West Sussex Parent Carer Forum
We are an independent charity run mostly by parent volunteers; we represent parent/carer views to various organisations and professional bodies to improve county/health/social care services for disabled children, young people and their families.
What we do:
- Represent the views and lived experiences of parents/carers to the appropriate bodies within health, education and social care.
- Provide advice and support parents through training, conferences and roadshows to empower you when working with practitioners who are supporting your child/young person.
- Provide holistic information and signpost you to relevant services including health, education, social care and voluntary organisations.
- Our phone is manned Mon – Fri, if you leave a message, your call will be returned. Become a member and receive our email bulletins on a regular basis. We use our Facebook page to post information and local/national updates.
Our users say:
“Having attended the Making your Voice Heard’ training I felt more confident in speaking to professionals about my son’s needs, thank you”
Age Range: 0–25
Free to use?
01903 726 188
49 Beach Road,
Talking Heads ~ Parent Carer Financial Toolkit...
Join Rhiannon Gogh, (FPFS) of Planit Future Financial Limited to understand the ‘Financial Need to Knows’ for parent carers of a vulnerable child. ️ Rhiannon, a parent carer herself, has worked with parent carers of children and young people with additional or complex needs for many years and recognises that there is a struggle to find credible, straightforward advice on how to provide for the fut...
I saw your email below and this is the first time I have had time to email back as I wanted to send a message.
I recognised the photo below and met Katherine recently at the event at K2 in Crawley. She is an inspiration and a true asset to your team. At that time I really needed someone to give me encouragement and make me feel I am not alone and there is a help out there. My son is 4 years old and we got diagnosis of autism and language impairment just under a year ago. After finalising his EHCP I found everything overwhelming and was struggling to even look at the DLA form I started months ago. I plucked up the courage to go on my own to K2 and nearly wimped out as I am shy and am still didn't want to burst into tears in from of anyone.
Katherine was so friendly, kind, and listened and keep me talking and gave me so much advice about things I had never even heard of. She gave me a bit of my confidence back and the kick up the rear to get things done. I have now completed my DLA form and am about to send it off. I just wanted to say Katherine is an amazing lady and I owe it to her. So I wanted to send a huge thank you to her for helping me.
I saw you at Manor Green autism day recently and thanked you for helping me when I was not in a very confident place when I met you for the first time at K2.
I have found my review I emailed to West Sussex Parent Carer Forum back in February when I saw your photo in the news letter. As promised I am sending you a copy, sorry for the delay!
I am happy to say I now have DLA middle rate and have just been awarded a £300 parent carer grant so I can actually treat myself. I am in a much better place now emotionally and feel more confident that I have support around me and its was all thanks to you and West Sussex Parent Carer Forum.
Thank you ! xx
Facebook post from a parent carer on 20th June 2019: I've just attended the Coffee Cake Information and Networking event at Billingshurst. I was so impressed with the helpfulness and friendliness of the WSPCF team. Always happy to help, chat, listen and understand. It truly made me feel more hopeful and I can't thank you enough for that and everything else you do for parent carers. And the cake was good too :)
Facebook post from a parent carer on 20th June 2019: I've just spoken to a WONDERFUL lady called Pam over the phone who gave me all the information that I needed. She was very friendly and very helpful.
Anon - Very Welcoming event - even got a dance :) - saw who I needed to see and the Parent Reps were really helpful in pointing out who and what to see.
Feedback from parent carers following the Coffee Cake and Networking event at The Phoenix Centre in Bognor Regis - M. Learly TRS - Brilliant event, so informative friendly and appropriate.
Just a quick email to say that I thought the event last night was exceptionally well attended and what a buzz! Also, I thought it was a very good venue. Having said that – your events are always good!
Reviewed by Gennie (Miller) : Home from Home Care
Wendy Darley reviews WSPCF First Steps to Adulthood Event @ Chichester College 18/03/19 -
Great to finally chat with Paul Morrison to discuss updating my son’s EHCP. The two ladies from the Carers Health Team were great too. It would be nice to have met someone from a care agency to discuss provision of respite when using direct payments
Sarah Wilkins reviews WSPCF First Steps to Adulthood Event @ Chichester College 18/03/19 - Useful evening - lots of information- thank you to Chichester College for reassuring about a future. Work Aid Aldingbourne were helpful and gave contact details Apuldram helped too. Thanks to Facebook for telling me about the event.
