All-Age Disability (0 to 25) Newsletter

All-Age Disability (0 to 25) Newsletter

This will provide parents and carers of young people with SEND with news and updates within the service.

Welcome to the May All-Age (0-25) Disability Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the All-Age Disability (0-25 years) Newsletter.

This month’s edition contains amongst other things, Mel Barnett’s update along with updates from the Inclusion Support Services, and information about where you can find out what’s on in Worcestershire during half term.

Update from Mel Barnett

You’ll be aware that Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission visited Worcestershire last month to inspect our arrangements for children with special education needs and disabilities. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed information or participated in the inspection. Your involvement has been greatly appreciated. We are expecting the report to be published in June and we will of course add it to the Local Offer when published.

I would also like to inform you that I will be leaving Worcestershire Children First on 31 July after 2 years of being the Director for All Age Disability (0-25).  I am leaving to take up the post of Director of Childrens Services (DCS) in West Northamptonshire. There are too many parents that I would want to thank personally, but particular thanks to those who have been part of the Parent Stakeholder Group. Thank you for all the support and challenge and I wish you and your children the very best for the future. 

Parent/carer Section on Inclusion Support Services webpage

Following our previous article about developing this information section, we would like to invite parent/carers to share their views about the content of the webpage.

The webpage can be found at: Information for parent/carers

If you would like to meet with us to share your views, we are holding an online meeting on 3rd July between 12 and 1.30pm.  You can attend for part of this time, or for the whole meeting, to share your views and ideas with us.  If you would like to join us, please email:  edpsychology@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk with “parent/carer website” in the subject heading.

We look forward to meeting with you!

Phone surgery appointment system in SEND Services

In SEND services we are always looking to improve the way we communicate with you, our parents and carers. In June last year we introduced a phone surgery appointment system as a pilot and after monitoring it for four months we have continued to offer these phone appointments.

The system was introduced because we understood how frustrating it can be if you can’t speak to your case worker when you call because they are in meetings or are busy with other commitments. 

If you contact the office and your query cannot be answered by the person who takes your call, and your case worker is not available, then a time for a call back from them will be discussed and booked. 

Case workers have allocated time in their electronic diaries each week for these phone surgeries. Whoever answers your call can see these surgery slots and discuss with you what is the best time and day for you. 

Once a time is agreed details of your query will be taken and they book a 15-minute appointment in the case worker’s calendar. You will then know when you can expect your call back and case workers will have the time allotted in their virtual diary. 

Wherever possible case workers should take your call when it is received, but this system means that if they are not able to then a suitable time can be arranged.

Exam time

Exam times are stressful, and your young people may be taking exams at the moment, or in the future, did you know there is information on the SEND Local Offer about the support they can get? You can find it here: Support in exams. There is also a short article on the National Autistic Society website, which offers advice about preparing autistic children and young people for exams, which some of you may find useful: Preparing autistic children and young people for exams (autism.org.uk)

May half term – what’s on

With the spring bank holiday weekend and half term coming up, you may be looking to find out what’s on in your local area, or another area of Worcestershire. Please be aware that the websites shown below are not specifically for children and young people with SEND but may offer ideas for the whole family.

Worcestershire libraries have events and activities running – you can check out what your local library has to offer here: Library events and activities.

Every district council has a website or section of their website which has things to do and an events calendar, they are all listed below.

Bromsgrove - Things to do | Bromsgrove.gov.uk

Malvern - What's On | Events, Festivals, Shows & Days Out | Visit The Malverns

Redditch - Listing of things to do within the borough (redditchbc.gov.uk)

Worcester City - Leisure, Parks and Allotments - Worcester City Council

Wychavon - Home - Vale & Spa (valeandspa.co.uk)

Wyre Forest - Visit Wyre Forest | Wyre Forest District Council (wyreforestdc.gov.uk)

Visit Worcestershire is the tourism site for the county and has an events listing: Visit Worcestershire: Official Tourism Website

Previous newsletters

AAD Newsletter - April 2024

Hello and welcome to the April edition of the All-Age Disability (0-25 years) Newsletter.

