On Tuesday 12th September 2017,  KIDS Chief Executive Caroline Stevens was part of a small group of representatives from the sector who met with Minister of State for Children and Families Robert Goodwill MP.

The minister, who is new in post, wanted to hear more about the implementation of the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) reforms. This included talking about the successes and challenges faced so far and areas of focus for the future.

Caroline spoke to the minister about young people’s participation which is currently immature and needs to grow further to meet the ambitions of the SEND reforms. She also discussed the need for increased support for 19-25 year olds who want to remain in education or access employment opportunities. In addition Caroline raised 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 minister also heard views from parents, leaders and providers in the sector.

 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. I know the minister is looking forward to meeting with a group of our young people in the near future to hear what they have to say directly.

KIDS leads 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.