Kids First Steering group and representative work
Kids First steering group
Kids First is led by a steering group of volunteer parents and carers. Merton Mencap also employs two part-time staff to support the steering group and help take forward the business of Kids First.
The Kids First steering group currently consists of nine volunteer parents and carers who meet once or twice a term. They discuss funding, local issues and try to make sure that the Kids First parent forum continues to meet the needs of all parents of disabled and special needs children in the Borough.
By being a steering group member, you can develop your own skills, feel a sense of achievement and also help others.
If you are a parent or carer and would like to volunteer to become a steering group member, contact us to find out more.
Kids First representative work
Our Kids First representatives are parents and carers who volunteer their time to ensure the voice of parents and carers is heard. Representatives receive support and training on how to be a representative from other parents.
By being a representative, you will see first-hand how services are planned and run and gain some insight into the workings of the Local Authority, Health, the Voluntary Sector and so on. Representatives attend meetings about subjects of specific interest to them. At these meetings, representatives have an opportunity to raise any problems and issues that have been identified by parents, although all sources remain confidential (unless parents wish otherwise).
Each workstream has two or three Kids First parent representatives so that you do not have to go alone to any meeting. New representatives receive support, advice and training from experienced parents.
Current meetings which Kids First representatives attend are:
- Special Educational Needs
- Short Breaks (Integrated Team covering overnight respite, social care and holiday activities)
- Post-16 Transition (any service affecting young people from 14-25)
- Play and Leisure (Parks, Leisure Centres etc)
Kids First is also a member of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF). We attend regular regional cluster meetings for the London South region.
How will you benefit by becoming a Kids First representative?
You will receive training, learn about how services are planned and run, and you may be able to help other parents by making policies and services better for families. This work may build your confidence and give you a wider perspective about how the children and young people with disabilities are supported by professionals. If you would like to volunteer as a Kids First representative, please contact us.
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