FACT Bucks is the Parent Carer Forum for Buckinghamshire, as required by the Children and Families Act 2014.

We are a voluntary, pan disability, parent led parent/carer forum working to build parent/carer participation/co-production based on good practice, knowledge and expertise. We do not undertake campaigns, pursue individual cases nor offer support and counselling to individual parent carers.

There are now 160 families registered as full members with an additional 250 families on our contact list. Whilst membership is open and free to all those with an interest in the needs of children and young people with SEND, we recognise parents have many calls on their time. Nevertheless, we seek to represent all parent carers and make all our activities open to all parent carers by working alongside the networks of support groups throughout the local area to enable greater outreach and feedback.

We work closely with SENDIAS; SEND team; Commissioning; Family Support; Transitions; CAMHS; Integrated Therapies; Action for Children; & Healthwatch

What do we do?

We provide a parent rep (and hence a parent voice) to the following strategic local area boards:

• Children’s Partnership
• Integrated SEN Services
• SEND Improvement
• Inclusion Hub
• Transforming Care
• Integrated Care Community Liaison
• CAMHS Stakeholders
• Therapies Stakeholders
• Short Breaks Stakeholders
• Autism Community Engagement Group
• Carers Community Engagement Group
• Local Offer Advisory
• Transitions

We made the voice of the parent heard in the following key areas in the last year:

• Recommissioning of Short Breaks
– to provide an offer that is flexible and meets family needs
• Post 16 Transport
– to minimise the impact of planned charges and then to ensure effective communication and support for those most in need in their introduction
• SEND Team
– input into new integrated area based SEND team structure to provide holistic and focussed resources to better support families and schools

We are currently working on

• SEN Support/Early Help
– ongoing parent voice into development of a robust offer for support without an EHCP and/or to assist families who are beginning to struggle
• Preparing for Adulthood
– encouraging an integrated approach to enabling CYP with SEND to be move beyond school and home life.
• Autism Strategy
– to ensure that the local area has an effective response to autism

Where parents can get involved

We run events aimed at increasing parent knowledge and hence ability to engage in coproduction with schools and the local area service providers

They can access information and updates via our website or by joining our Facebook account

If they make themselves known to us by emailing admin@factbucks.org.uk we can ensure that they hear details of our events and local forums

We are also looking for parents to join any of the Parent Advisory Groups – for CAMHS; Therapies; or Short Breaks – to offer their insight and experience to assist the services to adapt to the specific needs of users and their families.

Influencing decisions that affect children and young people with additional needs in Buckinghamshire