now available to download from their website.  Some courses are specifically for parents of children and young people with SEND but not all.  The brochure can either be viewed online as a pdf document or printed off to make an A5 leaflet (print on both sides of paper, flip on short edge).
Please note that for some of the courses, priority is given to parents living in the local area.
Download the brochure HERE

Adults with autism online health workshops – new dates in August
The events we publicised last week have been changed to take place in August.  You can book and find out more through Eventbrite – Knowing your rights link and Exploring inequalities link

Vaccinations agreed for some clinically vulnerable young people aged 12-15
This week the government committee on vaccinations and the Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, announced that some clinically vulnerable young people aged 12-15 will now get access to the Covid vaccine. Children aged 12 and over at increased risk of Covid-19 should now be offered the Pfizer vaccine, which the UK regulator said was safe and effective for this age group last month.  National Charity Contact has led a successful campaign on this issue in this article they outline who is eligible and answer some frequently asked questions about this. You can also read the guidance from the government’s committee on vaccinations and the Vaccines Minister’s statement.

DfE extends SEND tribunal powers on health and social care in England
The government has confirmed that the extended powers given to SEND tribunals in England that allow parents and youngsters a single route of appeal about the education, health and social care elements of an EHC plan will continue. The new powers were first granted in March 2018 as part of a national trial to evaluate the benefits of allowing SEND tribunals to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of EHC plans, rather than just considering the education elements as was previously the case.
This is great news for families.

Thinking ahead: a planning guide for families from the Foundation for people with learning disabilities
For parents of children with learning disabilities thinking about the future can feel very daunting but this guide aims to help parents think and plan ahead. The guide is free to download and covers the following topics.

  1. Making decisions: information to help you understand the legislation and practice that relates to decision-making.
  2. Making plans for the future in a person-centred way: an introduction to how person-centred planning can help you to think about what options might work well for your relative.
  3. Building friendships and support networks: describes the benefits of having more people involved in your relative’s life and ideas for achieving this.
  4. Talking about difficult subjects: ideas about how to talk about subjects that can be difficult to raise, such as growing older and death and dying, with your relative.
  5. Making financial plans: an introduction to making a will, setting up a discretionary trust and power of attorney.
  6. Housing and support: information about the different housing options for your relative and how to get the support they need.
  7. Making a plan for emergencies: how to put together a plan that can support your relative to get the right support should you suddenly have an emergency.
  8. Keeping an eye on things: how to ensure your relative has a good life and is well supported when they leave the family home.
  9. Making a plan for the future: drawing drawing together your ideas to make a plan for the future.

Download the document HERE

Cerebra Report – Parent Blame
This just released report is the result of research considering – from a legal perspective – the experiences of disabled children and their families of the process by which their needs for care and support are assessed by children’s services authorities in England.
It makes very interesting reading!
Find the report  HERE