The SEND Reforms of September 2014, placed a duty upon Local Authorities (LAs) to ‘Provide information, advice and support to disabled children, young people, and those with SEN, and their parents.’ This is known as the Local Offer.
This duty also states that the LA must consult with children/young people, parents, carers and professionals on the provision of SEND information, advice and support; to ensure that this provision meets the needs of the families it serves.
And that these services be continuously developed and improved through 'co-production' i.e. working collaboratively with children/young people, parents and carers as well as professionals (seeking opinion then acting on it) to meet the needs of all.
In Ealing, our most recent consultation on this Local Offer website has been with Young People (supported by Mencap), with childcare and early education providers and with parents.
We have consulted in a number of ways to test the effectiveness of different methods. As a result of all the feedback through the consultations, Ealing has changed and upgraded a number of features and provided the content that young people, parents / carers and childcare providers have told us they would like.
We will continue to seek and address feedback and make available opportunities for you to have your say and get involved.
We have just published Ealing’s Strategy for SEND Provision and Inclusion 2018-2022. Two versions are available – the full report and a short summary. These set out our medium to longer-term vision and strategy to leading and implementing change for children and young people with SEND; building on what we have achieved since the reforms were introduced. This strategy has been approved by the multi-agency SEND Executive Board that was set up by the Council, the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and our partners; to improve services and provision for children and young people with SEND.
We have placed needs of children, young people, parents and carers in the heart of the strategy; in direct response to their views communicated to us through surveys conducted in 2017 and early 2018.
We have set out our vision of what we wish to achieve and how we will achieve it. A key feature of strategy is a commitment to work in partnership with other agencies to achieve the high-quality provision to which Ealing’s children, young people and their families are entitled.
If you have any queries or comments on the strategy, please email Headofcwd@ealing.gov.uk
Information on Services and Support Guide- For Children, Young People and Adults aged 0-25 with Autism Spectrum Disorder / Social Communication Difficulties (Draft)
Suspecting or finding out your child or young person has a diagnosis of autism or is being assessed, can be a very worrying time. You may feel overwhelmed and not immediately know what it means for both you and your child or young person, what you can do to support your child during assessment and after, if a diagnosis is confirmed. Or, importantly where you can access support, what support is available to you in Ealing and wider. You may also only be ready to find out more about it in your own time so to have information ready at your fingerprints is important to access when you need it.
The good news is - a lot of support and information is available to you and your family – both within Ealing and nationally – from advice information and guidance, workshops courses, groups/networks and 1:1 support.
“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” Dr. Stephen Shore
All children and young people, whether or not they have a diagnosis of autism have a unique set of skills, strengths and talents. When working or living with children with social and communication needs and/or autism, it is particularly important to identify their strengths.
We understand that finding out what support is available can sometimes be challenging, and it helps to have information readily available so you know where to go for some help, support or advice. You may be a parent/carer of a child/ young person with autism, social communication needs, or, assessments are still underway. Or you may be a young person with autism, or even a professional looking for more information on services locally and wider.
Regardless of diagnosis and situation, we hope this guide can provide you with as much information as possible on what services are there to support you.
Although we’ve tried our best to ensure that this guide is easy to read for all, we understand that some words or abbreviations may be new to you, so we have put together a glossary located at the end of the guide to support you. Please do refer to the glossary if you need further guidance in understanding what a term means.
- Read the Information on Services and Support Guide for Children ,Young People and Adults aged 0-25 with Autism Spectrum Disorder / Social Communication Difficulties (Draft)
Please note that this guide is currently in draft and we welcome all feedback to help improve it. What were you hoping to find within this guide? Did you have any suggestions on how it can be improved? You can provide feedback on this guide on our 'Feedback' tab, or by contacting the Family Information Service on 020 8825 5588 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultation with young people was done with support from Ealing Mencap who brought together a group of young people with SEND to participate in a review of the Local Offer and to submit their thoughts and ideas.
Here are some of the comments we received from the young people through this consultation:
- The pages on education and supported employment were really good because ‘It’s very important information’ ‘there’s information on services for young people’ ‘there are phone numbers on who to contact’ and ‘there is a lot of info.’ The two young people that focused on this page gave the Local Offer pages on supported employment a ‘Good’ (with the options being Bad, OK, Good) and a 10 out of 10.
- The pages on sports/leisure for children and young people also had some good information and lots of contact numbers.
- The only problem searching for a service was it could be quite hard to find if you don’t know how to spell.
- Liked the disability key/symbols that gave a very quick way to see what was accessible.