This month’s edition contains Mel Barnett’s update which is about our SEND Area Inspection which is happening now. You will also find updates from Early Years Inclusion and the Educational Psychologist Service as well as from Short Breaks and Activities.

The evidence of spring is all around us now (except perhaps for the weather!) and for those wanting to spend time outside we’ve included an article about different websites with information about outdoor spaces in Worcestershire.

Update from Mel Barnett

You are probably aware that Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be visiting Worcestershire to inspect our local area arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

Inspectors will be on site from 22 April to 26 April 2024.

The inspection will evaluate how well members of a local area partnership work together to improve the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND.

During this inspection, the inspectors will collect information about children and young people in the area. They will be looking at local area records, speaking to area officers and leaders at settings, and speaking to children, young people and parents or carers. Ofsted and CQC will use this information to prepare the inspection report, and for the purposes set out in their privacy notices. No information will be published in the inspection report that identifies any individual.

Since our last inspection we have been working hard as a partnership to deliver improvements in SEND services for children and young people in Worcestershire and we are looking forward to being able to show the progress we have made and how experiences for children and young people with SEND have changed.

Groups, Activities and Short Breaks update

The Worcestershire Groups, Activities and Short Breaks have been commissioned up to June 2024; and this year we have joined this up with our Worcestershire Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. Through this work we have ensured that we have commissioned a diverse range of provisions that are able to meet children and young people’s needs both in terms of complexity and geographical locations. We are committed to continuing to develop this offer to Worcestershire children and we will be seeking feedback shortly from parent/carers and children and young people who have accessed these services over the Easter holidays to inform the summer holiday provision.

We are aware that some providers costs have increased significantly this year, this has resulted in them having to review the number of places they can offer. Both HAF, Groups, Activities and Short breaks are open to SEND children and young people; we ask that parents /carers to always check with providers that they are suitable for their child’s needs before booking a place.

For more information about groups and activities for children and young people with SEND is via this link Short break groups and activities.

To find out more about HAF Ready Steady Worcestershire - Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme.

Parent/carer feedback regarding Joint Assessment Meetings

Following the use of Joint Assessment Meetings (JAMs) with pre-school children for statutory assessment, the Educational Psychology Team have started to use this approach with school-aged children.  To gather views of parent/carers who have been part of this process, we contacted a sample of 14 parent/carers, and were able to gain feedback from 2 to inform our next steps.

Please see the “You Said, We Did” overview for the findings from this work. 

You Said We Did Parent/carer feedback for school age JAMs (PDF)

Survey asking for your views on the way services work together for young people moving into adulthood

Worcestershire County Council Adult Social Care Commissioning team are trying to improve their understanding of current services for 14–25-year-olds who may be moving from children’s social care to adult social care. This is to identify future commissioning needs across education, health and social care and improve pathways through services for young people and their families as they journey into adulthood and improve experience and outcomes.

The survey, which is open to all stakeholders, closes on April 22nd, 2024, and can be found by following this link: 14-25 commissioning needs assessment survey.  

Early Years Inclusion Team Universal Offer

Worcestershire have Area SENCOs, who are teachers and SENCo Support Advisors (SSAs) who are specialists in SEN and disabilities. They work together and are part of the Inclusion Support Service. The principle focus of the Area SENCo strategic role is to support all Early Year’s providers and schools in the early identification and intervention for children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities. 

