National Network of Parent Carer Forums

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Who are Parent Carers?

Parent Carers are those people who are parents of or care for Children and Young people who have a Special Educational Need or Disability.  With the NNPCF we recognise all forms of disability which include children with learning difficulties as well as those with physical disabilities.

In some areas practitioners and parent forums struggle to find active parents to respond to consultations and/or sit on committees and task groups. They are concerned that they keep calling on the same few parents for help. Sometimes parents’ views end up being dominated by representatives of one disability.

Many parents are quite isolated. Many are exhausted just getting through the day. How can practitioners and parent forums hear the voices of those parents who never express their views publicly yet may have the most telling insights of all?

Who Are the Hard to Reach Parents?

In many cases they are likely to be:

  • parents who do not speak or read English and/or are isolated
  • parents whose children are ‘under the radar’ because their children have moderate disabilities and are in mainstream settings
  • parents who have children with mental health problems
  • parents who move round a lot and/or are in temporary accommodation working parents
  • parents who live in geographically isolated areas
  • parents with low levels of literacy and/or learning disabilities
  • parents who have become disillusioned or have disengaged from services