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How Hackney consults with parents and carers of children with SEND and young people themselves

We are committed to taking a person centred approach to working with parents and young people. We are always willing to discuss any concerns with you.

In addition to this we actively seek to work with Parent/Carer and Youth Forums and other participation groups who we see as experts by experience on how support and services for those with SEND are working, what is going well and what needs to change.

Parents and young people were involved in the design and planning of Hackney's Local Offer website

Parent/carers and young people helped us design and develop our Local Offer website during consultation events before commissioning and during the process of  designing the site with both the design and web company.

Parent and young people’s involvement was important to us because we want them to find the Local Offer website useful and easy to use.

You can read about how we continue to work collaboratively with parents, carers and young people in our Local Offer Annual Reports.

You can find them in the download section of the following page:

What is the Local Offer?


Feedback and commenting on services

Parents, carers, young people and others can comment individually on services via their Local Offer website service entry.

They will need to sign in and make an account on the Local Offer website to do this.

We are not required to publish "vexatious comments" but information on experience of services will be fed back to service leads. 

Comments that describe positive experiences help services provide more of that kind of support. 

Person Centred Annual Reviews 

Hackney seeks the views and opinions of children and young people with SEND and their parents individually at a child or young person’s annual review.

Consultations and engagement opportunities

Regular focus groups, consultations and engagement opportunities take place and can be found here: and on Hackney Councils website

The groups and processes for hearing from parents and young people in Hackney are detailed below. 

Page last updated: 21/09/18

Hackney's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

As a borough one of the ways Hackney seeks to understand the needs of it's population is through the City and Hackney health and wellbeing profile (joint strategic needs assessment - JSNA) which provides a detailed description of the health and wellbeing needs of the local population. 

It provides a 'big picture' of local needs, ranging from the social and environmental conditions which shape health and wellbeing through to the specific illnesses and conditions from affecting local people.

There is a dedicated website that provides further information on this process and it's findings.

Find out more:

HIP - Hackney's Parent Carer Forum

HiP is the independent forum for parents and carers of children with disabilities in Hackney. The Department for Education funds the forum to enable Hackney parent-carers to have their say on how services are run and decisions are made.

The forum is run by and for parents and carers. Any Hackney parent or carer who has  or looks after a child or young person (age 0-25) with a special educational need or disability (SEND) can join and raise issues through the forum.

HiP works with education, health and social care professionals and local agencies that commission and provide services to ensure parent / carers' voices are heard wherever decisions are made. 

Hackney Learning Trust (HLT) primarily engages with parent-carers through HiP. During 2014-15 HLT provided £15,000 to HiP which enable the forum to:

  • Work with the trust to co-produce events for parent-carers of teenagers and Orthodox Jewish parent-carers
  • Widely promote information on the SEND changes to parent-carers
  • Co-deliver the termly SEN parent forum
  • Attend and contribute to task and finish groups developing policy and process for the EHC plans including SEN transport, Personal Budgets and Transition to Adulthood, Short Breaks, Equal Futures
  • Help organise and co-deliver two workshops with the Local Authority to collect parents' feedback on Local Offer content
  • Co-produce and co-deliver workshops with the Local Authority on EHC planning  to SENCOs and to parents at Hackney Ark
  • Advise on terms of reference and composition for new EHC panels
  • Sit on recruitment panels for key SEN posts
  • Advise on use of plain English for leaflets and letters on SEN aimed at parents
  • Represent parents on steering groups (eg Hackney SENDIAGS)

During 2015-16 Hackney Learning Trust will again be supporting parent-carer engagement through HiP and Interlink (who work with Hackney’s Orthodox Jewish community)

Engagement work this is year is expected to include:

  • Engaging with Turkish, Vietnamese and East European parent-carers
  • Running parent-carer workshops to provide feedback on Local Offer content
  • Co-delivering the SEN parent forum
  • Working together to collect parent-carer feedback on EHC planning through the POET survey
  • Identifying local SEND data for possible inclusion in the JSNA (joint strategic needs assessment) to support joint commissioning

Find out more: Hackney Independent Forum for Parents/Carers of Children with Disabilities (HiP)

The Children’s Disability Forum City and Hackney (CCG)

The Children’s Disability Forum City and Hackney  is group who will be part of future consultations. This group was commissioned in response to consulatations with parents and young people. It was commissioned and is funded by the CCG.

Reports on parents and young people engagement session and an overview of their yearly activity can bee seen in their service entry.

Find out more: The Children’s Disability Forum City and Hackney 

Hackney Captains

Hackney Captains is a youth council for young people with additional needs set up to give feedback about Hackney Ark health services (including Physio, OT, SLT, Community Paediatrics, Audiology, CAMHS, First Steps, Community Nursing, Keyworking etc) and help to make changes that make the services better for young people. 

We really enjoyed our last meeting and we’re looking forward to hearing what they have to say next. We meet 4 times a year and would welcome new young people to the group. 

It’s a great experience for young people to add to their  CV. They get free pizza AND they get to make Hackney Ark better for other young people!

Who is it for? 

Hackney Captains is open to any young person aged 13-19 who is or has been known to any Hackney Ark service. Young People are welcome to attend alone or with a friend/family member if they would like this.