The Area SENCOs for each area will offer strategic setting support to all Early Years Providers. This includes: 

  • sharing high quality, inclusive practice across providers and schools
  • providing day to day support to practitioners and early years SENCos put in place the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs
  • providing support to every provider in Worcestershire to monitor SEND provision
  • planning and delivering high quality training to teachers, practitioners, and childminders to support children with SEN or disabilities
  • providing continuous SENCo training programme ensuring a fully qualified SENCo in every early year’s provision
  • having an overview of all the providers who claim SEND funding to support and provide guidance
  • recommending training that is available to further providers skills and knowledge
  • recommending appropriate funding to claim, with advice on how to spend it to best impact on the child’s development

More information on the inclusion funding available to early years providers can be found on the following link: Online inclusion funding application process.

Alongside the SENCo Support Advisors (SSAs), they may also be allocated individual children and offer specific support through the Early Years Inclusion Process as part of the Inclusion Support Services.

You can contact the Area SENCos directly on the details below:

Where to look for information about outside spaces to visit in Worcestershire

As the days get longer and the weather improves, getting out and about can help with our mental health. We’ve listed some websites below which have information about the outside spaces you can visit in beautiful Worcestershire. Hopefully the amount of rain we’ve been getting will slow down (or even stop!) and give the ground a chance to dry out, in the meantime, wellies might be in order when you visit!

Country parks, picnic places and nature reserves where you can search for country parks, picnic sites and nature reserves.

Walks in Worcestershire - Find out about walks in Worcestershire by using the directory of walks. You can also view walks on a map.

The Malvern Hills Trust site which contains information about walks and cycling routes. 

Visit Worcestershire: Official Tourism Website, which includes Explore - Visit Worcestershire containing information about Worcester City and the different towns in the county.

National Trust Clent Hills information (they are part of the National Trust.)

Forestry England has sections on ‘Things to do’ and a ‘Find a forest or woodland’ search facility.

Walking & Exploring - Cotswolds National Landscape Search for walks in the Cotswolds.

AAD Newsletter - March 2024

Hi and welcome to the March All-Age Disability (0-25 years) Newsletter. 

The daffodils are in bloom which surely means the warmer (and hopefully drier) weather is on its way! In this month’s edition we have Mel Barnett’s update, information about a new dyspraxia pathway, an easy read leaflet about measles to download, information from SENDIASS and details about an event for parents and carers of young people with an EHCP.

Update from Mel Barnett

Last month I provided a very brief update on the Change Programme Partnership (CPP). You will be able to find more detail on the CPP, on the SEND Local Offer via the following link News, updates and feedback.

As part of the SEND and AP Change Programme, one of the reform areas that we will be working on is the trialing and testing of a new EHCP template. All four local authorities in the West Midlands region started using the new template from 4 March 2024. Each local authority has been asked to test the new template on a minimum of 80 EHCPs. 

The aim of the new template is: 

  • to develop one, national EHCP template by 2025, which will help to improve the experience for families
  • improving the quality and clarity of plans
  • providing better support for children and young people
  • to improve partnership working, especially those that are working across different areas

If your child will be receiving an EHCP in the new template, this will be communicated to you before the plan writing takes place, which will also include your agreement to take part. As we progress the work of the CPP we will of course keep you informed. In addition, Elaine Lambe who is the Regional Parent Carer representative at the weekly CPP meetings also met with the Worcestershire PCF - Families in Partnership and further communications were discussed and are being planned.

Thank you,

Mel Barnett – Director for All-Age Disability

New dyspraxia Pathway

Worcestershire Children First’s (WCF) Learning Support Team have recently been working alongside NHS Children’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Service to update their Dyspraxia Pathway. This new document will be available to download on the WCF website Learning Support Team. It is designed to ensure that teachers are able to identify pupils with motor coordination difficulties and put in suitable support and intervention. It lays down the process that schools need to follow before they consider making a referral to the OT service. 

Many of the children affected will respond well to intervention and will not need to follow the pathway to the end, but for some, this process will help to ensure that any referrals made to OT will be appropriate and will reduce the time that assessment will take, as much of the groundwork will already be evidenced.  

The Pathway contains links to many useful websites and resources that can be used at school and at home. 

