Bromley Parent Voice – Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
Bromley Parent Voice are delighted to announce that we have achieved Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
Members will be aware that we have worked towards this for some time. Some of you may wonder what this mean for the forum and what will change. Well initially members will not see much difference but over time this will give BPV the chance to evolve.
The new structure has changed governance in that we have moved from being a steering group of representatives to the following:
The new BPV structure has a group of trustees who set the priorities and direction for the forum. These trustees are in the main parent carers however, we also have a school SENCO, and someone with a number of voluntary sector links on the trustee board. All of our trustees have a passion to help support life outcomes for our vulnerable SEND children and Young people.
There are currently five directors in the management group who collectively decide upon the day to day operations of the forum.This includes producing the bulletins, arranging focus groups, questionnaires and other engagement opportunities.
The management group also act as representatives for the forum when invited to co-produce with community partners e.g Local Authority, Clinical Commissioning Group etc.
As there are a number of engagement opportunities, BPV have recruited a number of parents to represent BPV. This team helps to ensure we have representation.
Bromley Parent Voice continue to work closely with Mrs Kay Moore in her dual roles. These are:
- London Regional Representative and steering group member of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.
- Parent Participation Officer for Bromley Local Authority
Through Kay BPV have been able to ensure the voice of Bromley’s parents are included at national level with Ministers and their departments (DfE & DoE).
We have also secured representation in a number of local, regional and national engagement opportunities. This includes the following, please note this is not an exhaustive list and is in no particular order of priority.
- DfE grant funding projects
- National Network of Parent Carer Forums
- London Leadership Strategy/ Whole School SEND programme
- Childcare Works SEND Advisory Board
- South East Cluster of Parent Carer Forums
- Our Healthier South East London Programme (this is now the Sustainability Transformation Plan for South London)
- South East London Transforming Care Plan
- Independent Support Consortium (Bromley Mencap, Burgess Autistic Trust, BPV and Experts by Experience (XbyX)).
- Local Authority (various, see thematic workstream article).
- Clinical Commisioning Group Children and Young persons working group
- Community Engagement Sub Group of Bromley Safeguarding Board
- Children’s Hearing Services Working Group
- Carers Forum facilitated by Carers Bromley
We have good relations with other charitable organisations who support our families.
Becoming a CIO give BPV formal status. This will help us when applying for grants to support our work and allow scope for us to widen our offer to families.
For the rest of this year we will be concentrating our efforts in helping ensure the voice of parents is heard in the final stages of implementation for the SEND reforms (Children & Families Act 2014).
The forum are often asked why we do not lobby/petition on behalf of families. There can also be confusion over our role and if we support individual families. I will take this opportunity to provide clarity.
We try to work in partnership rather than lobby. This excerpt from the Children and Families Act 2014 Code of Practice describes parent forums as:
Parent Carer Forums are representative local groups of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities who work alongside local authorities, education, health and other service providers to ensure the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families.
We do like to hear individual stories as this all helps us to build a local picture for our wider engagement. We can use individual circumstances to highlight issues but we do not get involved with individual cases.
One initiative that the forum have developed is an issues log. We would like to encourage families to contact us with their individual issues so we can add them to our log to see any emerging themes.
We are trying to improve our feedback to families and do appreciate the support that families have given to us in completing questionnaires and attending focus groups. We are a small team and it can take time for impact of our engagement work to take effect.
We are always looking for parents who are willing to get more actively involved in our work.
Rosalind Luff Director of Participation