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You said, We did

The views of parents and carers of and  children and young people with SEND are important. 

We want this website to be relevant to you. Parents/carers, young people and staff worked together to design this website, and to interview for a member of staff to continue this work on Hackney's Local Offer.

If you would like to join us to continue to develop Hackney's Local Offer website then do contact us.

We want to make sure that your views about services are heard and make a difference.

You can register on this website to give feedback on services. 

We use what you say in feedback from these comments and feedback we hear when we meet groups of children, young people and parents and carers to try to make things better.  

If we get a comment about a service about something that has not worked well we tell the service managers. 

We publish responses to your comments here at least once a year. See the drop down boxes below to find out what we have done in response to previous feedback.

Last updated: 19/10/18

You said we did comments and responses 2017 - 2018

The remit of creating, maintaining, developing and updating a Local Offer website remains challenging. Whilst we have a dedicated Local Offer coordinator it is important for everyone to remember that working together is the only way to make it happen.

The local authority must also ensure that all its officers co-operate with each other in respect of the Local Offer. This must include those whose roles relate to social services or who will contribute to helping young people make a successful transition to adulthood – for example those working in housing and economic regeneration. SEND Code of Practice 4.17

Local authorities and their partner CCGs must work together to ensure that this information is available through the Local Offer. SEND Code of Practice 4.41

This work requires active effort from all sectors and active effort from parents and carers who want to or could benefit from the information that is made available.  It is only through this combined effort and cooperation that it will be the useful source of information that it is intended to be.

 

You said

We did

I’d like more information about the EHC process.

The Department for Education and Special Needs Jungle worked together to produce flow charts for SEN Support and the EHC Needs assessment process. We have added these to the website on the parent/carer resource page. (We aew aware that updated versions came out in mid October 2018 and will update the ones on this page also)

 

Council for Disabled Children- Education, Health and Care Plans: Examples of good practice is also available on the website.

 

The Council for Disabled Children have produced a helpful animation about the EHC process which has been added to the site.  

 

Useful Hackney specific documents are flagged in the documents library and include a EHC assessment timeline and flow chart.

 

KIP sessions provide face to face information and the SENDIAGS service provide a wealth relevant information, advice and support on the Education , Health and Care assessment process and plans.

 

We have highlighted this information to the EHC Planning Team – Plan Coordinators and suggested they direct parents wanting more information to it.

 

Existing information: Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) information questions and answers...

 

 

I found some of the information too wordy.

We have re-worded key articles on the website including the parent/carer resource page and added more videos where possible.

 

We have tried where possible to keep the information relevant and shorter but helpful without sending you off to other website where we cannot guarantee this is the case.

 

We are happy to receive feedback on whether this has improved.

 

We are happy to work with services on wording their information appropriately for parents and carers. 

 

I found the site difficult to navigate.

During this year we have been working on clearer sign posting to related advice and related services.

 

Key services are now more consistently linked to using the “related services” function.

 

Information sessions to promote the existence of the website, it’s function and how to use it have been offered to all schools via SENCo e-mail contact and SENCo forum. School staff should be familiar with the site and be able to support parents to use it. Feedback from SENCOs is that they are doing this.

 

Monthly face to face sessions to assist and support parents to use the website continue but are not well attended. We are looking at relocating these and changing the time to meet the needs of parents who work.

 

We attend information sessions and key SEND relevant events throughout the year to make ourselves available to parents and carers.

 

We send key information directly to Hackney Independent Forum for Parents/Carers of Children with Disabilities (HiP) for distribution via their network of local parents/carers identified by parents as a trusted source of information during the SEND inspection e.g. Useful information and dates of a local careers fair and the careers service drop in exam results support sessions.

 

Presented at IAS SENDIAGS Knowledge is Power parent information session as part of their annual programme.

 

Presented at secondary transfer information sessions to help parents use the site to find useful information about local schools.