The Pathway was introduced to school SENDCos at their recent network meetings so all schools should now be aware that this is the approach approved by WCF and NHS.

SEND Post 16 Holistic support event for parents and carers

Worcestershire County Council (WCC) are running their first SEND Post 16 Holistic support event for parents and carers of young people with an EHCP. The event is open to parent/carers across Worcestershire and is free.

The informal and relaxed event is your opportunity to connect with a diverse range of services and explore the local support available for your young person. Whether you're seeking advice, information, or simply want to connect with other parents and carers, this event could be for you. The Heart of Worcestershire college are hosting the event in their Smart Living facility in Worcester on Thursday 18 April 4:00pm to 7:00pm.

Where: St. Wulstan’s Building, Worcester WR1 2ES

When: Thursday 18 April 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Reserve your free place: SEND Post 16 Holistic support event for parent/carers booking form


 

Easy read measles leaflet

You are probably aware that there has been a rise in measles cases nationally and the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Community Learning Disability Service have developed an easy read leaflet about the importance of the measles vaccine. You can download it here to share with your children or young people if you want to help explain about what the measles vaccine is and what having a vaccination entails.

Measles Easy Read February 2024 (PDF)

SENDIASS training videos

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Special Educational Needs/Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) have released their Online information session as a training video. This video explains the SENDIASS service and how the team can support families of children and young people with SEND in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. 

You can watch the video here: An Introduction to Herefordshire and Worcestershire SENDIASS (YouTube video)

The video is also available on the HW SENDIASS How we can help webpage.

SENDIASS have also released the first of their Meet the Professionals videos. These videos will give you the opportunity to hear from professionals that you or your child/ young person may come into contact with. The first video explains the role of the Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) for SEND. There will be more videos to follow shortly. 

HW SENDIASS also offer a range of other training workshops for parent carers and professionals. Find out more on the SENDIASS Training webpage

AAD Newsletter - February 2024

Hi and welcome to the February All-Age Disability (0-25 years) Newsletter. 

We’ve got lots in this month’s issue including information for parent carers of young children and for those aged 14 and upwards, along with Mel Barnett’s update and something new for male parent carers.

Update from Mel Barnett

This month I’d like to give you further updates on the ASD free school, improvement work we are involved in and CPP. 

ASD Free School

The Academy Trust interviews took place week commencing 8th January 2024 and I was part of the interview panel. The Department for Education (DfE) will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State in Spring/Summer 2024 in terms of the successful Trust. The full feasibility, for the site, is currently underway and completion is expected imminently. Worcestershire Children First (WCF) officers are working with the DfE design team on planning for the new school. The next steps will be a report to the March 2024 Cabinet meeting. Once the successful Academy Trust has been announced, they will be part of the planning and design of the new school.

Improvement Updates

As you will be aware there is a lot of improvement work being carried out within Worcestershire Children First (WCF) that we want to share with parent carers, children, young people, and professionals. These are being delivered under improvement projects including the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP), Delivering Better Value (DBV) and the Change Programme Partnership (CPP). We are currently revisiting our communication approach with the key aim being to update parents, carers, children and young people and partners about the key achievements we’re making across SEND as a whole. We hope this approach will help make things clearer for parent carers and allow us to really focus on sharing tangible progress and demonstrate how this progress is working towards meeting key outcomes. I hope to be able to provide further detail in the next newsletter.

Change Programme Partnership (CPP)

As a region we are currently finalising the road map of activity linked to the CPP and the associated communication for parents and how you can become involved. It is anticipated that this will be available in the next few weeks. You may be aware that as part of the pilot there will be testing of a new EHCP template. This will commence in March and will involve 80 children in each Local Authority. Further details relating to this will follow.  I also want to provide assurance that as part of the weekly regional meetings there is a Regional Parent Carer Representative who is in attendance.

