This website will offer limited functionality in this browser. We only support the recent versions of major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

Making participation work

Building the Participation of Children and Young People with SEND.

The Department for Education has jointly commissioned Kids with the Council for Disabled Children to deliver a national participation programme with disabled children and young people, and those with Special Educational Needs.

About Making Participation Work

The programme is funded by the Department for Education as part of the wider Participation and Family Support programme, which is delivered by the Participation, Information and Advice consortium. Consortium members are Kids, Council for Disabled Children, National Network of Parent Carer Forums and Contact.

The Making Participation Work element is delivered by Kids and Council for Disabled Children

Making Participation Work facilitates:

  • National conferences and practitioner development opportunities.
  • National strategic young people’s advisory group – Flare
  • Local areas to develop their participation work with children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
  • The Collective – bringing together a wide range of groups and young people with SEND from across the country who want to have a say on matters that affect them. Find out more here
  • Learning and opportunities for young people and parent carers to work together, developing relationships and co-production

Involving disabled children and young people

More professionals are seeing the importance of young people’s participation, but there is still work to be done at national and local levels to ensure that disabled children and young people and those with SEN:

  • Can influence national and local policy and practice development.
  • Have their voices embedded within strategic participation locally.
  • Understand the changes to the law and how it affects them.

We are working to support practitioners to understand how to involve disabled children and young people, and those with SEN in decisions about their support and care; and also in influencing services and their delivery their local area.

Our Participation groups

These are the groups we currently run:

  • Young People’s Participation Team South (Hampshire and surrounding areas)
  • Loud Mouths Young Persons Engagement Group in Hull
  • Hear Me Out young persons engagement group Bridlington and the East Riding of Yorkshire

Get involved

We welcome contact from other groups who are working with disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, to join The Collective and to support the facilitation of a wide a range of young peoples’ views into our work.

Let us know if you would like us to support you to develop participation in your area, if you would like to share good practice examples or if you would like to work alongside other local authorities to develop participation strategies. You can contact us by emailing


What is Participation?

A young person’s guide to participation

Participation Log

As part of the MPW project, young people co-produced this Participation Log to record activity.

Adapting to Covid

Find out how we adapted the service during the COVID pandemic.

Connecting Parent Carer Forums with Young People’s Groups

Although the primary focus of our work is the development of children and young people’s participation operationally and strategically we are recognising the benefits of collaboration with parents and carers to do the following:

  • Learn from PCF experiences.
  • Capture and share good practice.
  • Identify positive projects for collaboration between PCF’s and YPG’s.

Kids have been developing opportunities to enhance the participation of children and young people forums by learning from the experiences of parent carer forums. How they work with local authorities, health practitioners and other organisations to improve services, be part of decision making and generally be heard in matters affecting their children/families. NNPCF have worked hard to have the strategic voice and presence now recognised by all and it is essential we use their experience to grow the strategic voice of children and young people alongside.

We are working closely with Contact and the NNPCF to scope out where forums are working together with young people, what benefits this has and how others may develop their work to better collaborate. We are collecting examples of good practice from across all NNPCF member forums and hope to share these as case studies moving forwards; enabling more cohesive work, shared empowerment and more positive impact to be made. If you have anything you feel happy to share please do get in touch via email. Thank you to the ones that have already sent some great examples.

The Collective, an assembly of forums and YP participation groups, spoke about working together with their local parent/carer forums, what this could look like and how to make it easier. This was also discussed with parents and carers at the Contact conference, sharing ideas and both groups said it would be useful to start by knowing more about each other. We are looking for forums to be part of this exciting work and work alongside their local young people’s group, supporting the identification of positive projects and following co-production work. Please email us to register interest or find out more.

Contact this service

You can contact this service using the form below. Alternatively, you can reach us by emailing

We ask for this so we can make sure you are eligible for this service
Keep in touch
We would love to keep you updated about our vital work with disabled children. If you’d like to receive our regular newsletter and other occasional emails about our work please tick the box below.