By law, the council has to consult and accept feedback from parents, carers and young people so that we can improve the Local Offer even more.
We have worked with, consulted and engaged widely with parents and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), as well as receiving lots of feedback, and this has helped to develop the Local Offer website to what it is today.
We will continue to consult with our parents and young people so that this site is continually improving and is meeting the needs of families. We also want to work with you and it'd be great if you'd like to get involved.
Camden’s Local Offer has been produced in partnership with colleagues from health, social care, education, and the voluntary sector, but most importantly, it has been produced in partnership with parents, carers and young people.
We initially co-produced the first version of our Local Offer with active participation from parents. The first version went live in September 2014, and we were aware we wanted and needed to make further changes to improve its accessibility.
After that, we consulted wider with a number of events that parents, carers and young people attended during October 2014. Invites were widely sent and we had attendance from parents and carers with children with a range of needs and disabilities. This process also included an event with young people at the Reactive Forum in December 2014.
After this feedback, the Camden Local Offer was improved taking into account the wider feedback received. The refreshed Local Offer went live in May 2015.
Feedback is welcomed on a continuous basis, and this feedback will be used to improve the Local Offer further.
We have a Local Offer steering group with multi-agency represenation that meets termly with the aim of ensuring the Local Offer is accurate, relevant and up to date and as a forum to ensure the views and involvement of young people and parents is maintained. Two parents sit on this group, and views from young people are also included, for example through feedback or via a wiki.
You Said - We Did
When I met with you last on the 4th October 2018
You said – communication with us was lacking and you didn’t always know if we had received your email.
- From January 2019 we will have formal communication points in place as part of the Statutory Assessment (SA) process. This means you will be kept updated at each stage of the assessment and can ask us any questions.
- Now all our generic inboxes have an automatic reply, so you know we have received your email. If you do receive an automatic reply or haven’t heard back from us within 5 working days, please contact the named senior officer. (Details on the next page).
- You asked for clarity over who your caseworker was. We have included the names, contact details and what areas they cover of all caseworkers. Please remember these may be subject to change in the event of any unplanned long-term absences.
You said making a transport eligibility request and our responses to transport appeals took too long, you also said our appeal letters weren’t always clear.
- You told us you weren’t sure who was best to contact about transport eligibility requests, so we have developed a generic inbox specifically for transport eligibility requests. Please use the generic transport inbox for any enquiries relating to transport eligibility criteria or appeals.
- We have reviewed the transport appeals letter, so it is easier to understand the reasons for the decision. All appeal decisions will be made by a senior officer to ensure consistency of decision making.
- You said it takes a long time to process a transport eligibility request. We have reviewed our internal systems and completed further training with staff, so they are clear about criteria. It is our expectation that transport eligibility requests should be processed within 14 working days going forward.
- We have set up a transport user group so we can work together to improve processes.
You said - there had been delays in the statutory assessment process.
- We know there have been delays for which we are sorry. We believe that by the end of December 2018 the backlog will have been cleared and all outstanding EHC Plans issued. We have been working closely with staff to ensure they are fully aware of the statutory timescales and how important these are.
- We have improved our monitoring processes so senior officers can support staff to ensure Plans are issued on time.
You said – you felt that advice in EHC Plans was not always specific and were worried about compliancy.
- We want to ensure every EHC Plan is compliant to the legislative framework and we have put in place training for all staff. Quality Assurance processes have been improved for all new plans being issued following the statutory assessment process. SENDIASS have provided feedback to us to say they are already seeing an improvement in the quality of new EHC Plans as a result of this.
- We know there is more work to do and are also identifying ways in which we can improve the quality of Plans following Annual Review (AR).
New developments SA process
- We are a working with our Early Help team to put additional advice and information in place as part of the statutory assessment process. This additional should be in place and fully embedded by February 2019 half term.
- We are aware there has been a backlog in processing annual reviews for which we apologise. We have taken on a full-time member of staff on a fixed term basis so the backlog can be addressed. Part of that role will also be to embed robust monitoring systems to ensure our teams are processing reviews in a timely way going forward.
You said there needs to be more employment opportunities for young people as part of their preparation for adulthood.
- We have created a new role to work with a focus on securing supported internships and employment opportunities. We have advertised this fixed post for 18 months. The SEND Employment Officer will be the strategic lead for increasing the number and quality of supported employment opportunities in Camden for young people with Education Health & Care (EHC) plans and adults with disabilities.
Contact E-mail Addresses
Darryl.Prezens@camden.gov.uk (Full time).
Dan.Oakley@camden.gov.uk Senior 14-25 (Part time).
Stephanie.Baiardo@camden.gov.uk Senior 0-14 (Full time)
Assessment Case Co-ordinators
Judith.Dixon@camden.gov.uk (Full time)
Rhian.Allman@camden.gov.uk (Full time)
Michelle.Mannion@camden.gov.uk (Part time)
Jemila.Habib@camden.gov.uk (Full time)
Simon.Hulme@camden.gov.uk (Full time)
Anne.O'Regan@camden.gov.uk (Part time)
Janice.Elliott@camden.gov.uk (Part time)
Karen.Kingsley@camden.gov.uk (Part time)
For transport eligibly please contact SENTransportRequests@camden.gov.uk
For general enquires please contact SEN.Enquiries@camden.gov.uk