 

We have changed the way we share information on the What’s on? page so that it is easier to share information e.g. Children’s Occupational Therapy - monthly drop in sessions 2018, Children’s Physiotherapy Service - Drop in clinic 2018, Educational Psychology Service - Parent Advice Service, Talking Walk-in (drop in speech and language therapy assessments for early years),

 

It was hard to find the document I was looking for.

We created a documents library and linked to this in relevant articles.

 

A link to this has been pinned to the top bar of every page on the site to help users find useful documents quickly.

 

I am Turkish and find it hard to access digital information due to ESOL related issues. Sometimes interpreters do not understand the SEND system and do not relay everything said from one party to another so meaning and detail is lost. 

Hackney’s Local Offer website information does not replace the organisations that make up Hackney’s local offer of services.

 

Entries for organisations that provide support services particularly for the Turkish community have been made clearer so that conversations, letter reading, form filling etc for those with ESOL can be supported by services who are commissioned to offer this support.

 

A Turkish speaking SEND officer has been retained from the Independent Support programme which ended in July 2018 by Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

 

We continue to support parents and carers from all communities and signpost to appropriate services.

 

We are exploring specific issues for parents and carers related to SEND information for those aged 0-25 for those with ESOL needs to better understand the issues.

 

We are exploring what training needs services for some communities may have so that they understand the SEND systems and processes. The intention is to develop a training programme that supports services who directly work with families to provide a better information and support and increase parental confidence in their services regarding their SEND information needs.

 

Schools also have a part to play in ensuring parents/carers and children or young people attending their settings are adequately supported.

The Department for Education (DfE) ended the ring-fencing of Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant funding in 2011/12, and incorporate it into the Dedicated Schools Grant, giving schools complete decision-making power over the uses of this funding. The development of effective provision to support the progress and achievement of black and minority ethnic pupils and those with English as an Additional

Language is an indicator of an inclusive education system where all children and young people are given the opportunity to make the most of their potential as learners.

 

ESOL classes in Hackney are free of charge and available throughout the year. Information about access to these classes and opportunities is available via Hackney’s Local Offer website, Hackney learning Trust and Hackney Council’s site. Libraries and Children’s Centres in the borough also offer information about ESOL classes. Find out more: Hackney ESOL Advice Service

 

Advocacy and support services contact details including organisations who partner statutory services to provide targeted or culturally specific support are clearly included or signposted to on Hackney’s Local Offer website e.g. Hackney Carers Coordination Service and Hackney Information Advice Consortium (HIAC)

These also include: Turkish Cypriot Womens' Project, Halkevi - Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre, Derman, DayMer, London Alevi Cultural Centre and Cem-Evi, Refugee Workers Cultural Association

 

 

We are re-drafting our information gathering forms to make it clear to services what information is helpful to all parents and carers who use the site.

When requesting information (new and updated) from services we are explicitly asking how parents/carers with ESOL needs receive information from them.

 

Communities who are less likely to access digital information can find accessing information on the local offer website difficult

 

Hackney’s Local Offer website has a shortlist function that easily allows information to be saved and then printed

 

We have been working with partner organisations e.g. Interlink, to share information from the website in community publications. The first article has been provided and is due to be included in the next magazine. This work will continue.

 

Relationships with key organisations continue to be made and reinforced so that good communications and understandings about what is available continues to develop.

 

We continue to attend a wide range of forums and meetings to explain the function and navigation of the site and to ensure that organisations are able to identify how to ask questions or seek further advice on Hackney’s Local Offer and are aware of the feedback we receive from parents/carers and young people.

 

I couldn’t find a service for young people with autism and mental health needs as they move into adult services.

We have included the CCG Mental Health directory

in the new documents library and raised this query with commissioners.

 

Sometimes we get queries to the website inbox that are not SEND related or are for services to answer directly e.g. I am undertaking work experience at your setting and need confirmation of my start date and a direct contact.  

We have changed the wording on the website contact form to highlight that this form comes to Hackney’s Local Offer website inbox for those aged 0-25 with SEND or related queries and is not the root to directly contacting a service.

