About Us

The National Network of Parent Carer Forums is a network of over 150 Parent Carer Forums from across England.

The NNPCF is a membership led organisation. Our membership is made up of (up to) 151 local parent carer forums where they are in receipt of the ‘Parent Carer Participation Grant’ which is currently administered by Contact for families with disabled children.

These member forums are arranged into 9 regions, these follow the same regional breakdown as the Department for Education with each of the regions appointing a regional representative to act as their regional steering group member within the NNPCF national steering group.

  1. North East & Cumbria
  2. Yorkshire & Humber
  3. North West
  4. East Midlands
  5. West Midlands
  6. Eastern England
  7. London
  8. South East
  9. South West

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The NNPCF is a network of local forums who come together, working together to effect local, regional, and national service improvement through participation and co production with parent carers. Their work is focused locally but has developed regionally due to the changing nature of regional commissioning processes that now have significant impact on local service development and strategic planning. Their local and regional work greatly influences national developments and conversations.

Each Parent Carer Forum includes parent carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs / Disabilities whom have a full range of experiences in Health, Education and Social Care due to their children’s wide range of needs.

Parent Carers within the network total over 80,000*: these parent carers contribute via their forums to local, regional, and national developments and discussions.

We continue to develop closer working relationships with Local Authorities, Health Authorities, and other relevant strategic and commissioning bodies and services at all levels, including local working with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). These improved working relationships offer parent carer forums further opportunities to inform and influence strategic and operational service commissioning, design, and developments to improve the experiences of families on the ground in their local areas.

Regional working is becoming more important as many local authorities look to their regional Association of Directors of Children Services (ADCS), Local Government Associations (LGA), and Clinical Networks for guidance towards developing and improving local policies and processes. Their are also movements towards regional commissioning activities that fall within the duty to coproduce and provide participation opportunities for children and young people with SEN and Disabilities and their parent carers. This means that our regional parent carer forum networks can play a vital role in enabling strategic parent carer participation, brining local experiences to the table to ensure that regional activities reflect local needs.

*this is based on the membership forums own membership base, which becomes a part of the NNPCF wider membership by proxy and is calculated annually through grant management processes.

NNPCF Priorities and Objectives

Our Steering Group Members operate within their regional parent carer forum networks and the national steering group to provide the evidence and experience of families that our member parent carer forums connect with locally. This feedback provides a unique insight into the impact of policy, service design, and commissioning has for families and their children and young people.

Using this feedback, the NNPCF steering group have developed a set of national objectives and priorities that provide key areas of interest for our network membership.

Please see our NNPCF priorities and objectives document. This document will be revisited annually to review relevance and references, amending and updating where appropriate.

These objectives and priorities form the basis of our Talking Points documents. These Talking Points take a closer look at the detail surrounding our objectives and priorities. They explore the feedback we receive from our member forums shaping our discussions on these topic areas and providing a information to support and inform NNPCF engagement across the subject.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the National Network do?

The National Network’s job is to address the big issues, champion specific themes, and with Local Parent Carer Forums, identify common priorities, and to ensure that information and experiences are shared so that service delivery can be influenced at a national level.  Members of the National Network are also likely to represent the views of Local Parent Carer Forums on national strategic planning groups.

It is extremely important that Parent and Carer Forums continue to develop and that parents and carers of disabled children and young people are involved in local and national planning and decision making.  Whilst Local Parent Carer Forums continue to work with their local areas,  the National Network will provide a co-ordinated method of ensuring that Local Parent Carer Forums are kept updated about national developments and that parent carers have a voice and are represented in national strategic planning about services and provision that will affect disabled children, young people and their families,

We do this through our regular communications, and through the regional representatives providing regular updates and opportunities to gather views from parent carers at regional network events.

What are the aims of the NNPCF?

The aim of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) is to ensure that good practice, knowledge and shared expertise about parent participation continues to grow and strengthen, and to develop a cohesive and coherent structure to sustain and develop the effectiveness of parent carer forums across England, individually and as a collective voice.

Why have a regional structure?

Since the network started and parent carer forums have forms and developed we have found it helpful to meet regularly with each other to share ideas, and gain support. As such, there are nine regions across England, and local parent carer forums have been invited to be part of their regional networks.  These regions make is easier to enable forums to work together and fit in with the same geographical regions as the Department for Education.

Who selects regional representatives?

Regional representatives are nominated by their own forums to represent the region.  When a regional representative comes to the end of their term of office, they will reapply for the post along with any others who may wish to undertake the role.  There is then a selection panel which includes forum leads from that region who selects their own representative from the candidates.

Who are the members of the NNPCF?

NNPCF membership is made up of local parent carer forums. In order to be designated a local parent carer forum, the group must be in receipt of the Department for Education Parent Carer Forum Participation Grant administered by our partner organisation Contact.

Some of the minimum criteria to receive the DfE parent carer forum participation grant include:

  • Open to all parent carers of children with special educational needs and / or disability (regardless of formal diagnosis)
  • That the Forum is pan disability – Across all disabilities and conditions/spectrums
  • That Forums are for parent carers of Children and young people aged 0-25 years
  • That Forums welcomes and actively encourages inclusion of parent carers from all sectors of community (BME, faiths, LGBT, gender and other minorities)
  • That the forum is involved in issues across service boundaries (health, education, social care, and leisure)