Although we can’t provide 1:1 support, the venue is accessible and we will have speech and language therapist attending and able to offer support on the day.

To find out more please contact Vicky, Yvonne, Rowan or Aria



Hackney Ark, Downs Park Road, E8 2FP

Young Hackney

Young Hackney is the boroughs service for all young people aged 8-19 (up to 25 with SEND)

Young Hackney aims to help all of the boroughs young people enjoy being young and become independent and successful adults.

Young Hackney units (small teams) help to:

• run youth clubs, centres and projects
• provide opportunities, support and guidance for young people
• help young people get involved in their communities


They also run several youth participation projects to help young people get more involved in their communities. 

Young Hackney centres:

Thanks to “myplace” funding, the Hackney Council has been able to invested £5m in five new youth centres, one in each of the borough's neighbourhoods, linked to a brand new iconic building at Forest Road.

Each centre has a nominated specialism, chosen by young people.

• Arts and performance - Young Hackney Hoxton Hall

• Enterprise - Young Hackney The Edge

• IT and media - Young Hackney Stoke Newington

• Sports and healthy living - Young Hackney Concorde

• Youth leadership - Young Hackney Forest Road

Each centre has a Young Hackney unit on site to advise young people on:

  • education,
  • training
  • employment
  • health
  • relationships matters

Find out more: Young Hackney 

Hackney Area Youth Forums

The four Area Youth Forums are for young people to meet and discuss local and youth issues. Anyone aged 11-19 can join their local forum as long as they can come to one meeting every week after school, college or work.

Youth forums help to:

  • develop new skills
  • gain qualifications
  • enjoy new experiences
  • improve CV’s
  • make a difference to the community

Hackney Youth Parliament

The Hackney Youth Parliament has 24 members who are elected every two years and represent the area they live in.

Youth Parliament acts as:

• the voice of and represents the views of young people in Hackney

• consults young people in Hackney on their views

• is involved in decision-making with the Council and Councillors

• has an impact and makes a positive change

• keeps young people in Hackney informed on matters affecting them

For information about the Youth Parliament visit Young Hackney's website:

Hackney Youth Parliament contact:

Mandy Richards


Phone: 020 8356 5433

Hackney Youth Opportunity Fund

Hackney Youth Opportunity Fund is a projects where young people can apply for up to £5,000 to fund an event or project in their local area.

Find out more: Hackney Youth Opportunity Fund

Children in Care Council - Hackney Gets Heard

The Hackney Gets Heard Children in Care Council represents the views of children and young people in care.

It is currently made up of eight young people, mainly care-leavers.

Their role is to ensure the promises made within Hackney's 'Pledge to Looked-after Children' are kept.

The Children in Care Council is responsible for working with the looked-after children's services, ensuring that all children and young people in care receive a quality service.

Leaflet available in the download section of this page. 

Contact the Participation Manager on: 07772 227 319

Youth Provider Networks

The four youth provider networks give organisations, projects and services in the borough the best chance to influence policy and decision-making regarding youth provision.

Find out more: Hackney’s youth charter explains how Hackney makes sure that the views of children and young people are heard and included in making decisions

Find out more: The Hackney promise to looked-after children

CCG - Get Involved

Get Involved is the City and Hackney Commissioning Group’s participation iniciative.   

Their aim is to put the patient at the centre of all they do.

They want patients to feel that they are being listened to, and see that patient views are making a difference to how health services are arranged for City and Hackney.

By becoming involved, patients can help shape the healthcare services that they use. 

Find out more: City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group – Get involved

CAMHS (Child and Adolesent Mental Health Service) :

CAMHS run regular participation groups for young people and parent so they can make their service responsive to the needs of those who use it.

They are always looking for parents, carers and young people to attend these sessions. 

Find out more: 0207 014 7071

Healthwatch Hackney

Healthwatch's mission is to improve health and social care provision and outcomes for people in Hackney.

They work to ensure that treatment and care is provided with respect and dignity, valuing diversity, encouraging participation and working together.

Healthwatch act as independent champion for residents and users ensuring that the voices of people across the borough are heard in order to influence decision makers.

Regular "Community Voices" sessions are help and consultation and coproduction events take place on specific topics. 

Find out more: Healthwatch Hackney

Hackney Informed Voices Enterprise (HIVE)

Hackney Informed Voices Enterprise (HIVE) is a new local social enterprise made up of people with a learning disability. They have been working with the national charity POhWER, Hackney Council and the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) to develop and offer innovative approaches to promote better understanding of disability issues and benefit others who have a learning disability.

Find out more: Hackney Informed Voices Enterprise - H.I.V.E.

Other services for young people with SEND involved in consultations:

Transition Health Outreach Team have assisted young people to take part in consultations leading up to the implementation of the reforms.

The Children’s Disability Forum City and Hackney is a group commissioned by City ans Hackney CCG in response to consulatations with parents and young people.

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service) have run past and recent consultations with young people.

In addition to these Hackney Community College and BSix Brooke House 6th Form Colllege have groups of students who have taken part in consulting exercises.  

We are always interested in hearing from young people or parent carers willing to take part in specific work on consultations. Contact us here

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