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PODS (Parents Opening Doors)

Parent Carer Forum

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An independently run school that receives government funding. Many academies have converted from maintained schools. Academies may be run by businesses, other schools, charities or voluntary groups. Academies are not controlled by the local authority and have a lot of freedom to set their own rules.

Help to enable you to get the care and support you need that is independent of your local council. An advocate can help you express your needs and wishes, and weigh up and take decisions about the options available to you. They can help you find services, make sure correct procedures are followed and challenge decisions made by councils or other organisations. The advocate is there to represent your interests, which they can do by supporting you to speak, or by speaking on your behalf. They do not speak for the council or any other organisation. If you wish to speak up for yourself to make your needs and wishes heard, this is known as self-advocacy.

Assessment: (See also: Pre-assessment & Self-assessment)
The process of working out what your needs are.  A community care assessment looks at how you are managing everyday activities such as looking after yourself, household tasks and getting out and about. You are entitled to an assessment if you have social care needs, and your views are central to this process.

Payments from the Government that you may receive because of your age, disability, income or caring responsibilities. Some benefits are universal – paid to everyone regardless of their income. Others are paid to people who have particular types of needs, regardless of their income. And others are means-tested – only paid to people whose income or savings fall below a certain level. Benefits in England are paid by the Department of Work and Pensions, not your local council.

Broker: (Also called ‘care navigator’ See also:  Advocacy, Signposting)
Someone whose job it is to provide you with advice and information about what services are available in your area, so that you can choose to purchase the care and support that best meets your needs. They can also help you think about different ways that you can get support, for example by making arrangements with friends and family. A broker can help you think about what you need, find services and work out the cost. Brokerage can be provided by local councils, voluntary organisations or private companies.

A person who provides unpaid support to a partner, family member, friend or neighbour who is ill, struggling or disabled and could not manage without this help. This is distinct from a care worker, who is paid to support people.

Care Worker:
A person who is paid to support someone who is ill, struggling or disabled and could not manage without this help.

Client contribution: (See also: Self-funding)
The amount you may need to pay towards the cost of the social care services you receive. Whether you need to pay, and the amount you need to pay, depends on your local council’s charging policy, although residential care Self-funding charges are set nationally. Councils receive guidance from the Government on how much they can charge.

Client group:
A group of people with social care needs who fit within a broad single category. Client groups include older people, people with physical disability, people with learning disability, people with mental health problems, and so on.

Code of Practice:
Government guidance on the duties of local authorities, schools, colleges, health services and others who support children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

A person or organisation that plans the services that are needed by the people who live in the area the organisation covers, and ensures that services are available.

Community health services:
Health services that are provided outside hospitals, such as district nursing.

When you as an individual are involved as an equal partner in designing the support and services you receive. Co-production recognises that people who use social care services (and their families) have knowledge and experience that can be used to help make services better, not only for themselves but for other people who need social care.

Direct payments (See also:  Personal budget):
A cash payment given to a parent, young person or someone on their behalf so that they can arrange the support detailed in an EHC plan themselves.

A mental or physical impairment which strongly affects a person's ability to carry out normal daily activities. Many people with a disability will also have a SEN.

Education setting:
A general phrase to describe a place where a child or young person receives their education, for example a nursery, school or college.

Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment:
A formal assessment carried out by a local authority to decide how much extra support a child or young person needs.

EHC plan (EHCP):
A legal document issued by the local authority describing a child or young person's education, health and social care needs and the support that will be given to them.

When your needs meet your council’s criteria for council-funded care and support. Your local council decides who should get support, based on your level of need and the resources available in your area. The eligibility threshold is the level at which your needs reach the point that your council will provide funding. If the council assesses your needs and decides they are below this threshold, you will not qualify for council-funded care.

Free school:
A type of academy. Usually describes a new school which has been set up by parents, a charity, business or other groups or individuals.

Health provision:
The medical care or support set out in an EHC plan. This could include medication, nursing or special equipment.

Home care:
Care provided in your own home by paid care workers to help you with your daily life. It is also known as domiciliary care. Home care workers are usually employed by an independent agency, and the service may be arranged by your local council or by you (or someone acting on your behalf).

Independent  living:
The right to choose the way you live your life. It does not necessarily mean living by yourself or doing everything for yourself. It means the right to receive the assistance and support you need so you can participate in your community and live the life you want.

Independent school:
A school that is not maintained by the state and charges fees. They are often run by a charity or charitable trust. Independent schools will have their own policies on admissions and exclusions. Independent schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum. Some independent schools provide education specifically for pupils with special educational needs (SEN).

Integrated Care:
Joined up, coordinated health and social care that is planned and Care organised around the needs and preferences of the individual, their carer and family. This may also involve integration with other services for example housing.

Local offer:
Information published by the local authority about the education, health and social care support available in the area for children and young people with SEN and disabilities.

Mainstream school:
Any school that is not a special school.

Maintained school:
Sometimes called a state school. A mainstream or special school funded by the local education authority. These include community and voluntary controlled schools. They also include voluntary aided and foundation schools, for example faith schools that are controlled by the governing body. Maintained schools have to follow education law on special educational needs, admissions and the curriculum.

Occupational therapist:
A professional with specialist training in working with people with therapist different types of disability or mental health needs. An OT can help you learn new skills or regain lost skills, and can arrange for aids and adaptations you need in your home. Occupational therapists are employed both by the NHS and by local councils.