 

We have done this to help avoid frustration caused by adding an extra step to receiving an answer to your queries from the relevant service.

 

What support is there in schools for children and young people who have dyslexia

Hackney learning trust is producing a position statement on dyslexia. When this has been agreed it will be made available on the site and be included in a help and advice article that will link to helpful website and national information as well as any relevant local services or training.

We have already identified useful information to add to this article and are hoping it will be available soon.

 

Please can you add these useful guides on school refusal for parents?

We agree these are useful guides and they have been added to the site.

 

We are going to create a section titled “recommended by parent carers” in the documents library and link to them there also.

 

I couldn’t find a policy I was looking for.

We spoke to this parent who is a representative on one of the SEND operational groups. The policy in question was in draft form so not cleared for publication.

 

We agreed it would be helpful to create the documents library for policies so that these can be checked for and found quickly on the site and have done this.

 

I couldn’t find what I was looking for on the website.

We regularly check search terms used by people looking on the website. If wording used should return a result but hasn’t we add the wording to the key word search function so that the search term would return a result in future.

 

Sometimes using the filters is helpful but sometimes it can limit your search results e.g. if you have limited the result by adding a post conde. In this instance a service may be available locally but nit in that postcode.

 

Sometimes what is being search for on the website is simply not available locally e.g. funding for specific items. We have been contacted via the website inbox on occasion for these and have signposted to relevant national organisations and sources of information.

 

If you copy and paste a search term sometimes a hyphen or apostrophe appears as an unidentifiable symbol when pasted into the keyword function. This would then not be recognised. Please check the spelling to see if this has happened and remove the symbol and try again.

 

It is not always clear why something has not returned a result. Some search terms showing as “no result” should return appropriate responses and on checking do.

 

Hackney’s Local Offer coordinator attends a wide range of meetings with parents and can assist with finding information on the site at or after these meetings.

 

Monthly face to face sessions held at Hackney Ark continue to offer support with using and navigating the website.

 

Hackney Ark also hosts the Resource Centre that has a fulltime dedicated officer who is available to assist parents with finding the information they need.

 

Alternatively parents and carers can use the contact form is they have tried searching for something and not found it. We will try to respond promptly to these information requests.

 

It took too long to find the information I wanted.

Getting use to navigation of websites does take a little time.

 

We suggest attending a presentation or face to face session so that you can see a demonstration of how to find what you are looking for.

 

This year we are intending to work with a young person to produce some “How to…” videos to help people using the website understand how to find what they are looking for hopefully more quickly.  

 

I sometimes can’t find the dates for drop in sessions

We have re-designed the way information is displayed on the What’s on page and made standalone entries for drop in sessions which link to their flyers so professionals can print and display these in settings.

 

It would be helpful to have an article on Sickle Cell

We are working with partners in health to provide a range of condition specific articles. The article on Sickle Cell is the most recent of these. It links to key information, support groups and the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Community Service you can see the new article here: Sickle Cell - information and support

 

 

We are working with Hackney’s designated clinical officer and other health colleagues to provide articles on a range of health conditions and disabilities. These will not cover every condition. Parents have identified the conditions that they would like more information about. NHS Choices is a fantastic resource for information about a wide range of health conditions and disability: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ )

 

You said – We did information on specific actions from the SEND inspections will be shared here shortly. Agreed priorities and actions from this are being identified with parents and carers and those in services. October 2018

The following information is from a consultation with young people in one of the boroughs alternative providers.

 

You said

We did

Perhaps you could use video explanations on pages that are too text dense. Schools could develop media projects based on this. 

 

We would love to work with some young people in schools, colleges and other settings to make videos. 

 

Sometimes there are complicated issues around permission to use videos for example where one of the people in them decide they don’t want it shared widely.  We have had examples where videos have been made with young people about relevant issues but then they have chosen not to share these publically.

 

Sometimes information in videos goes out of date and then despite the efforts and costs associated with making them we are back to where we started.

 

We are going to look at how we could include more video explanations on the site because of this feedback.

