Parent Participation: Improving services for disabled children


Council for Disabled Children and Contact a

ISBN 1874715606, £15

Star Rating: 5/5

I am sure many practitioners have read about parent
participation and often thought – “sounds great, but how?”
Well, these guides – one for parents, the other for
professionals – actually address the “but how?” question in a
comprehensive and highly practical manner, Both specify potential
challenges and provide practical checklists on ensuring that
participation works. Crucially, they do this without going into
unnecessary detail.

The professionals’ guide identifies four key principles
for successful participation. What is especially good about this
section is that each approach is defined alongside practical
examples from parents and practitioners.

There are also exercises to provoke debate among professionals.
I can vouch for their efficacy in encouraging ideas about how to
meaningfully start participation work, having used these with a
number of colleagues.

The authors state their objective is to provide a tool to
support work with parents. Have they succeeded? I believe so.

Kirstie Newson is a project development worker, Children
with Disabilities Pathfinder Trust, Ealing, west

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