Parental Involvement: Making a Difference
It is important and mutually beneficial to include service-users, including parents and carers of deaf children as well as possibly young deaf people themselves, in the planning and development of services. The involvement of service-users can be invaluable in terms of suggesting what is good about local service delivery and areas that could be further improved.
All NHSP sites should have an active Children's Hearing Services Working Groups (CHSWGs) whose purpose is to develop services to meet the changing expectations from national initiatives and Quality Asssurance recommendations. CHSWGs should work closely with parent and service providers to continuously monitor and improve services for deaf children and their families. Click to find out more about 'CHSWGs' or contact your local NHSP service 'Screening in my Area'.
The needs of disabled children and their families are taken seriously by government. 'The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services' has been published and will create better services for children and their families. Not only that, but the Framework includes a specific standard on the needs of disabled children and their families.
The Disabled Children's Standard demands joined up services and proper information for families. It also says that parents and children must have a say in the shaping of these services. With this in mind, Contact a Family has produced a guide for parent groups and parent forums; 'Making a Difference'.
Parents groups and forums can make a real difference to the services families receive locally. It is an opportunity not to be missed.