Claire Patterson reviews WSPCF First Steps to Adulthood Event @ Chichester College 18/03/19 - What wonderful ladies at the WSPCF!! It was great to chat with the parent carers forum and feel listened too. WSCC were really helpful and took on board my concerns regarding lack of support and funding within West Sussex. A very informative evening
Tina Hall reviews WSPCF First Steps to Adulthood Event @ Chichester College 18/03/19 - An informative and interesting evening. Felt is was good use of my time. Location was a fairly central one. Have collected leaflets for reading later. Lovely refreshments laid on and pleased to see Gluten Free cakes available as well.
Paula Wilkinson reviews WSPCF First Steps to Adulthood Event @ Chichester College 18/03/19 - Good information from services that attended, however the event also highlights the lack of provision with in West Sussex.
Amy Hovil reviews WSPCF First Steps to Adulthood Event @ Chichester College 18/03/19 - An informative event - found information on potential provision for my nearly 17 year old son.. Thank you
Feedback following a Coffee, Cake and Info Networking Event
"Thank you Lindsey, its your and Nicky’s energy and enthusiasm that makes a big difference to all these WSCC events, in our experience better than any other SE county. "
"Thanks for a really informative evening seminar on Wills and Trusts last month. The speaker was great, making what could be a very dry subject into a very interesting talk. It has motivated me and my husband to get our wills and a trust sorted out at long last, now that we know what we need to do. I'd highly recommend this seminar to other parents as it makes sense of a difficult subject." Feedback left via the Feedback button and then posted by the Local Offer Officer.
"Really enjoyed the event today" - comment in relation to the Expert Parent Programme and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS): Workshop. Feedback left via the feedback button and then posted by the Local Offer Officer.
"A big Thank You to the Forum for arranging Anna Gill to deliver the Expert Parent Programme on CAHMS. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable but I learnt so much from the course to help me support my son better. The NHS is so complicated even more so in our area as we have 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups, you need to understand the systems if you are going to get the most out of them." This feedback has been left via the feedback button and then posted by the Local Offer Officer.
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other Local Offer Ambassadors over dinner at Strada. I'm so pleased to be a Local Offer Ambassador, as the Local Offer provides a wealth of information on services and events for families who have children or young adults with additional needs." (Comment left via the Feedback plugin 5th of May, 2016)
I attended the WSPCF at Worthing Rugby Club and made several very useful connections with other services, and especially met parents who are interested in our service but had not heard of us before.
Great Forum. Cheers, Chris from Oak Community Project.
I would like to thank the forum for organising the Coffee, Cake Info and Networking Events. The fact they are regular sessions enables connections to be formed. Now having attended several of the events it means that there are some new and old faces but we are able to continue effectively networking together with everyone, parents and services providers. It puts a face to a name and further context to services! It's also an invaluable event for myself working on the Local Offer website. Charlotte
I also attended the expert parents course at Haskins in Littlehampton. It was a very informative course and I would definitely recommend it to other parents. Anna was very knowledgeable and delivered the course very effectively. Oh and lunch was lovely. Thank you Caitriona McDermott. Ps. Thank you Nikki for helping me get on the course xx
Today I was lucky enough to take part in the Expert Parent Programme which was organised by the WSPCF. It was very informative in gaining a better idea on how the health system works. Anna also gave us many skills like being more confident and assertive in how to positively ask for what we require to enable our children. Anna was also very knowledgeable about the law and the rights for both parents and their young people. It was an amazing and inspirational workshop. Thank you Anna and WSPCF.
Rachel Froggatt from the Parent Carer Forum spoke at the West Sussex County Council SEND Strategy Launch Event on the 21st April.
The Cabinet Members (Stephen Hillier and Richard Burrett) fed back that they thought that her presentation was excellent and passed on their thanks and congratulations.
WSCC also received really positive feedback from other attendees, who felt that Rachel was both inspirational and funny!
Thanks very much for agreeing to speak at our event.
Katherine at wspcf was really helpful she came into my sons school palatine primary was very friendly and helpful she told me about other services that I didn't know about and was very helpful. The coffee and cake morning at busted community centre was really good found out lots of good information about different services that are available locally for my son to access. Also she told me about the carer grant that I can recieve which is really good as can have some time for me and don't have the kids with me so can relax thankyou for all your help! Nicola Hathway
"Spoke to a lady called Nikki,she made me feel hope and relief that there are people to help me get what's best for my son which so far has been such a battle!Thank you for being there and providing this service."
Comment posted by the Local Offer Officer as the comment was left via the 'feedback' button.
