Taking the Next Step


Coming out of a time of crisis - thoughts from PACC  

SEND families are often used to dealing with crisis, a child being ill and rushed to hospital or family relationships being placed under enormous strain.  In fact, sometimes life can seem more ‘normal’ and ‘easier’ when you are in crisis than when you are not.  You focus on the essentials and the rest of everyday life recedes, all that matters is dealing with what is happening at that moment. 

The past weeks in lockdown may have been like that for many SEND families, it hasn’t been easy, but all our energies have gone into getting through the crisis, adjusting our expectations and routines and tackling new challenges, to ensure that our families stay safe and well.  Now however, as the sense of crisis lessens and everyday requirements start to come to the fore, life may actually start to be in some ways even more demanding.  New decisions need to be made and there are more demands on you as ‘normality’ reasserts itself and life starts to change again.

This might be your experience at the moment, it certainly is ours.  We are having to start to think about the return to school, how that will affect our children, what will the new routine be, will it be safe?  In addition to this maybe your own work commitments are increasing and not to mention the challenge of getting the whole family to the hairdressers! At times like this having clear and accurate information about what your options are is essential, so that you can realistically plan what is possible and what is not.  It’s also often helpful to hear what others in similar situations have done and what their experience has been.  Hearing these experiences can make the next steps seem a little less scary and help to identify what you need to know to plan your next steps.

This is why in the second edition of the Shropshire SEND newsletter PACC has asked parent carers to share their experience of returning to, or for some, remaining in school.  The next steps in this strange situation we find ourselves in, will for many SEND families, be as difficult as going into lockdown.  Some families may have found that their child has thrived in lockdown, with many of the pressures of ‘normal’ life removed and the concern might be about returning to what was a more challenging life.  Others will be desperate for the additional support that school can provide, but really worried about taking that step out of the secure bubbles we have created in our homes. While for some it might seem that this crisis is passing, for many people including SEND families, the impact of lockdown will be long lasting and the need for increased support and understanding will continue.  The important thing to remember however, is that you are not taking this next step on your own.

You can read the Shropshire SEND newsletter on the Local Offer   https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKSHROPSHIRE/bulletins/296cd68

PACC are continuing to work with Shropshire Council and Shropshire CCG to ensure that SEND families have access to the information they need.  To do this we need to hear from you about what you want to know about and what questions you currently have.  Email any questions to enquiries@paccshropshire.org.uk  and we will aim to supply the information requested in the next newsletter.


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