 

Some video animation explainers made by The Council for Disabled Children have already been added.

 

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It would be useful if the site was introduced to young people in Year 9 so that they are familiar with it in Yr 10 and 11.

 

We agree. Transition reviews begin in year 9 and there is a greater focus on planning for adult life and carefully consider the steps that need to be taken to achieve any goals.

 

Parents and carers should already be aware of Hackney’s Local Offer website and be using it to help them find out about different options and plan for the future.

 

Service across all sectors could do more to produce appropriate and engaging information, particularly for the early age group from this cohort.

 

You said

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Terminology – some of the phrases used on the website are not as meaningful to young people as they are to those working in the different sectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pathways to being employed and having paid work might sound better as simply Careers Advice or Work (especially since these might be search terms parents and young people will use)

 

 

 

Friends, relationships and communities is very broad. Maybe Pathway to Meeting People or Pathway to a Social Life, both of which the students could understand and knew what information to expect.

 

Pathways for Independence and Independent Living could just be Independence, since it already includes independent living.

 

 

 

Some information on the website currently comes from a report by NDTi titled “Getting a Life”.

 

NDTI are partners for the national Preparing for Adulthood agenda which has distilled out key areas to address so that young people who have a disability are enabled to be included better in all aspects of life. The report includes examples of how difficulties were manged to help the young people in the examples get closer to doing what they wanted to do in life.

 

 

We have reduced and rewritten much of the information and linked to the full report with it’s alternative title of “Transition planning for full lives”.

 

We are trying to help young people AND parents to really think about what needs to be planned for to reduce disadvantages for young people and themselves.

 

These articles have been rewritten and are now titled as follows…

 

 

Preparing for Adulthood – Employment/ This article would also come up using the term work.

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Adulthood - Health and Wellbeing/ We are still developing this article.

 

Preparing for adulthood – friends, relationships and communities (we will continue to think about this and will work directly with young people to find terminology and the right amount of wording that is helpful whilst being mindful that a range of audiences are currently accessing the articles). 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for adulthood - Independence and Independent living/This is still the same. 

 

Independence and independent living are a bit different for people under 25. You may still live at home but be more independent; come home late, have your own key, cook for yourself, pay towards your rent, decide what to do during the day.

 

Housing information and supported housing information is still developing and the homelessness prevention act offers local authorities new opportunities to consider housing pathways for young people with disabilities.

 

We have asked colleagues in this sector to share some examples and help describe the process using flow charts or other helpful visuals.

 

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The umbrella term for these pathways could be Pathways to Improving Your Life.

 

Currently the website says Pathways for a Full Life, which the students feel is a little negative since it sounds like they are ‘living only part of a life’, whereas improving suggests making your life better. 

 

The graphic says ‘Getting a Life’ which the students found a little rude, as if they didn’t have a life at all.

 

We agree “Getting a Life” could sound a bit rude to some people but reports often use titles that slightly shock to grab the reader’s attention which I’m sure students on the media course will understand.

 

It is full of evidence that young people with disabilities were not experiencing full inclusion in society and that something needed to be done.

 

 

We do agree but are also aware that the terminology and titles used in the article refer to national reference points for specific statutory information and we must have on the website.

 

Getting a Life is still visible on the Preparing for Adulthood pathway maps. They were made for the report and are a useful visual reminder of what parents and young people and those working with them need to think about before leaving school.

 

We hope that you won’t mind the term so much now you know more about where it came from.

 

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The names for the pathways are different on different pages which makes them appear inconsistent. 

 

We agree. This information has been reviewed and reformatted for better consistency. The previous differences were due to information being developed and changed as we went along in response to feedback. 

 

You said

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The students were very helpful but only looked at the Preparing for Adulthood information because it directly affects them.

 

Parents and young people will want different levels of information so in the future we hope to develop a Young People’s section.

 

Meeting the needs of both parents and young people in the same articles is too difficult and confusing.

 

 

We will work with young people when we do this.