- Found some pages wordy and wondered if there could be more pictures and videos.
- Could the Local Offer have more colours?
- Liked the squares with symbols on the front page.
- However, they also said that generally they prefer pictures to symbols.
A full report of the young people's assessment of the Local Offer can be found in the Downloads section on the right hand side of this page.
A response to the comments is also available from the downloads section.
Ealing Council responded to the consultation and feedback received from the young people. You can read the responses in full in the document 'Young People's Consultation & Ealing's Response to the Points Raised'.
The young people involved met again and gave feedback on the response from Ealing Council. Here are some examples of what they said:
“It feels really good to have such a detailed reply. Thank you.”
“Thank you for your reply. We really like telling you what we want and it feels really good to be listened to.”
“It’s really good!” (the response.)
“Most importantly it feels good to be listened to.”
The group discussed that they really enjoyed looking through the local offer and enjoyed learning about it. This was their first real bit of feedback regarding any of the SEND reforms and they were very happy to receive an honest, professional and detailed reply. All wanted the LA to know that this has helped their confidence that the group can make a difference.
You can read all their responses in the document 'Young People's Feedback on the Responses from Ealing Council'
Ealing conducted a number of training sessions for early years childcare providers on SEND, SEND provision, the importance of inclusive practice and more. During these training sessions a total of 33 childcare providers (childminders, nursery managers, nursery school teachers etc) were consulted on the Local Offer.
This consultation took the form of a Usability Test whereby each participant was given the same set of scenarios, putting them in the place of a parent/carer or professional seeking information online about local SEND provision and the results of their findings were recorded.
The usability testing / consultation survey is available to download: 'Consultation & Usability Testing Questionnaire'
All 33 responses were gathered and unique points extracted into the document: 'Results of the Consultation with Childcare Providers'
This results document is very useful as it outlines what works well and what needs improvement quite clearly.
Our consultation with parents and carers has been supported by the Ealing Parent Carer Forum (EPCF) who very kindly allowed us to join their information sessions for parents to raise awareness of the Local Offer and to consult not only on the current local offer, but also about which consultation / co-production method might work best for them moving forward.
Responding to feedback from members of EPCF we designed a consultation questionnaire that would only take five to ten minutes to complete. This we were told was necessary as anything longer would be very difficult for parents of children with SEND to participate in due to time and other commitments. The questionnaire called 'Take 5 Minutes' is available to download.
From all our consultation, it became clear there were specific areas we needed to improve on and address; so moving forward we began co-production with parents and carers by offering them a choice of ten top areas for us to focus on in the redesign of the Local Offer. Using a single form, we offered parents/carers FOUR different ways of giving feedback and co-producing the revised website.
You can download this questionnaire 'Have Your Say for Parents & Carers.' This worked very well as contributing parents were able to quickly make a decision on key areas they wanted to see developed and easily indicate their choices.
In addition, a further consultation was conducted across six sites on six different days to allow maximum access. This time, parents were asked to comment on four different themes:
- Processes and pathways
- Communication and coordination
- While I wait
- Ongoing support / what worked for me
Feedback from these sessions has proved incredibly useful, working as a checklist against which to test the revamped Local Offer website. Read the overview from the downloads button to the right of this page.
Adult Social Care Charging Policy
Ealing Council is seeking your views on two proposals to change the adult social care charging policy and to better understand how these proposed changes could impact you.
We want Ealing to be a healthy, safe and great place. Adults’ social care services have a duty to provide support to those who need it. Like all councils, we are finding it hard to balance the budget as national funding for council services reduces and more people need support. We are exploring new ways to deliver services and address our financial challenges. This consultation will help us to explore the impact of proposals to change the charging policy for adult social care. The consultation process helps the council understand the impact before making decisions.
We want to consider the views of a range of people who have an interest in this or might be affected by the proposals. This includes those who currently receive help and support from adult social care in Ealing, their carers or organisations who have a client base who might be affected by these proposals.
It is important that you read the consultation document first so that you fully understand what the council is proposing. Once you have done so, please complete a short survey to submit your views. An Easy Read version of the document is available. The consultation document is also available in a number of community languages including Indian Punjabi, Urdu, Somali and Polish.
This consultation will be open until 19 October 2018.
If you would like the survey and consultation document translated into another language, would like an easy read / print / large print version of the survey or would like a member of the team to visit your community group to talk about the consultation, please email MyContribution@ealing.gov.uk.
What happens next?
Your feedback will inform any recommendations made to Cabinet in January 2019. If accepted, these changes would come into effect from April 2019.