What is Parent Involvement?

Parent involvement means the families of disabled children working together with service providers to ensure that the impact of services (or lack of accessable services) on family life is understood by all.

It also means families gain a better understanding of the decision making factors which service providers take into account when deciding what services to provide, tadalafil when and for whom.

We represent the views and experiences of families who have children and young people with Special Educational needs and/or disabilities in Hertfordshire.

If you are part of a family with a disabled child* or have had first hand knowledge of the impact of services on these familes then we would like to hear from you. Please sign up to our Network or simply contact us to give your views.
*What do we mean by a disabled child? A child or young person who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. As a family there may be barriers which prevent you from living normal lives and accessing the same services as others – we want to hear from you and find ways of working together to break down these barriers.

“If you’ve got an idea to make life better, cialis sales if you want to improve your local area, don’t just think about it – tell us what you want to do and we will try and give you the tools to make this happen.”

David Cameron (31.3.10)

Following on from Aiming High for Disabled Children, this Government in 2011/12 remains committed to Parent Participation in order to affect positively services and facilities for disabled children and their families. This is big news for all of us and as the Hertfordshire Parent Carer Involvement Board, we are committed to working with Hertfordshire County Council, all parents of disabled children across Hertfordshire and liaising with other Parent Forums across the UK to deliver the best, most efficient outcomes for all our children and families. We will do our utmost to contact every family in need, so that they have the opportunity to become involved, or have their say, in whatever way is best for them.

Herts CC will give us the funds to enable Parent Carers to become involved, by enabling us to pay for transport to meetings, care for our children and admin services to allow us to complete our work.

Feedback from across the UK shows that if parents become actively involved in their local services, they feel more supported, by both the professionals and other parents in the same situation and stress levels of all concerned are lowered.

Parent Carers of disabled children are three times more likely to be unemployed, so volunteering on the Parent Carer Involvement Board will give you new skills, the opportunity to train whilst your child is at school and even the confidence to apply for a job. Many of our Parent carers have been successful in their new careers, as a direct result of becoming a volunteer.

Herts CC Commissioning officers report that they feel they get better value for money with their services, if they consult Parent Carers, because the money goes directly to where the need is greatest. This allows other money to help more people elsewhere.

We are living in the most exciting digital age, where so much is possible. Parent carers of disabled children have never had so much opportunity to make such a difference to their own lives and those of other families in the same situation. We are able to work together, either at meetings, or at home on our own computers, just being involved by email. Our opinions today can truly change our world tomorrow, giving us the freedom to move on to the next stages in our lives. All of our Parent Carers tell us they get back far more than they ever put in to this process. Being on the journey together is what really counts. Please come join us, as your involvement could be just what we are looking for. We are an evolving, growing group and cannot wait to meet you!

Click here for a summary of the benefits to you.

Our vision

Services for children and young people with additional needs are improved so that these children reach their full potential and experience the same life choices as their peers.

Mission Statement

We are a parent carer led organisation which represents the views and experiences of families, to influence the improvement of services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (and their families) in Hertfordshire.


• To be the strategic body for parent carers involvement across health, education and social care in Hertfordshire.

• To encourage and support carers to become actively involved.

• To improve the impact of involvement and endeavour to make a positive difference to services provided to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families.

• To be representative of parent carers covering all Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and localities in Hertfordshire.
• To provide effective two way communication and partnership working between parent carers and professionals.

• To develop links with other parent carer networks locally, regionally and nationally, in order to share good practice.


• To set up and maintain a structure for parent carer involvement consisting of a Parent Carer Involvement Board acting as a County-wide steering group underpinned by a Parent Carer Involvement Network of interested parent carers and support groups, open to all parent carers living in Hertfordshire.

• To engage with the local authority, NHS Hertfordshire, other statutory and voluntary agencies at a strategic level to influence decision making relating to services for children with special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families.

• To signpost parent carers to appropriate organisations and groups for information and support.
First and foremost we work with the families of disabled children themselves to listen and hear their views, but importantly we also work with…..

Local networks and support groups representing families of disabled children

Including: Angels Support Group, Star Scope, AAA(Autism, Aspergers and ADHD), Carers in Herts, Special Families Group, Hope for Autism, local MENCAP groups.
Local/national voluntary sector providers of services to disabled children

Action for Children, KIDS, Jubilee House, Scope
Hertfordshire County Councillors who hold relevant portfolios for children and young people, carers and for disabilities:

Jane Pitman – Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council
Richard Roberts – Executive member for Children’s Services
Frances Button – Executive member for Education and Skills
Colette Wyatt-Lowe – Executive member for Health & Adult Care
Teresa Heritage – Deputy Executive member for Health & Adult Care and Chair of Carers Forum
David Hewitt – Vice Chair of the Council
Hertfordshire County Council Departments:

Social Care
Transition to adult services
Parent Partnership Services

Jenny Coles – Director of Safeguarding and Specialist Services
John O’Loughlin – Head of Disabled Children’s Services
Justin Donovan – Director of Education and Early Intervention
Debbie Orton – Head of Inclusion Services
Jim Dalton – Lead Officer Developing Special Provision Locally
Frances Coupe – Head of Children and Young People’s Commissioning
Sue Jaye – Parent Partnership Manager

And various other members of Herts County Council staff who are part of the above officers teams.
Hertfordshire Additional Needs Database (HAND)
Regional/National Parent Participation Organisations

Contact a Family, Together for Disabled Children, National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF)
Summary of benefits to parent carers of getting involved include:

1. If you are the parent of a child who has Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, then you are an expert on the support and services that you and your child both need. Here is an opportunity for you to share this knowledge with others.

2. Giving the local authority officers our unique insight into the impact of services on the lives of families with disabled children, and through this allowing services to improve and develop from the service users persective.

3. Forums report that parents volunteering their time can have raised self esteem and develop other skills and experience.

4. Many parent carer forums have enabled parents to consider the opportunity to return to work. The skills and confidence that parents gain through volunteering can often help to build confidence, develop skills, and provide experience for parents who may have previously been denied these opportunities. For some parents, this has led to them considering how they could potentially commit to working. This has resulted in some parents being successful in applying for paid employment.