Let's Talk (used to be called Time to Talk)

Let's Talk 2

Find out about our Let's Talk event in October 2019

We held our 'Let's Talk' event on Saturday 22 October 2019 as part of our commitment to provide more opportunities for you to talk to us face to face. 

The event focussed on transitions at any time during a child's life, from birth to adulthood. We wanted your feedback to help us design and improve services to support children and young people through change. 

Here's some of the feedback you gave us and what we're doing about it:

You said we did table showing feedback and action we took as a result.
You said We did
'In order to help my child with transitions and change, I need pre-warning that change is coming whenever possible'. We'll review how and when we communicate to give families more time to start thinking about next steps and changes before they happen.
'Parents need more help understanding education, health and care (EHC) plans and so do teachers. We need to understand it and its purpose'.

We've worked with families to redesign EHC plan forms so they're easier to understand. We'll use the new EHC plan forms from January 2020.
We've also updated the information on the EHC plans on our SEND Local Offer.

'School don't always know where to go to get advice about options for children with SEND after school'. We're working to improve the information on the 'preparing for adulthood' section of our Local Offer. This include options available for children when they leave school. We'll make sure schools are aware of this information. 
'Work on my child's achievements and strengths with me'. We want to be better at working with families to celebrate important steps and achievements. We know that services are more successful when they're close to home and we can meet face to face. 
'Better training for all school staff about SEND'. We know that up-to-date training is vital for adults working with children and young people with SEND. Professionals and parents in Dorset have worked together to design a SEND Training Framework. The training gives a foundation understanding of SEND and is available to all staff who work with children. We are currently working on the second level of training, which aims to give staff a more detailed understanding.

Let's Talk July 2019 event

We held our first Time to Talk event on Saturday 13 July. We want to provide more opportunities for you to talk to us face to face and hear about how you can help to design and improve our services. 

Feedback on the Local Offer and the actions we took in response

You said We did

You said you'd like regular meetings like this that had a theme so parents can decide if it's relevant to attend

There'll be another session called 'Let's Talk':
  • on Saturday 19 October 2019
  • from 10am to midday
  • at Blandford Day Centre

You told us that you don't see health, education and social care working in a joined-up way.

The lead officers for each agency have discussed this at the September Strategic Alliance meeting. We're writing a plan together to find out what isn't working and how we can work in a more joined-up way.

You said that SENCOs in schools aren't always responsive to parents' issues. Good quality communication with parents depends on the school and how approachable and proactive the SENCO is. 

We will talk with SENCOs at the November SENCO meeting about good communication with parents and make sure it's part of the local SENCO induction training.

You said you want more opportunities to talk with schools about next steps in provision and what the choices are. This means right from the early years into school through to adulthood.

We're doing a lot of work on Preparing for Adulthood at the moment and have completed an audit on what schools are currently doing.

You said that a regular drop-in session for parents to talk directly with SEND officers about their individual cases would be very much welcomed. 

We like this idea.
We're going to see if we can do these drop-in sessions locally in the future so that parents can attend nearer to home. 

You want more information about how the SEN Panel processes work and how parents can have their views better represented at these panels.

We've put information about how the SEND Panel process works on our Dorset SEND Local Offer webpages
And we've put the link in our newsletter. 

You told us that families wait too long for an autism diagnosis and that when you see a new doctor you have to tell your story all over again. 

We've invited our Designated Clinical Officer, Steve Clarke to attend our next Let's Talk event in October 2019. 
Steve will talk about what we're doing to make this a better experience for families. He's meeting with a GP group soon and will discuss this. 

You said that schools aren't clear about what early help is available for families of children with SEND, including what services are available locally. 

We will talk to our colleagues in the Family Partnership Zones about this issue to make sure that all schools are promoting this. 

You said there aren't enough mental health services for young adults and that when a child reaches the age of 18 their provision usually stops. 

We'll ask Steve Clarke to talk about this issue when he comes to speak at our Let's Talk event in October. 

You said you'd like to see an online forum for young people with SEND to be able to share their experiences and support each other. 

Our Communications Team are helping us find local forums for young people with SEND that we can recommend and publicise in our newsletters and social media. 

Give us your feedback

Let us know how we can improve our Local Offer by completing a feedback form.
Find our feedback forms at the end of every webpage.