The benefit or difference that a particular bit of help makes to a child or young person. In social care, an ‘outcome’ refers to an aim or objective you would like to achieve or need to happen – for example, continuing to live in your own home, or being able to go out and about. You should be able to say which outcomes are the most important to you, and receive support to achieve them.

One of the local authorities that was involved in testing the new SEN system before it became law.

Personal assistant:
Someone you choose and employ to provide the support you need, in assistant the way that suits you best. This may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in your community. Your personal assistant can be paid through direct payments or a personal budget.

Personal budget:
An amount of money which can be used to buy support described in an EHC plan. A young person or their family can have a say in how the budget is used.

A way of thinking about care and support services that puts you at the centre of the process of working out what your needs are, choosing what support you need and having control over your life. It is about you as an individual, not about groups of people whose needs are assumed to be similar, or about the needs of organisations.

The point at which you make contact with your local council and a decision is made about whether a full assessment is necessary. This is based on the information given by you or the person who refers you to adult social care. It is often conducted over the phone.

Primary care:
The part of the NHS that is the first point of contact for patients. This includes GPs, community nurses, pharmacists and dentists.

A request for an assessment of a person’s needs, or for support from a social care organisation.

Residential care:
Care in a care home for people with disabilities or older people who require 24-hour care. Care homes offer trained staff and an adapted environment suitable for the needs of ill, frail or disabled people.

Resource Allocation System:
The system some councils use to decide how much money people get for their support. There are clear rules, so everyone can see that money is given out fairly. Once your needs have been assessed, you will be allocated an indicative budget – so that you know how much money you have to spend on care and support. The purpose of an indicative budget is to help you plan the care and support that will help you meet your assessed needs – it might not be the final amount that you get, as you may find that it is not enough (or is more than enough) to meet those needs.

Respite Care:
A service giving carers a break, by providing short-term care for the person with care needs in their own home or in a residential setting. It can mean a few hours during the day or evening, ‘night sitting’, or a longer-term break. It can also benefit the person with care needs by giving them the chance to try new activities and meet new people.

When you receive a re-assessment of your needs and you and the people in your life look at whether the services you are receiving are meeting your needs and helping you achieve your chosen outcomes. Changes can then be made if necessary.

What you are entitled to receive, and how you should be treated, as a citizen. If you have a disability or mental health problem, are an older person or act as a carer for someone else, you have the right to have your needs assessed by your local council. You have a right to a service or direct payment if your assessment puts you above the eligibility threshold your council is using. You and your carers have a right to be consulted about your assessment and about any changes in the services you receive.

The process of ensuring that children or adults at risk are not being abused, neglected or exploited, and ensuring that people who are deemed ‘unsuitable’ do not work with them.

Self-assessment (See also: Pre-assessment):
A form or questionnaire that you complete yourself, either on paper or online, assessment explaining your circumstances and why you need support. A social care worker or advocate can help you do this. If your council asks you to complete a self assessment form, it will use this information to decide if you are eligible for social care services or if you need a full assessment by a social worker.

When you arrange and pay for your own care services and do not receive financial help from the council.

Special educational needs coordinator: a qualified teacher in a mainstream nursery or school who arranges the extra help for pupils with SEN.

SEN support:
The first level of extra support in mainstream education settings for children and young people with SEN.

Signposting (See also: Broker):
Pointing people in the direction of information that they should find useful.  Your local council should signpost you towards information about social care and benefits through its helpline or call centre (if it has one), website and through local services such as libraries and health centres.

Social care provision:
The support that someone receives to help them at home or in the community.

Social worker:
A professional who works with individual people and families to help improve their lives by arranging to put in place the things they need. This includes helping to protect adults and children from harm or abuse, and supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people and help them find the services they need. They may have a role as a care manager, arranging care for service users. Many are employed by councils in adult social care teams; others work in the NHS or independent organisations.

Special educational needs (SEN):
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability that makes it harder for them to learn that it is for most people of their age.

Special educational provision:

A general term for any extra help given to children or young people with SEN that is over and above the help normally given to pupils of their age in mainstream education settings.

Special school:
A school that provides education only for pupils with special educational needs. Some special schools provide for pupils with moderate or severe learning difficulties. Many special schools provide for a particular type of need such as autism, visual impairment or dyslexia.

Statement of special educational needs:
A legal document issued by the local authority describing a child's SEN and the support they will receive. From September 2014 statements started being replaced by replaced by EHC plans.

Transfer review:
A process carried out by the local authority to transfer a statement into an EHC plan.

Universal services:
Services such as transport, leisure, health and education that should be services available to everyone in a local area and are not dependent on assessment or eligibility

Voluntary organisations:
Organisations that are independent of the Government and local councils. Their job is to benefit the people they serve, not to make a profit. The people who work for voluntary organisations are not necessarily volunteers – many will be paid for the work they do. Social care services are often provided by local voluntary organisations, by arrangement with the council or with you as an individual. Some are user-led organisations, which means they are run by and for the people the organisation is designed to benefit - e.g. disabled people.

Being in a position where you have good physical and mental health, control over your day-to-day life, good relationships, enough money, and the opportunity to take part in the activities that interest you.

Young person:
A child becomes a young person when they have reached the end of compulsory schooling. This is the end of the school year in which they turn 16 - year 11 for most pupils. A young person between 16 and 25 has the right to make their own decisions related to their EHC plan.