I work as a Learning Mentor in several different schools across West Sussex and after attending the training delivered by Inclusive Solutions on Creating Circles of Friends I have been inspired to try it in two of my schools to support two different boys with Autism. So far I am finding it an amazing tool, the response from the other children is so rewarding and their attitudes so mature and lovely that I feel that the gentle coaxing into 'simply giving it a go' from Colin's training was the incentive I needed.....I really just wanted to say thank you for laying on the brilliant training and please don't stop there ! I have many resources and options to try in my role as a Learning Mentor when I am supporting a child, this one has just gone to the top of the list!!
Thank you WSPCF for allowing Amy and I to join some of the parents at Foxes Hotel this last weekend. Maureen and her staff were brilliant and really helpful with Amy (thank you too Sarah and Grainne!!). It really did feel like a mini holiday as Minehead is such a sweet town, nice seaside walks and I enjoyed my cream tea in the High Street just watching the world go by - well mainly blokes in Welsh rugby t-shirts!! Thank you again for a great weekend!
I attended another valuable workshop facilitated by WSPCF on tuesday 5th june; Person centred planning, made me stop and re assess how we view our daughters needs. Thanks WSPCF X
On Tuesday, I went to the Person Centred Planning workshop that was organised by WSPCF. It was so refreshing to be asked to think positively about my child and what his strengths and aims are, rather than thinking of all the negatives. I feel Person Centred Planning would be useful for every child but particularly for those with additional needs. I wish my son, who is 18 and on the autistic spectrum, had been offered Person Centred Planning before we went through the rigmarole of getting him a Statement. Thank you WSPCF!
I first went to a PCAG about 3 weeks after my little one was identified by school as having additional needs. I was so nervous, but everyone was lovely. Since then we have gone through the diagnostic process and WSPCF has been very handy with the training and information they provide. PACE- was instrumental in me finding out what help was available and to gently find my way. PCAG- I've always found them to be really helpful especially the topics and the people from the county that come. Out of the box- really helpful and even made me think of better ways we can use our personal budget. Making your voice heard- really helpful and a great insight into how things work. Person centred planning- that was just brilliant- Very thought provoking and really turns the medical model on its head and gives a bigger picture for our young people.
WSFCF has helped me stay informed, offered excellent training, and are a very supportive bunch of parent carers :-)
Yesterday (June 2nd, 2014), my wife and I had the good fortune to attend the Person Centred Planning event in Horsham, arranged by West Sussex Parent Carers Forum (WSPCF) and presented by Inclusive Solutions. Our attention was drawn to this by the WSCC Short Breaks Team and also by QEII, my step-son's school.
My step-son has cerebral palsy and associated learning difficulties. One of the problems we find as parent carers is that we are consistently failing to find solutions to some of the key problems he faces that are going to directly affect his future, despite excellent support from his school / college, the efforts of WSCC service providers, and facilities offered by other independent / charitable service providers within the local community.
We found the Person Centred Planning presentation inspirational and left the session bubbling with hope of finding solutions to those key problems using this process. We are under no illusion that the journey will be easy, but are able to feel some optimism that, with appropriately directed effort, changes for the better can be brought about.
We'd like to thank Colin and Derek, of Inclusive Solutions, for the excellence of the programme. It was all made so easy to understand and, despite the serious nature of the content, chock full of good humour and good will.
Finally a special thanks to WSPCF for making this presentation happen! Great organisation and a really warm welcome.
I went on an inspirational training course today organised by West Sussex Parent Carer Forum, led by Inclusive Solutions. We were welcomed with smiling faces & a tea or coffee was brought to us, such a treat. We learnt about Person Centred Planning, focusing on ordinary needs not special needs, and how we could use the MAPS creative planning tool, to create a shared vision of a positive future, a good life for individuals and families. Every parent and every professional who works with children would benefit from attending this course. Inclusive solutions have lots of great information on their website: http://inclusive-solutions.com/maps/ Thank you so much for organising this training.
We have been experiencing SEN&D for several years now but only officially diagnosed within the last year. WSPCF have been there for us for the last 2 years and have always made us feel welcome and acknowledged. This vital organisation works because parent carers are using their experiences to forge the path onwards. At times throughout our experience, I often felt like I was an imposter, because our daughter did not have a diagnosis and I couldnt possibly have validity to my experience. I couldnt be more wrong. Lots of children and adults dont have a diagnosis but that shouldnt prevent parent carers from accessing vital support & Im pleased to say that WSPCF have been a shining light in a very dark tunnel. I have attended several informative workshops and I now feel ready and willing to become involved and make a difference. Your experiences can help make a difference.