PARENTS are being given the chance to learn about political changes which could affect the way they care for their children.
Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent and Carer Council has spent £3,000 on staging a free event tomorrow, to inform those looking after youngsters with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities about changes which will come into practice later this year.
On September 1, the Government will implement the Children and Families Bill 2013, which will see different authorities work together and share information about young people with special educational needs and disabilities, so parents and carers only have to register with one body, who will then recommend support groups and other facilities in the area.
The group, started in 2009 by parents and carers of SEN children, wants to highlight the new Education, Health and Social Care plans (EHC) which will come into practice in September, so more parents and carers are prepared.
Chairwoman of the Parent and Carer Council, Maureen Morris, said: “This is actually fantastic legislation.
“We are pleased about it, assuming it works.
“In the past, health and education have not worked together, but this bill is going to bring about a whole different way of doing things.
“Because it is a whole new way of working, the question is who is going to co-ordinate it until we get there.”
Mum-of-two, Maureen, of Blackfell, whose daughter Caitlin, 20, has complex needs, added: “Information and knowledge is power, so if people know about it, or know someone who can help them, then they are prepared for it.”
Other changes expected to come into power include the SEN system being extended from birth to 25, instead of the age of 19, plans to improve adoption and reforms to the family justice system.
The Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields Parent and Carer Council event will take place at the Stadium of Light from 10am to 2pm. Registration will start at 9.30am.
To book a place or find out more information about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.