 

You said we did comments and responses 2016 - 2017

Providing information on all the various aspects of SEND for those aged 0-25 across education, health, social care and the third sector is a huge undertaking.

The Local Offer website is a mechanism to share information from and about services.

Where information has not been provided we are not able to share it. We are proactive in seeking information but remind those working in SEND that it is a statutory duty to share their information via the Local Offer website.

“Local authorities must publish a summary of comments at least annually, although this is expected to be an ongoing process. They must ensure that comments are published in a form that does not enable any individual to be identified.” Code of Practice 4.24

We value the discussions with and feedback from those that use the website.

Below are some of the comments and response we have taken during 2016 – 2017.

Feedback is from various sources, face to face discussions, surveys, consultations,

e-mails and more.

Our Summer survey was responded to online by 11 people 6 of whom identified as parents. It was launched during a service review of the inclusion and specialist support team and some of the comments reflect parents/carers feelings and concerns about cuts and early years and SEND services.

Where there are similar themes to comments these could be attributed to the same responder.

Further responses to the survey were provided via hard copies.

 

You said

We did

 

“It is very comprehensive. I do think the architecture of the site makes it harder to ensure it is really accessible and easy to use. The structure doesn't lend itself to easy promotion via social media.

I think the LO should be able to tweet links to content too.

This would make it really easy to promote.”

 

 

There are existing functions that allow information to be shared via social media on each service directory entry and help and advice article of the website.

The Facebook function allows you to save and share information later. There is a balance to be struck with the available resources and time allocated to various aspects of providing information. Currently there are no plans to have a separate twitter or Facebook account. We are looking at the success that partner organisations are having with promoting services through social media as well as neighbouring boroughs with comparative resources. We will keep you informed of any developments.

 

We are adding accessible information where we can. Some SEND services have made team wikis and short videos and easy read guides are added when the services provide them. If we become aware of any helpful, relevant, accessible information we add it to the website but services working in SEND are responsible for providing their own guides.

 

 

You said…

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“It reads like a directory of services, most of which are not relevant or not available when you try to access them.”

 

There are three components to the Hackney Local Offer website. One of which is a service directory which shows alphabetically and can be filtered by age buttons and service buttons.

The service directory has over 1200 entries and provides information on Ofsted registered childcare and education settings and SEND services.

The SEND services state the eligibility criteria and have contact information so that you can speak to the right person for your query.

 

There are two further aspects to the site, help and advice articles and resource pages.

 

There are over 100 short help and advice articles that describe processes and link to the service directory, national information, guidance factsheets and any easy read information e.g. videos that we are aware of and think may help users of the site understand the topic.

 

The resource pages are homes for useful documents and links for parents, professionals and young people. Parents/cares can view the same information as professionals and this makes the processes more transparent. 

 

 

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“It just doesn't seem very good. It's not got much content. We've tried for 18 months to access proper short breaks for our son but because he is under 5 it's not worked.”

 

Hackney’s Local Offer website content includes 1224 service entries relevant to a range of ages.

It also includes 100 help and advice articles available from the top bar of each page.

Hackney’s Local Offer website is not the Short Breaks service.

All service entries include information about what to do if you wish to complain and there are comprehensive articles that provided further information about the boroughs complaints process for various sectors.

The Short Breaks offer for children under 5 is described in the article about the service.

Find out more: Short Breaks

 

We are aware that some consultation and development took place during the year for this service. The Short Breaks under 5 offer can be found in the documents section of the Short Breaks help and advice article.

Short Breaks have a stand-alone website that we link to with comprehensive information about opportunities on offer from the service: www.shortbreaks.co.uk

 

You can also contact Hackney Family Information Service to find out about funding and free childcare for 2 year olds and 3 – 4 year olds. This can be used to secure early years provision which in turn can act as respite. Families of children with SEND may qualify automatically for some funding.  

 

This comment has been passed on to the head of the Short Breaks service.

 

You said…

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“I just don't have time or energy to navigate a site on which I've never found any info that's relevant to my family.”

