What is the SEND local Offer?
The government has listened to what parents say their experience of services is like and have put in place a number of things to bring about improvements. One of these is the ‘Local Offer’. In 2012 the former Children’s Minister Sarah Teather explained that:
“The current system is outdated and not fit for purpose. Thousands of families have had to battle for months, even years, with different agencies to get the specialist care their children need. It is unacceptable they are forced to go from pillar to post, facing agonising delays and bureaucracy to get support, therapy and equipment”.
“It is a huge step forward to require health, education and care services to work together. The reforms will give parents better information and a comprehensive package of support that meets their needs”.
Local authorities and other services will set out a local offer of all services available to support children who are disabled or who have SEN and their families. The local offer will enable families to understand what services they can access and what support they can expect from a range of local agencies, including from the local authority, health services, schools, leisure services and the voluntary sector. The offer will include provision from birth to 25, across education, health and social care.
The potential outcomes of the Local Offer are:
* To provide clarity and confidence for parents and children.
* To support earlier intervention.
* To reduce the need for assessment.
* To comprehensively assess a child’s situation more efficiently.
* To identify need and gaps in provision.
*To provide an evidence base for improving progress and securing better outcomes, at school and local level.
For independent information please contact the Local Authority’s Families information Service- http://nottinghamshire.familyservicedirectory.org.uk/kb5/nottinghamshire/fsd/local_offer.page