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Meet our Scottish Facilitators

One challenge that parents have told us that they struggle with is dealing with statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. We listened to this concern and have funded research to explore practical and effective ways of resolving the commonly occurring problems families face when dealing with public bodies. As a result we produced our Accessing Public Services toolkit and started running workshops alongside our toolkit.

Following on from the success of both the toolkit and accompanying workshop, the toolkit has been adapted so that it is relevant for families who have a child with a brain condition who live in Scotland. The toolkit is free to download from our website.

To help us run our Scottish toolkit workshops we are delighted to have taken on 5 parent/carers, all of whom have children with a brain condition and who have also experienced the difficulties that many families face in accessing public services.

We value their experience, skills and knowledge of disabled children and the Scottish social care system. This is our opportunity to introduce them to you.

If you are an organisation in Scotland and would like to hold one of our workshops, please get in touch with Beverley Hitchcock on beverleyh@cerebra.org.uk

Gail

My name is Gail McKeitch. Whilst born and bred in Glasgow, I now live in Aberdeenshire and have done for 30yrs. I’m married with three adult sons, two of whom have an autistic spectrum disorder. I have previously worked within HMRC, National Autistic Society, VSA Carers Centre and more recently with a private social care company. As a volunteer I facilitate an autism specific support group known as NAS Ellon Branch as well having my own autism consultancy. Yes, I like to keep busy and thrive on a challenge. Looking forward to meeting you.

Laura

I am mum to Tom who is 5, and has a range of complex medical issues including cardiac, respiratory and epilepsy.  Tom would fall into the category of a child with exceptional health care needs, so needs round the clock highly specialised medical care.  We have had some very positive experiences with accessing support, but also some extremely challenging ones.  I am currently part of the Exceptional Families project working with Kindred and the CEN clinical network to improve the services and support available for families like ours. In order to be a strong advocate for Tom, I have had to arm myself with as much information as I could, be very clear about articulating his needs, and not be afraid to have difficult and sometimes emotional conversations with professionals. I’m hoping to help other parents to do the same.

Sam

Hi, I’m Sam and I live near Auchterarder with my husband, 12 year old son, 9 year old daughter and 2 cats! I spend my time caring for my son who was initially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 2, re-diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia at 6, being a Mum, working as a volunteer adviser with Citizien’s Advice and trying (badly) to get fit. Before kids, I spent many years working as an IT Consultant including doing lots of facilitation. I’m really looking forward to helping to run the new workshops in Scotland.

Sharron

I’m Sharron Farrell and I’m the mother of 6 children (think Old Woman who lived in a Shoe!). My eldest son has severe autism and attends a Communication Base in a Mainstream School. I have personal, voluntary, and professional experience regarding the challenges families face in order to access the services they need. I have a background in Biochemistry, Teaching, IT, and Autism.
 

Judith

Hi, my name is Judith Knox and I live in Fife with my husband and 10 year old son. My son has complex needs and I am his main advocate in ensuring he receives the support he requires to fully meet his needs. Having been employed within both the NHS and local authority Social Work Service for many years I was fortunate to have an understanding of the local landscape and systems.  This has been a great help in navigating my way through the bureaucracy. To have had access to a resource like the Cerebra Accessing Public Services Toolkit at that time would have been so helpful. My journey to access services and appropriate support for my son continues.  I am currently on a year’s career break to allow me to concentrate on accessing appropriate educational placement for my son. I am thrilled to be part of the team bringing this Toolkit to life across Scotland.

 

 

Accessing Public Services Toolkit Workshops

Our Accessing Public Services Toolkit Workshops are designed to help families access the services that their children need, and are entitled to.

Our popular Accessing Public Services Toolkit aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. The toolkit aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them. You can download the Toolkit here.

These free workshops will use the information and resources in our Accessing Public Services Toolkit to help parents and carers, and the professionals who support them, to access the services that their children need. They will be delivered by a Cerebra professional together with a parent/carer who has first hand experience.

Each workshop lasts for around 3-4 hours and includes a presentation on the toolkit and case studies for group work. There will also be the opportunity to discuss and share experiences. The workshops are provided free of charge.

Workshop dates and locations

10th January 2018 – Dumfries, Scotland
9th February 2018 – Castleford, West Yorkshire
14th February 2018 – Birkenhead, Wirral
21st February 2018 – Stranraer, Scotland
20th March 2018 – Macclesfield, Cheshire
22nd March 2018 – Plymouth, Devon
27th April 2018 – Warrington
5th July 2018 – Kings Heath, Birmingham

If you would like to book a place at any of the above workshops please contact Beverley Hitchcock at beverleyh@cerebra.org.uk.

Coming soon:

We’ll bring you more details of these workshops as soon as they are confirmed:

  • Devon
  • Lincolnshire
  • Warwickshire
  • Leicestershire
  • London
  • Coventry
  • Berkshire
  • Cornwall
  • Hampshire

We are currently looking for groups to host our Problem-solving Toolkit workshops. All we would ask is that the group cover the hire of a venue (preferably with an overhead projector and wifi access), refreshments, publicity and bookings.

If you are interested in holding a workshop, then please contact Beverley Hitchcock at beverleyh@cerebra.org.uk.

New look for Cerebra’s Legal Advice Project

We are launching a new look for our Legal Advice Project which provides practical solutions to the legal problems families face.

Our Legal Entitlements Research Project has been going from strength to strength since it started in October 2013 and we’ve learned a lot about the problems parents face in getting access to services for their children.

The past few months have been a particularly eventful time for the project. Professor Luke Clements, who runs the scheme, recently moved from Cardiff University to a new post as Professor of Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds. We’re delighted that the project will continue under Professor Clements’ direction at Leeds, which has a pioneering Centre for Disability Studies (CDS), bringing together scholars from a range of academic disciplines across the University. You can read more about the University’s ground-breaking work in a Disability News Service article. We’re grateful to colleagues at Cardiff University for all their hard work and commitment in establishing the project and we look forward to having other opportunities to work together again in future.

We’ve also welcomed a new Research Assistant to the team at Leeds, Sorcha McCormack, who will be working with Professor Clements to develop the project.

In light of these developments, we feel that this is the perfect time to relaunch the project with a new name – the Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project. We’re committed to providing practical solutions to the legal problems families face and we wanted our new name to reflect our problem-solving approach. The project is all about making research relevant to families in their everyday lives.

We’ve also launched a new look website, with links to our Problem-Solving Toolkit, template letters, parent guides and other resources. We aim to add more resources to the site as the project develops. Our goal is to help parents get the legal information they need to address problems in getting access to services.

If you want to learn more about the scheme, have a look at our updated Project Guidelines. If you’d like to ask for help, please fill in our online form.

We’re always looking for new ways of sharing legal information with with families – if you have any suggestions, please contact us at probono@cerebra.org.uk.

Accessing Public Services Toolkit

Accessing Public Services Toolkit cover imageThis Accessing Public Services Toolkit aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. This toolkit aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them.

You can download the Toolkit below.

Download Problem-Solving Toolkit PDF

Published 2016. This edition 2017. Review date 2020.


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