Thank you,

Mel Barnett – Director for All-Age Disability

Special School reception places 2024

Worcestershire Children First are currently working towards National Offer Day (NOD) for primary school places, Tuesday 16 April. This is the date which families with a child starting school in September 2024 will find out which school they are being offered a place in.
If you have a child who is going through the Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment process (EHCNA), it is our intention to make a decision about their named placement by this date. We are currently working on a number of assessments and aim to confirm special school reception places for September 2024 by April 16 2024. 

As parents, if your preference is for a reception place at special school, we will name your child’s current early years setting for now, and your request for a special school place will be considered. You should know by mid-April (in line with National Offer Day) what school place is being offered.

Requests that have been received since the beginning of January 2024 may not meet the April deadline, as decisions about placement follow EHCNA timelines. National Offer Day is less than 16 weeks after the beginning of the year and information for the assessment may not have been gathered in time for a decision to be made. However, this does not mean your child won’t be considered for a special school place if they need one, you will be notified after the April deadline.

Early Years Inclusion Process update

The Early Years Inclusion Process and the system to submit Early Years Inclusion Notifications launched on 1 November 2023.  Since then, we have received 139 new notifications for children under 5 in Worcestershire.

Out of those 139 children the outcomes so far are: 

  • 75 children are being supported by the Early Years Inclusion Team (EYIT)
  • 20 children are being supported by the Complex Communication Team (CCN)
  • 15 children are being supported by an Early Years Language Class (EYLC)
  • 29 children continue to have their needs met and are supported by their early years provider. No further action is therefore required from the Early Years Inclusion Process  

We are continually reviewing our processes and welcome feedback from parents and professionals.
If you have received support from WCF Inclusion Support Services since the 1st November, we would love to hear from you!

How do I give feedback on the process?

Parent / carers are encouraged to give feedback on the Early Years Inclusion Process. This can be completed via the online form Feedback about EYIP for parents.

Providers are encouraged to give feedback on the Early Years Inclusion Process. This can be completed via the online form Feedback about EYIP for providers.

We also have a Frequently asked question document, which we update following any feedback. This can be found on our webpage Early Years Inclusion Process.

Do you have a question?

Any questions regarding the Early Years Inclusion Process, please contact eynotification@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk 

Worcestershire Skills Show 2024

Worcestershire Careers Hub are hosting the 2024 Skills Show at Worcester Sixways Stadium.

Parents and carers are welcome to attend with their young people between 5pm and 8pm on Wednesday, 6 March. The event is FREE with no need to book and there is plenty of free parking.

The event is open to all (it is not SEND specific) and is a great opportunity for you and your young person to talk to the experts about the skills and qualifications needed for a huge variety of roles!

Trained careers advisers are also available to help young people who are not sure of their future pathways. Exhibitors include Worcester University, Harper Adams University, local F.E. colleges and private training providers, Worcestershire Apprenticeships and Careers Worcestershire. Organisations and businesses attending the event include the NHS, the Armed Forces, Southco, Yamazaki Mazak, Worcester City Football Club, NHS Community Dentists, Worcestershire County Council and the Police Cyber Security Unit to name but a few.

This event could be of particular interest to those parents with young people aged 14-16 (though other ages are welcome). You can find out more here: Worcestershire Skills Show 2024.

Parent/carer leaflet about Educational Psychologist Role

The Educational Psychology (EP) Team have put together a leaflet for parent/carers to help explain how they will work with them and what is meant by a ‘consultation approach’.  The aim is that this will be used when schools or settings ask parent/carers for consent for involvement from the EP Team.  

They welcome any feedback or comments to enable them to address any questions that parent/carers may have.  Please email:  EdPsychology@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk

You can download the new leaflet here: EP information for parent carer about consultation approach (PDF).

Men Care Too

A new support group for male parent carers, called Men Care Too Walk and Talk is to start. Following feedback from SEND families saying that there is no support for male carers, Sam, from the Young Adults Team, did some research about what’s on offer in other areas, and what men would like in Worcestershire and is trialling the new scheme.

