Croydon Parent Carer Forum has a steering group of parents who lead the Forum's work and ensure the views of other parents and carers in the local area are heard.
There are currently eleven members of the Croydon PCF steering group, a friendly group of volunteers.
We are all parents or carers of children or young people with SEND, so we understand the challenges and issues that caring for family members with different needs and abilities can bring.
Our experiences, backgrounds and challenges are diverse and different, but we are united by common goals: to improve services, provision and support for children and young people with SEND in Croydon and their families, and to empower other parents with knowledge and resources.
We are spread across the borough, in neighbourhoods including Norbury, Addington, Selhurst, Sanderstead, Coulsdon, South Croydon, Purley and Central Croydon.
We come from many different backgrounds: educational, professional, cultural, national and so on. We are informed by our personal experiences and backgrounds but are not limited by them.
Our children and young people attend (or have attended in the past) a range of different kinds of educational settings: mainstream, specialist, ELP, academy, independent, residential and out of borough schools and colleges, as well as home schooling.
Between us, we've dealt with IEPs, EHCPS, Tribunals, exclusions, CAMHS, Social Care and more. We know what it's like to fight for support. And we know how often the reality of service provision deviates from what's written in policy. But we've also seen (and in some cases, experienced) what good provision and support looks like, so we know it's possible.
Individually, we commit to attending meetings and consultations with local organisations and professionals including the Local Authority (Croydon Council) and the NHS. At these, we represent the views and experiences of the 10,000 parents and carers of children and young people with SEND across the borough, to ensure these voices are heard in decisionmaking and to hold power to account to service users.
We are independent, experienced, friendly and determined.
We meet usually once a month to share information and coordinate activities.
(We also drink a lot of tea and eat biscuits.)