 

 

We are sorry that you feel this way. If you need assistance navigating the site professionals working in SEND can and should be able to assist you. You can also attend a face to face session on the last Tuesday of every month at The Resource Centre at Hackney Ark where the website coordinator can help you use the site to find useful and relevant information on a range of SEND related topics.

 

Useful tip: the top bar on every page will take you to the “What’s on” article and the full list of “help and advice” articles.

 

You can also contact us via the top bar and we will do our best to direct you to the information you are looking for on the website.

 

You said…

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“I am using it more these days but putting on Twitter would be ideal for me I can read, retweet etc but the link needs to directly to the item being promoted rather than just the page it is on. So the structure of the site needs developing to enable this to happen. This will help reach younger parent/carers though this won't address those who are not IT confident so it needs to be a two pronged approach - lots parents maybe be happy to received links via FB, messenger, Instagram and What's App (the latter is very widely used by many who would not regard themselves to be IT savvy...it would 'liberate' the very good content”

 

 

There are currently no plans to have a twitter account specifically for the website. Because of the current national and local climate with regard to education, health and social care services and provisions, there are sweeping and challenging changes taking place in all sectors. Some changes to information and documents occur as a result of coproduction processes and services trying to ensure they have responded appropriately to feedback. In order to be able to manage the amount of content and changes to content from all sectors across the whole site we link to the page where content is housed rather that documents directly. We understand that this requires an additional step when searching but currently feel it is still the best way of ensuring you find the latest version of the information. It may also help flag up helpful information you were not specifically searching for. We are always looking at ways to maximise providing information helpfully within our means and will continue to share ideas about this with our peers.

 

You said…

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 “As a nursery school we recognise the high number of children with a wide range of communication needs including those with autistic features. We believe it would be highly effective for the Borough to have a specialist resource for children with such needs from 2-5 years of age serviced by a multi- disciplinary team of professionals including a specialist teach and SALT. This multi- disciplinary model focussing on early intervention would provide an evidenced based model to enhance children's outcomes and thereby reduce the need for out of borough support.”

 

The Department for Education has released capital funding to help local authorities develop their inclusion and SEND offer in education settings. Hackney Learning trust has consulted with parents and have noted their feedback. Information about the next stages of this project is added to the “Consultations and engagement opportunities” help and advice article on this website.

 

Find out more: www.hackneylocaloffer.co.uk/sendconsultations

Find out about existing provision in borough: Types of school places for children with SEND

 

You said…

We did…

 

 “There seem to be no services available any more for pre-school children.”

 

 

We do provide information on many services for those aged 0-4.

These can be accessed via the age link button on the front page of the website.

Additional service buttons then appear guiding you through different options.

 

You said…

We did…

 

 “Some policy stuff has been missing from time to time but usually put up once requested.”

 

 

There have been many changes taking place within all sectors and many services. Where policies are available or have been finalised and are relevant to SEND we endeavour to include them in a timely manor.

There are times when responding to feedback from parents or carers requires additional time being spent on policies.

 

We will always listen to and try to respond helpfully to queries and seek to work with our strategic partners including parents/carers to provide information that is helpful and meaningful for those aged 0-25 with SEND.

 

 

 

Examples of feedback and actions via e-mail. There have been many exchanges and responses via e-mail.

 

We have not included all them as we see these part of our ongoing dialogue and daily practice.

 

You said…

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“It’s better to have images associated with updates to entice parents to view the information”

 

 

When we send updates to the parent carer forum and Resource Centre newsletter we include a colourful image of Hackney’s Local Offer website on a computer.

 

You said…

We did…

 

“I found it hard to find the SEND travel application form on the page with the Transport article. Also please could you add higher up in the text of the article how to apply”

 

 

We rearranged to documents in the download section of this page (there were 3) so that the application form was on top above the guidance.

We have added text higher up in the article directing parents/carers to the form.

 

 

 

Paper copy responses of Local Offer website survey returned after parent/carer information session hosted by City and Hackney’s Children’s Disability Forum.

