How families are involved in the EHC plan
The Childrens and Families Act firmly places the child, young person and their parent/carers at the centre of decisions about their support and what they want to achieve. This is important because it helps to raise the aspirations for children and young people, through a focus on life outcomes, including employment and greater independence.
It is particularly important to capture these wishes and aspirations as soon as possible in the EHC plan process, so that all decisions can be made with these in mind. The Views and Wishes Form can be used to record this information.
There are also several tools which parent / carers can use with their child or young person to help develop this information:
- One page profile - a simple summary of what is important to someone and how they want to be supported
- Relationship map – help you think about the people who are involved in all areas of the child’s, young person’s life
- What’s working, what’s not working tool – as you think about what the child, young person would like to do in the future, it might help to think about what is working and you would like to keep and things which are not working and you would like to change
- Decision making tool – in two part parts, a decision making profile and a decision making agreement. Together, these help you work with the child, young person to support them make decisions and record how these decisions will be made
To help support and encourage young people and parent / carers to be involved in this process we will:
- Give you access to the relevant information in accessible formats
- Give you time to prepare for discussions and meetings, and
- Dedicate time in discussions and meetings to hear your views
Some children and young people may also require support from someone (an advocate - this could be a family member or a professional) to ensure that their views are heard and acknowledged.
They may need support in expressing views about:
- Their education
- Their health
- The future and how they would like to prepare for it
- Where they would like to live
- Control of their finances
- How they would like to be part of the community and
- How they will achieve greater independence.
For children and young people who need or would like this support, we will ensure this is available.
Independent support, information and advice is also available through the Independent Support Programme.