How to Get Involved

I am a parent or carer - how do I get involved?

The Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice acknowledges that parents hold key information and have a crucial role to play in their children's education. Parents have unique strengths, knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child's needs and the best ways of supporting them.

The work of professionals and organisations can be more effective when parents are involved, and account is taken of their wishes, feelings and perspectives on their children’s development. This is even more important when a child has special educational needs and / or disabilities.

We often use the term coproduction when we talk about parents getting involved in services, and this term refers to a way of working, whereby everybody works together on an equal basis to create a service or come to a decision which works for them all.

In Cumbria there is an organisation called SEND Alliance Cumbria (SENDAC).  SENDAC is Cumbria’s statutory parent / carer forum, and their aim is to work to coproduce services across Cumbria and ensure that parent / family carers feel listened to and valued by both the professionals and the organisations who deliver SEND services.

I am an adult who lives in Cumbria - how do I get involved?

Have you ever thought about becoming a foster carer for a child with disabilities?

The Westmorland and Furness Shared Care Scheme offers short breaks for children with disabilities, and links carers with a family who have a child or children with disabilities.

As a Shared Carer we aim to match you with a child who you can care for on a regular basis for a weekend, a holiday or occasional overnight stays, building up the child’s trust and confidence.

The child benefits from making new friends and having different experiences. You and your family can have your life enriched by the experience of establishing a positive relationship with a disabled child and will gain confidence with disabilities and disability related issues. Whilst you are caring for the child, their parents can have a break; perhaps spending time with their other children or simply re-charging their batteries.

We do not expect you to have expertise or experience with disability. Training, supervision, support and encouragement will be provided by our fostering support and supervision team and by the child’s parents. Parents were not experts when their child was born with a disability. They have learned new skills. You can too

I am an activities provider - how do I get involved?

If you are interested in becoming a provider of Targeted Short Breaks Activities, please see below details of where and how to apply to join the framework.

All of the Council’s tenders are advertised and tendered using the Chest North West Procurement Portal.

The Targeted Short Breaks Activities tender is now live and can be found using the following reference: 

Chest Reference: DN550664

At this stage, the tender invites providers to join the Framework. Once a provider has successfully joined the Framework, they will be eligible to bid to deliver specific Targeted Short Breaks Activities via mini competitions.


Page last reviewed: 27/02/2024

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