Frequently Asked Questions
Who is PACC?
PACC is a local parent carer forum, that provides opportunities for parent carers of children and young people with any disability or additional need and aged 0-25 years, to use their experiences to influence local decision making and improve services. PACC is run by a Management Board who are all parent carers and who have a wide range of experience. PACC is registered with the Charity Commission and Management Board members are also Trustees. Board members stand for election annually at our AGM. Further details about the PACC management Board are available in the About Us section of the PACC website. We also have a number of parent carer representatives who work with us and increase our capacity to attend meetings and gather information.
How is PACC funded?
Each year PACC is able to submit a grant application of up to £15,000 for the Department For Education Participation Grant. The grant application process is manged by Contact a Family on behalf of the DFE. In 2017/18 PACC is also receiving additional funding from Shropshire Council, this funding has been specifically provided to maintain the Participation Co-ordinator and Administrator roles. Shropshire Council have allocated this funding to PACC, from the additional funding that the DFE has given to each Local Authority to support the implementation of the SEND Reforms. On occasions PACC will receive other funding from individual grant applications for specific projects or will receive payment for providing participation services to third parties.
Are you an impartial organisation?
Yes. PACC is managed purely by parent carers and is a stand-alone organisation. We have no political affiliations and do not provide any commissioned services. In our role as ‘critical friends’ we do work closely with decision makers in education, health and social care, to ensure that parent carers experiences and views influence service design and delivery.
How can I help PACC?
PACC is reliant on your support. By becoming a member you show your support for PACC and help us to understand the needs of SEND families in Shropshire. We also need to hear about your experiences of services, what worked or what didn’t work for your family. To influence decision making PACC needs evidence about what needs to change and why, your voice is that evidence. We also want to hear what you think of the work that PACC does and where we can improve what we do.
What does a PACC Parent Carer Representative do?
The main role of PACC is to ensure that parent carers have a voice in local decision making. To do this we need to have representatives at meeting where SEND service provision is being discussed. Parent Carer Representatives attend meetings on behalf of PACC to gather information about service development and to provide the parent carer perspective in any discussions. It is important that Parent Carer Representative share the general views and experiences of parent carers in Shropshire and not just their own. This means that Parent Carer Representatives also need to attend monthly PACC Board meetings so that they are familiar with the issues being raise by the Shropshire Parent Carer community and to report back to the Board on any meetings attended.
How do I share my experience?
There are lots of ways to share your experiences with PACC. After each Board meeting PACC holds an open participation sessions, which any Shropshire parent carer can attend and raise issues directly with the Board. We also have an active presence on social media and have several closed groups, where the discussion can only be seen by members of the group. You must be a parent carer to join these chat groups. You can also contact PACC by email or telephone if you want to speak to us about a particular experience. PACC is keen to hear about good experiences as well as those where you have had concerns.
How does my feedback make a difference?
The feedback from Shropshire parent carers is crucial to our work. The issues that parent carers identify in service delivery inform our activity and priorities. It provides information about what works or what doesn’t work from a families’ perspective and means that we can identify where the way services are delivered could be improved. The Children and Families Act requires that local services are designed in partnership with families and so local decision makers must evidence that they are doing this.
How do I become a member?
Go to the ‘Join PACC’ page on our website and click on the button that will take you to our membership form. We ask for some basic information about your family to help us to build a picture of the needs of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs in Shropshire and to ensure that we can stay in touch with you. As a PACC member you will receive a termly newsletter in the post and regular email updates about our work and other news you may be interested in.
My child does not have a disability or additional need, can I still become a member?
Only parent carers of children or young people who have a disability or additional need can become members of PACC. We are however happy to share the information that we produce with anyone who is interested in the issues that we are trying to address. If you are not a parent carer you can contact us to go on our practitioners mailing list to keep up to date with our work.
Can PACC help me with my individual situation?
PACC cannot provide individual advice or guidance to parent carers. On some occasions where there is an issue being experienced by a number of families PACC will work with individual families to develop case studies, to inform our discussions with local decision makers. PACC is able to signpost families to other services that are specifically funded to provide advice and guidance for parent carers and to resources and information that parent carers might find useful in their individual circumstances.
What is the NNPCF?
The National Network of Parent Carer Forums represents local parent carer forums at a national level. All local parent carer forums, which are funded via a participation grant from the Department For Education, are members of the NNPCF. The NNPCF national steering group is made up of parent carer representatives from each of the English regions. The regional representatives meet regularly with local forums at regional meetings, providing a pathway for local issues to be considered on a national level. The NNPCF works closely with the DFE, the Department of Health and other Government departments to raise the profile of the issues impacting on parent carers and children and young people with SEND.
What is the Commissioner?
PACC works with Commissioners for both Shropshire Council and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Commissioners lead on the development and procurement of services, based on local need. They oversee the tender process for services and play a key role in contract monitoring.