Parents train to support other families of children with special educational needs
A group of parents who support other families of children with special educational needs were recognised at a graduation ceremony.
The volunteer Independent Parent Supporters undertook a five month long training course made of modules including special educational needs law, schools admissions, disability equality counselling skills and practical experience.
The course was organised by the council’s Parent Partnership Service and aims to increase access to the support services available to local parents. The seven volunteers will be available to act as advocates, refer families to information and services and work with families of children with learning or physical disabilities to ensure they receive the help and support they need.
Being a parent or carer of a child with SEN can be challenging, as well as hugely rewarding, and no one knows that better than those who have gone through it themselves. By equipping fellow parents with the skills and confidence to help them advise others, we hope families will feel more supported and better informed about the services available to them. The volunteers who have completed the programme have shown huge dedication and now have an impressive set of skills which will really benefit Hackney families. I’d like thank them and wish them luck in their role.
Charlotte Handel, Head of Volunteering at Volunteer Centre Hackney, was at the graduation ceremony. She said: "'The volunteers who work as Independent Parent Supporters are truly inspiring. It was wonderful to hear their success stories and how volunteering has helped them learn about themselves and give back to others - as well as enabling many to go on to employment. These volunteers are passionate about helping Hackney parents."
Independent Parent Supporters are specially trained volunteers that help parents and carers through the procedures involved in dealing with their child’s special educational needs. The Independent Parental Supporter Scheme was developed as a result of the Code of Practice for children with Special Educational Needs 2001.
To get in touch with an Independent Parent Supporter or to find out about the council's Parent Partnership Service, contact Kate Akindipe, on 020 7104 7123 or email IPSEnquiry@learningtrust.co.uk