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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) participation and co-production policy 2018 to 2021

This policy has been co-produced with young people and parent carers.

Find an easy-read version of our SEND participation and co-production policy.

Participation

Participation means involving children and young people and their parents and carers in the decisions that affect them and their lives. 

Every child and young person with SEND, and their parents or carers, has the right to be involved in decisions about them and to have the help they need to make decisions.

The law tells us we must listen to the views, wishes and feelings of a child and their parents, or of a young person.

Co-production

Co-production is all about the idea that the people who use a service are best placed to help design it. 

The term 'co-production' refers to a way of working where the people who use services (in this case children and young people with SEND in Dorset), their parents, carers and service providers all work together to create a service that works for them all. 

Our vision

Dorset Council wants the children and young people with SEND in our area and their parents and carers to be fully involved in creating and monitoring the services we provide, and we will work together with them from the start to the end of any project that affects them. 

How we will make our vision a reality

We will:

  • provide good quality, clear information so that children and young people with SEND and their families are able to make decisions
  • support children, young people and their families to communicate their views in the way they want to, and to be involved in decisions about the way they want to be involved. We will have good tools in place to support participation
  • create opportunities for people to share their views; we will support and encourage children and young people to practise and develop decision-making skills
  • involve children, young people and their families in planning, designing and reviewing the services they use
  • make sure we share information between services to inform good practice
  • always provide feedback so that people can see what happens as a result of their participation. Our feedback will be timely

Our agreement

We agree that:

  • before any project or piece of work goes ahead, we will agree how we will involve children, young people and their parents or carers in that work
  • all services and teams working with children, young people and young adults with SEND will complete an annual participation audit with a focus on improving participation
  • we will develop guidance and a toolkit to support good participation and co-production. This guidance and toolkit will be available to workers and families online
  • we will provide training for staff, children and young people and their parents or carers to develop their skills around participation and co-production
  • we will provide training in person-centred approaches to support individual participation
  • we will make sure information about services for children, young people and young adults with SEND is accessible
  • we will create and support a SEND young people's forum to help them be involved in strategic decision-making 
  • we will work with the Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC) and other parent carer groups to make sure parents and carers participate in strategic decision-making
  • we will involve young people with SEND in recruitment for specialist posts working with children and young people with SEND. We will work with young people with SEND to create guidance and a toolkit to involve them in recruitment
  • we will make sure we recognise and reward children, young people and parents and carers for their contributions
  • we will work with young people with SEND and parents and carers to create participation standards so that all services know what is expected of them
  • we will share and celebrate success. We will build services together based on what we know works

How we'll know it's working

Children, young people and their families feel that they are listened to and that their views are routinely sought and valued.

Plans for children and young people are created with them and their families. 

Children, young people and their families feel supported to speak up and expect to be involved. 

Services are designed and monitored with the families who use them, leading to better outcomes for everyone. 

Co-produced with young people, parents and carers.

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