 

You said…

We did…

 

“I am not confident in using websites. All the reading is difficult to understand”

 

 

To help increase parent/carer confidence in using the website we attend a wide range of training sessions to introduce them to the website, explain about it’s functions, encourage them to use it by highlighting all the useful information that it provides.

 

Hackney Libraries run sessions for adults who wish to increase their ability to use the internet.

 

We encourage those working in SEND to help empower parents/carers to find helpful information on the website and attend and offer to attend team meetings to inform and train staff so that they can confidently pass on what they have learnt. Included in all of the training is information on how to make and print a shortlist / bespoke directory of information as we know some people find paper copies easier to read.

There will always be people who need face to face advocacy and support from the various IAS services and we will signpost to these as appropriate.

 

We are working on reducing the text in articles but are also trying to retain different levels of information for different parents/carers with different requirements. As you can see from previous comments some parent/carers like very comprehensive information.

 

Where services provide shortened guides for parents we try to highlight these under the first paragraph of articles. 

 

We use a frequently asked questions format more often throughout the site with drop down bars so that you only need view the information related to your specific query.

 

Our face to face sessions on the last Tuesday of every month at Hackney Ark Resource centre are a perfect opportunity to come and find out more with support.

 

 

You said…

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“My reading in English and Bengali is not very good. But today I was given some information and I will go and look it up,”

 

 

We spoke with this parent to see how to help. Specific information and contact details of services were exchanged.

 

 

Feedback from school information session run by the ASD Intervention Worker and Educational Psychology.

 

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“When you are told your child has an autism diagnosis you then get sent away with no more information.”

 

This year we added a condition specific article on autism. It links to service information, explains a little about the condition and links to good trusted sources of further information. After attending the session where we heard this feedback we had a shortened URL made: www.hackneylocaloffer.co.uk/autism

 

The aim is that this is easy for professionals to remember and links directly to the Local Offer website article. We sent the link and the feedback to strategic partners who would be in a position to share this with parents/carers nearer the time of diagnosis and asked them to pass it on.

 

 

E-mail request…

 

You said…

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ABA/VB autism specific therapy interventions on Local Offer...It is important our parents know that home funded programmes are an option and could be an alternative or solution to lack of good provision in schools.

Regarding providing information about Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behaviour (VB) therapies. This topic has been discussed at the SEND mangers meeting. Actions agreed are below.

 

This text below will be added to an article about specialist interventions and approaches.

 

ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) Holding Statement

 

ABA is a technique or intervention that has been developed from a branch of science called behaviour analysis.

 

Different interventions and support have been developed to help autistic people manage their condition and help them reach their full potential.

There is often not a clear agreement or a shared understanding about the effectiveness of some therapies and it can be difficult to make decisions about which approach is right for each person.

 

We believe that young people and parents / carers should have access to a range of information and choice about evidence based interventions and support for themselves or their children.

 

Find out more about therapies and interventions including ABA: http://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/media-centre/position-statements/interventions.aspx

 

We will also add an Independent ABA provider to our service directory but in doing this we are not sanctioning it as a local authority partner. We agree a menu of services that include home funded options may be helpful to some parents.

Update to this query added 16/04/18

Approached to supporting pupils and students with autism in schools

Hackney Learning Trust have produced a position statement on the approaches used in schools to support children and young people with autism. 

Find out more: HLT Position Statement - Approaches to Autism

 

 

General feedback from various sources…

 

You said…

We did…

I had seen information about EHC plans before but then I couldn’t find it when I looked again.

In response to similar conversation we have condensed information about the EHC assessment and planning process so that it can be found in one place.

 

We looked at our data to see how people are searching for information. We add search terms to make finding information easier.

 

 

You said…

We did…

“Sometimes I can’t process all of the information. There is always so much to do when you have a child with SEND.”

We have been adding more videos, links to wikis and more easy read guides. There can be a lot of tasks for parents/carers particularly at times of transition. We have included information about services that can help and if you search “form filling” or “advocacy” local services that can assist you will appear in the service directory.

