Camden Special Parents’ Forum is a growing network of over 250 parents and carers of 0-25 year olds with special education needs and disabilities. It runs meetings and training workshops for parents to help them to access the information and skills they need to support their families. Anyone who is looking after a child or young person with special needs (who lives or goes to school in Camden) is welcome to join the Forum, either as a regular or occasional visitor. We will make you welcome and you can be involved in our activities as much as you want. Carers represented in the Forum include parents, foster and adoptive parents, grandparents, adult siblings, aunts and uncles…!
The Forum is facilitated by parents with children with special and complex needs.
How does the service work?
The Forum works closely with local education, health, social care and leisure services to improve the quality and accessibility of services for all disabled children and their families in Camden.
It does this by ensuring parent’s views are integral to the strategic development of local services for children and young people with special needs. This is done by consulting with parents at meetings, in surveys and at local events.
Who is the service for?
Any Camden resident caring for 0 to 25 year olds with special education needs. Parents or carers of children who go to school in Camden but live in another borough are also welcome.
What does the service provide?
The Forum aims to ensure the views and experiences of parents and their families are directly used to influence the running and development of services for disabled children and young people in Camden and that parents and carers are involved in decision-making.
Our regular discussions with local authority and health service commissioners / senior managers aims to support open and transparent dialogue between families and those who plan and deliver services for disabled children and young people in Camden.
The Special Parents Forum meets twice a term and offers a great chance to meet other parents and to get, and give, feedback on important local issues. The Forum meetings are welcoming, informative and supportive. Parent workshops on a range of topics run during term time. Examples of parent workshops include: How to Complete the Outcomes section of the Education, Health and Care Plans, Resilience and Coping Strategies, Introduction to Personal Budgets, Preparing for Adulthood and Introduction to Social Media. We also run informal relaxed opportunities to meet and share with other parents e.g. Walk & Talk and Cook & Eat.
When does it happen?
The Special Parents Forum meets twice a term and includes guest speakers from the local authority, health services and other relevant services.
Parent / Carer workshops run throughout the term run by experts covering topics including: Making Meetings Work, Understanding Education Health and Care Plans, Personal Budgets and Introduction to Social Media. They are held during school hours and we run evening sessions for working parents. We welcome suggestions from parents and carers for future workshop topics; please use the contact details below to submit your ideas.
Informal sessions (for parents only) also run throughout the term e.g. Cook & Eat, Walk & Talk and Arts & Crafts and these are easy-going, warm and friendly opportunities to get to know other parents/carers and share information with each other. So try to come along and meet other parents – you may even have something nice to show for your efforts!
How to access this service
If you are interested in any of our activities or would like to find out more please contact the Parent Participation Team using the details below. You can also visit the Support for Parents & Young People section on the Camden Local Offer website or use this link
Tel: 020 7359 3635 or email Rachel
What parents say about Camden Special Parents Forum:
“The Special Parents Forum is my one-stop shop for essential information”
“This is such a fantastic Forum, a true lifeline”
“I like the mutual support, the massive knowledge and the opportunity to explore issues and I also like being kept up to date on legislation, services and be part of parents assisting Camden”
“It helps me keep up to date on relevant information and express my views. It enables me to meet other parents and it gives me the opportunity to volunteer to be on working parties which discuss changes relevant to my daughter”
Parents at a forum on special budgets:
Walk & Talk – does exactly what it says….and so much more!