It's open to any male parent/carer who provides a caring role and who would like the opportunity to meet up with others in a similar position.
The idea is to take advantage of the wonderful countryside we have and the warmer weather which is on its way (hopefully) and meet up for a walk and a chat.

The Walk and Talk group will be meeting the last Wednesday of each month at 10am outside the front entrance of The Orchard Café at Worcester Woods Country Park. The site has free parking and there’s the option to stay and have refreshments (additional cost) at the café afterwards, for those who want to.

Come along to the Walk and Talk for a chance to meet others in a supportive environment. Last Wednesday in the month at Worcester Woods Country Park, Wildwood Drive, Worcester WR5 2LG.

Healthwatch Worcestershire want the views and experiences of young people aged 13-25 years

Healthwatch Worcestershire finds out what people think about health and social care services. They use this information to tell those who run the services how they can be improved. 

They want to hear the views and experiences of young people (aged 13-25) in Worcestershire. In particular, they want to hear about young people’s experiences of accessing help with their emotional wellbeing, as well as accessing support for issues around gender identity and/or neurodiversity.
The survey is anonymous and confidential - responses will be combined and used to create a report which will be publicly available on their website later this year.

The survey is running until 28 March 2024.

Healthwatch Worcestershire: Young People's Health and Emotional Wellbeing Survey 2024 (surveymonkey.com)

AAD Newsletter - January 2024

Welcome to the January All Age (0 to 25) Disability Newsletter

Hello and welcome to the January edition of the All-Age Disability (0 to 25 years) Newsletter. 

In this month’s edition we have amongst other things, an update from Mel Barnett, news about changes to way we hear about SEND families experiences, new information which has been added to the SEND Local Offer and information about some Christmas events which our hearing and visual impairment teams ran.

Update from Mel Barnett

You will be aware from previous communications that Worcestershire was successful in its bid for an ASD Free School which will be built in Malvern. The application window for Trust applications closed on 31 August 2023. Between September and December 2023, the applications were assessed by the Department of Education. On 9 and 12 January 2024, the successful applicants were interviewed. I was also part of the interview panel. Applications will now be subject of standardisation and moderation. At the time of writing, it is not known when the successful Trust will be announced, we will of course keep you updated.

In the October Newsletter I updated that Worcestershire were part of the Change Programme Partnership. The planning, for the West Midlands partnership is continuing and I hope to be able to send out some further communications over the coming weeks regarding the next steps and how parents can become involved. 

Finally, I want to update and thank all of you that fed back regarding the Herefordshire and Worcestershire All-Age Autism Strategy 2024 to 2029. My involvement in the Strategy related to Priority 2 as detailed below. The Strategy will reflect the 6 priorities within the National Autism Strategy 2021 to 2026 as detailed below. There will also be an additional local priority around keeping safe. The Strategy will be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board, for sign off on 28 March 2024.

  1. Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society
  2. Improving autistic children and young people’s access into education and support positive transitions into adulthood
  3. Supporting more autistic people into employment
  4. Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people
  5. Building the right support in the community
  6. Improving support in criminal and youth justice systems
  7. Keeping safe

Thank you,

Mel Barnett – Director for All-Age Disability

Changes to the way parent carer views are heard and listened to

In January Mel Barnett, Director for All-Age Disability (0 to 25) wrote to all the members of the SEND Parent Carer Stakeholder Group to let them know about changes to the way we hear from parent carer groups, which had been made by the SEND 0 to 25 Partnership Board.

You can read the letter here:

Dear Parent Carer Stakeholder Group, 

It is important to the development and improvement of SEND Services for children and young people in Worcestershire that parent carers have a voice, and our families’ experiences are actively heard and understood.