You can also filter your search using the family support option in the browse services search function.

Here are the filtered search results: Family Support

Hackney SENDIAGS out information advice and guidance service run regular information sessions where parents/carers can come and get face to face information. They also run drop in sessions where they can provide 1:1 support. 

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

 

You said…

We did…

 

“I want to know what services there are for my young person now they are not in education or training.”

 

We have been proactively seeking and adding service for those aged over 19 years old. We are very aware of the national picture and will continue to add helpful information as and when we find it. 

 

You said…

We did…

“I find the website a really useful place to access important documents.”

More information for SENCos and other professionals has been added to their resource page. Individual services often have important documents attached to their service entries to ensure these are owned by them and kept current. We flag up these entries on the resources page.

 

Find out more: Resources page for SENCOs, SEND professionals and others

 

 

You said we did comments and responses 2015 - 2016

You said: "We need more information on the Education Health and Care Plan process"

We did:  We have broken this information down into steps and linked the pages to each other. We have included the documents and guides to this process in the articles on EHC plans. 

You said: "We need more information on what to do if a child with SEN(D) is excluded from school"

We did: We have linked together existing information so that more services come up when you use the word "exclusion" in a search. We have added local and national services that can help support parents and young people and promoted these at an event with the parents forum HiP. We printed hard copies of this information for parents attending this event. We added more information after the event based on what we heard. 

2017 update: Works has continued on reducing exclusions and relevant documents are added to the school exclusions article.

You said: "We need to be able to translate the information into our language so it's easier for us to understand and use"

We did: We looked at options for the best translation tool. This has now been added to the website functions. Please let us know how it is working for you.

We have carried out further investigations into this. This function works for some information and languages but not others. We have investigated alternatives and will be closely watching what our peers are doing.  

We provide information from the Local Offer website at face to face sessions.

You said: "What about families who do not use the internet?"

We did: We would encourage all families to get support with this if the only barrier is being unfamiliar with the technology. We have run one to one support sessions at The Ark's resource centre and have demonstrated how useful and easy it is to source information using the Local Offer website to the centre's staff so that they are able to assist families with this.

We supported parents to search for services they were interested in, showed them how to make a shortlist with the shortlist function and printed hard copies of their searches for them.

We enjoyed this session and are going to run regular sessions for parents and young people where we search the local offer with or for them. Dates will be on our "Difficulty using the internet" page and "What's On" page and promoted in print and at events. 

We intend to attend events on SEND with Local Offer information relevant to the topic of the event printed in hard copy as a resource for parents and young people attending. 

2017 update: We continue to promote and flag up relevant information with partners that support families in all relevant sectors. Our data shows many more people are accessing information from the website and we receive more inquires. We have also attended parents information sessions and parents evenings at schools with additional resourced provision. 

 

 

You said we did comments and responses 2014 - 2015

You said: We want a colourful, fun Local Offer website that isn’t corporate

We did: We designed the Local Offer website with young people and parent input to be engaging and not corporate.

You said: We want a standalone website so we can find the SEND information more easily. 

We did: We have designed this website with parents/carers and young people. Our Orange Local Offer flash function tells you that a service is SEND specific and run by the council or NHS

You said: we'd like maps and transport links on the Local Offer website

We did: We put them on every service entry. Since we did this the service that provided maps to ours and many other boroughs Local Offers websites has changed their agreement. The company who host our website are looking into alternatives. 

We have re-designed out pages slightly until this is resolved. 

You said: "We want our local offer to make it easy to find things"

We did: We have useful and easy to use functions like the shortlist function where you can save just contact details or more comprehensive information on the services you searched for.

We have written articles that link to service entries and follow on information to help you navigate around the site e.g. What is autism? This article links to all the local services that support familes before and after diagnosis. 

Service entries on our Local Offer are increasingly becoming the best source of information for parents, young people and other professionals.

We are contributing to electronic guides that are being developed.

Accessing information like this will help families become more familiar with and navigate around our Local Offer website more easily.  

Further useful information...

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