Family Voice Calderdale (FVC) is the Parent Carer Forum for Calderdale.
What is a Parent Carer Forum?
A parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of children & young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Their aim is to ensure the services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and families. We also belong to the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) and they have provided a really good ‘Mythbuster’ page all about Parent Carer Forums, available here: https://nnpcf.org.uk/blog/about/mythbuster/
What are the aims of Family Voice Calderdale?
- Family Voice Calderdale aims to ensure that parent carers have a voice in shaping services for children & young people with additional needs in Calderdale
- Family Voice Calderdale aims to seek and represent the views of the collective voice of parent carers
- Family Voice Calderdale aims to make sure that services provided actually meet the needs of parent carers and their families in Calderdale
What does Family Voice Calderdale do?
- The forum has a steering group of parents who meet on a monthly basis and lead this work.
- The forum focuses on improving services based on the view that disabled children and their parents best understand what they need from the services in their area. This happens on 2 levels:-
- Strategic – by attending workstreams to influence commissioners and decision makers
- Individual – by encouraging better conversations between parent carers and services, including schools
What Family Voice Calderdale is not
- A Support Group
- An Information, Advice or Support Service
- An Advocacy organisation – individual cases are not represented
- A Campaign/Lobbying organisation
You can find out more how Family Voice Calderdale is working together with services in Calderdale by reading our Charter for Working Together
After over 18 months of partnership work with the Calderdale Local Authorities, Family Voice Calderdale launched ‘A Charter For Parent Carers OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH ANY ADDITIONAL NEED and Practitioners’ entitled ‘WORKING TOGETHER IN CALDERDALE’
Read all about it here: Working Together in Calderdale
How are Unique Ways and Family Voice Calderdale connected?
As Unique Ways has grown, we’ve started to offer more and more services of our own. To make sure that parent carers could give feedback and share their views on our services as well as those provided by Local Authorities and other groups, we established Family Voice Calderdale as a forum that is separate from the services arm of our organisation, with its own terms of reference, run by a steering group of parent carer volunteers.
How can I get involved with Family Voice Calderdale?
Express an Interest in Family Voice Calderdale
Contribute to the forum
Family Voice Calderdale gathers views from parent carers through surveys, focus groups and meetings – contact us to join our mailing list and we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening!
Become a parent representative
Parent representatives are responsible for representing Calderdale parent carers at specific meetings, informing decision makers of the views of the forum, and making sure that parent carers’ views are fed into decisions about children’s services at a strategic level.
Join the steering group
The Family Voice Calderdale steering group is made up of 12 elected members responsible for management of the forum and the parent representatives.
How to apply
Head to our volunteering page, or contact our Family Voice Supporter, Heidi Coney, to find out more about these roles and how you can get involved. Call 01422 343090, or email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org.