Just under two years ago a SEND Parent Carer Stakeholder Group was formed to widen stakeholder involvement in the four workstreams of our SEND Accelerated Progress Plan (APP). There has been some success in this forum, but we haven’t been able to consistently reach as many representatives or build the relationships we had hoped. Therefore, the SEND 0-25 Partnership Board, which oversees the work of the APP, has made the decision to replace the stakeholder group with a new process, which will strengthen the direct links we have as a partnership with the widest range of registered forums across Worcestershire. 

Each board representative will be assigned to a parent carer forum and, subject to the forum agreement, they will attend that forum on a quarterly basis in order to hear the experiences, positive and negative, of its group members and also hear any ideas about how things could change and what their role and function in that might be to support that change. Key themes will then be fed back and discussed at the SEND 0-25 Partnership Board.

Board members, who represent organisations across Education, Health, Social Care, Voluntary Sector and Worcestershire Children First, will be assigned to their support group at the next Board meeting on 19 January. Each member will contact and visit their group before the Partnership Board meeting in April. The visits are expected to be face-to-face, except for those groups who have an online presence only or would rather hold it virtually. These new way of engagement will be reviewed in September 2024.

I want to end by thanking all of the representatives from the different groups that have previously attended, and currently attend for your time and commitment to the meetings. On behalf of all Board Members, we very much look forward to continuing to develop those relationships as well as developing new relationships.

Regards

Mel Barnett

New guides and videos added to the Preparing for Adulthood section of the SEND Local Offer

The SEND Local Offer has recently been redesigned and contains lots of new information and it is something that we are continuing to develop. 

This month we have added some new guides and videos which we hope will help to aid understanding about housing options for young people with a disability and the Deprivation of Liberty Standards. They can be found in the Preparing for Adulthood (16 to 25 years) section of the website.

In the Housing section we have added a short video and a written guide which are for people with additional needs and their carers, who live in Worcestershire, and who are looking at the supported living options.

The other new information is about Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, or DoLS. A new guide and video have been added to the Your rights regarding making decisions page of the SEND Local Offer. The video gives an overview of what DoLS is and then the guide gives you more detailed information and can be viewed or downloaded from the page.

Seasonal social events for children with sensory impairments


In December Worcestershire Children First’s Sensory Impairment team had some seasonal events for children. Their social events offer children with a sensory impairment the opportunity to meet one another while having plenty of fun. 

Last term, vision impaired children met at PYPLC on 7 December to celebrate the festive period with a bouncy castle, Christmas crafts, a picnic lunch and a very special visit from Father Christmas himself!

The Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team held their event at Kings Hawford School on the 18 December. Christmas crafts, silent signed singing, a buffet tea and a visit from signing Santa were the highlights of the event which was their most well attended yet with almost 60 children!

Please look out for their Spring social events – your Specialist Teachers can give you further information. 

 

Your views and experiences of Groups, Activities and Short Breaks needed

Worcestershire’s parent carer forum, Families in Partnership (FiP), want to hear from families with children/young people with SEND, about their experiences booking and using Groups, Activities and Short Breaks Provision across Worcestershire.

They are collecting the views and experiences of families through a short, anonymous online survey, the results of which they will feedback to Worcestershire Children First to help inform their development of a booking system for short breaks and activities.

Amongst other things, FiP want to know what’s working well and not so well, what features families would like in the new booking system and what are the barriers to accessing activities. 

They want to hear from as many families as possible and you can take part here: Groups, Activities and Short Breaks survey.

Warm Spaces in Worcestershire libraries 

As the winter season sets in, Worcestershire Libraries are great places to visit, offering everyone a free, warm, welcoming, and friendly space. For more detailed information on warm spaces in libraries, and the different services they provide, please visit the dedicated Warm Welcome pages on their website.

The 21 libraries across the county are part of the Warm Welcome Network, providing a haven of friendliness and relaxation throughout the winter months. The Warm Welcome Network is a national initiative which lists venues that can provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter, you can find out more here: Warm Welcome Campaign.

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