This is an innovative site developed and
maintained by children and young people in Kingston in partnership
with that borough’s children and family services department, writes
Alan Coombe, principal policy and practice officer, Barnardo’s. It
is easy to navigate and the language is clear, accessible and
non-patronising. Help and advice is offered on subjects ranging
from homework to bereavement, with easily found links to local and
national resources. There is a link to Connexions and the facility
to contact an advice worker when it helps to talk to a human. The
site is very responsive to feedback.
Nottinghamshire and Nottingham’s Parent
Partnership project promotes partnership between those involved
with children with special educational needs, writes Alan Coombe.
Communication is more one way than that of the website reviewed
above. A range of leaflets is described to assist parents and
carers get their views heard by professionals. I found the site a
bit frustrating – it didn’t provide information so much as tell me
where to get it. Advocating for your child’s right to the best
education appropriate to their special needs is a serious matter,
but I don’t think the website needs to be quite so dull.
By contrast this site is awash with
information in an accessible and inviting format, writes Alan
Coombe. Its home page gives prominence to feedback, and immediately
communicates that you are not alone with whatever is awry at the
moment. If, for example, you need to know what to do when your
child hasn’t been going to school, it gives advice that is clear
and detailed, but digestible. A seemingly light-hearted quiz
enquiring whether your family is more like the Waltons or the
Addams families soon got me thinking about my parenting style.