A SUPPORT group is urging parents and carers of SEND children to have their say and help shape the services they receive.

The Parent Carer Forum, Cheshire West and Chester (PCF) is a voluntary group for those looking after children and young people (from babies to 25-year-olds) with special educational needs and disabilities.

The group provides opportunities for parents and carers to share their views and experiences with each other and SEND professionals with the aim of improving the lives of disabled children, young people and their families. 

As part of this, the group issues a survey to get feedback on parents and carers' experiences with education, health services and social care.

In 2022, 539 people took part in the survey which provided valuable data for service providers and helped to inform the local SEND Ofsted inspection.

Now the PCF has launched another survey and is urging parents and carers of SEND children to once again take part.

Lucy Kennerley, the vice chairman of the PCF, said: "I would love to encourage more parents of children or young people with SEND to fill out this survey.

"We need to hear what you think so we can help make the changes that are needed in the services for our children and young people.

Northwich Guardian: PCF chairman Julie Duff chair and her son JoshPCF chairman Julie Duff chair and her son Josh (Image: PCF)

"The survey only takes around five minutes to complete and this year we have added some additional questions around experiences of school transport, short breaks and wraparound care.

"The results will then be compared with the previous survey and this will help to inform the future work of the PCF and the local authority and NHS.

"It is important to note that your child or young person does not need to have a diagnosis when completing the survey."

The deadline for completing the survey is February 6, the day before the PCF will be holding a meeting at Hartford Golf Club.

At the meeting, between 10am and 2pm, parents and carers can learn more about the PCF and meet some of the professionals behind the Live Well services available. 

Lucy, who came across the PCF when her son was on the autism pathway, added: "I felt completely alone on this journey.

"I attended an early years focus group to share my experience of being a parent of a child in the early years with additional needs.

"This resulted in a fully co-produced piece of work called The Early Years Roadmap, with me, Julie Duff (the PCF chairman), members of the PCF team and the local authority.  

"The PCF has not only listened to me and guided me through the complex system of SEND services, but they have also become my second family and has opened many doors for myself and family. 

"I’d also like to encourage parents to find out more about the PCF and the support you can receive."

The survey can be completed online here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/BYHWY5Q.

If you require a paper copy then please contact the PCF on 07900 840867 or via email at contact.pcfcwac@gmail.com.