Local Offer Feedback Report 2016
The Local Offer has been available for two years since its introduction in September 2014. The Local Offer has two key purposes:
- To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and
- To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children, their parents, disabled young people and those with SEN, together with service providers in its development and review.
Local Authorities are required to publish a summary of comments and feedback on the local offer at least annually, together with the LA’s responses to those comments.
Children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers are invited to comment on Gloucestershire’s Local Offer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Providing feedback on the content and accessibility of the Local Offer contributes to its continued development and responsiveness to people’s needs.
The three areas for comment are:
- the content of the Local Offer, which includes the quality of existing provision and any gaps in the provision,
- the accessibility of information about the Local Offer
- how the Local Offer has been/is being developed or reviewed.
The comments will be published once a year in a ‘you said – we did’ format.
Gloucestershire County Council has utilised a variety of channels to engage with parent carers and young people:
- Face to face consultation during outreach sessions
- Via Email
- Parent Carer forums
- Young people’s forums
- Contacting families and young people via email through The Key (Gloucestershire’s Disabled Children and Young People’s Register)
- Related opportunities e.g. customer feedback related to EHC Plan process.
Parent Carer Feedback
“I was so pleased to find Communication and Interaction primary centres listed in the directory, it has always been very difficult to find them.”
“Can there be an entry on the Local Offer about FACE (Functional Analysis of Care Environments) assessments as parents don’t know what it is”
“The positive feedback on providing information on Communication and Interaction centres was shared with the Service Lead. This encourages services to use the Local Offer to share useful information with parent/carers.’
“The request has been forwarded to the appropriate Team manager within GCC who has prepared some information to add to the Local Offer.”
“When promoting the Local Offer, it is most helpful to be shown and or/told about the different services and support we can access for our child/ren and families”
“We attended outreach sessions with an iPad to demonstrate the Local Offer interactively and offer the opportunity for parents to search the website for themselves.”
Young People’s Feedback
“Social media is essential way of reaching young people”
“The Family Information service has created a closed Facebook group (The Key – Gloucestershire) for young disabled people (aged 16-25 yrs) to promote information and opportunities, including employment opportunities.”
“We want lots of opportunities to mix with both disabled and non-disabled peers in a whole variety of ways, e.g. playing sports, performing live music, dance, acting or to socialise in pubs, cafes and restaurants.”
“We update the Local Offer with as many leisure and social activities as we are aware of to ensure young people have access to information on a wide range of activities in their area”.
“Disabled Young People want the same things that all teens and young adults want”
“Don’t overuse stereotypes, more online games and the use of You Tube videos”
“We are creating a young people’s Local Offer, incorporating YouTube videos to make information more accessible to young people.”
Disabled Children and Young People’s Voices Project 2015
Gloucestershire Voices, Physical Inclusion Network Gloucestershire (PING) (now called Inclusion Gloucestershire) and DROP were invited by Gloucestershire County Council to work together on the Children and Young Disabled People’s Voices Project. The project covered a wide remit including discussion about the Local Offer.
Local Offer feedback from the report:
- Gloucestershire’s Local Offer web site needs updating, it is not very user friendly and would not appeal to children.
- Many young people with disabilities and their families in Gloucestershire are finding out about services and organisations through word of mouth, many had not heard of the Local Offer.
- Nationally there do not appear to be many Local Offer web sites that specifically aim towards disabled children and young people, but are rather, information sites for parents; this is something that Gloucestershire could take the lead on.
- Using social media, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr could make the Local Offer a more exiting space which could include pages specifically for children and disabled young people to do things, discuss and exchange views.
- The Local Offer could become an example of good practice if it is redesigned (in partnership with young disabled people) so that it is much more than a one way information site.
Customer Feedback on EHC Plan process, Gloucestershire County Council – April 2016
In April 2016, the SEND Monitoring and School Support Team contacted a number of parent carers and young people (16+) who had completed local authority questionnaires following the EHC Plan process. The people contacted had indicated that they would welcome a follow up conversation.
Ten parents responded to say that they would be happy to have a further and more in-depth conversation about what they had experienced during the process that we, the local authority and our partners in Health, Social Care and Education providers could learn from.
One of the main themes that were shared during conversations was around promoting the Local Offer. Parents said that it was most helpful to be shown and/or told about the different services and support they could access for their child/ren and families.
Gloucestershire County Council has listened to feedback from parent carers and young people about the Local Offer, and their experience of using it. From the feedback received, it is clear that the Local Offer needs an update. Work is now underway and the Local Offer looks very different, incorporating an area dedicated to Young People. The upgrade will also improve accessibility for users. Young people have been invited to co-produce the Local Offer and we will continue to work with them using as many routes as possible for engagement.
It is clear that we still need to continue to promote the Local Offer as many families and young people are not aware of it. This will be done through outreach sessions, newsletters, emails and also through promotional work with professionals who have direct contact with parents/carers and young people.