Wednesday, 6 February 2013

How parent & carer forums can make use of the law

Just a quick post - I came across this video today (thanks to Karen for signposting me).  Its from Steve Broach, Barrister with Doughty Street Chambers and all round super hero.  Steve is talking about how parent and carer forums can make use of the law to support their members.

He discusses the responsibilities parent/carer forums have under the Data Protection Act, then focuses on:

  • The Freedom of Information Act (a favourite of mine) and how to use it to obtain information from statutory bodies that may not otherwise be forthcoming about the way services will be configured or commissioned

  • The Education Act and the responsibilities this confers on local authorities to meet the educational needs of children with additional needs.  He also touches briefly on the proposed changes to SEN law.

  • The responsibilities of Primary Care Trusts to meet complex health needs via a continuing health care assessment

  • Section 17 of the Children Act which confers on local autorities the duty to assess 'children in need'.  All disabled children are defined as 'children in need' and as all children with autism are (in the eyes of the law) disabled, all children with autism are entitled to an assessment of need.
Steve makes the point that if parent/carer forums know the legal responsibilities of statutory services (health, education and social care) then they will be well placed to advise or guide their constituent members.  Here is what he has to say:

Please share with your local parent/carer forum.