KIDS Chief Executive Caroline Stevens was part of a small group of representatives from the sector who recently met with Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi MP.

The minister, who is new in post, wanted to hear more about the successes and challenges faced by those working with families in the SEND sector and priority areas for the future.

Caroline spoke to the minister about young people’s participation not only in their own care and services but at a more strategic level influencing service design and commissioning. She also highlighted the important role that mediation plays in promoting collaboration and co-production during a challenging period of austerity.

Caroline has since sent a letter to the minister in which she also raises her concerns about:

  • Funding cuts for short breaks. Short breaks are often a lifeline for families which can prevent family structures from breaking down and children moving into residential settings often a long way from home.
  • The need for increased support for 19-25 year olds who want to remain in education or access employment opportunities.
  • Future support for families undergoing the Education, Health and Care (EHC) planning process, with a particular emphasis on improving the quality of EHC plans.

 After the meeting Caroline said:

I was delighted to be asked to meet with the minister to discuss the implementation of the SEND reforms. This gave me an opportunity to provide feedback from our families and in particular the young people we work with.

KIDS lead on the delivery of the Young People’s Participation contract (in partnership with CDC) and more information about this can be found here

KIDS is one of the leading providers for Short Breaks for disabled children and young people. More information can be found here

KIDS provide mediation service and more information can be found here