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The first Connecting Families Workshop was held at the Project Art Works’ arches on Thursday 24th November. We were pleased to welcome a numbers of families, social care professionals and artists to the session.

Kate Adams opened the workshop by introducing the principles of personalisation. This included reference to ‘Putting People First’, a document published by the Government in 2007 to provide a clear outline for the personalising of services to enable individuals to live independently and have complete choice and control in their lives. You can read the full document here

Kate then explored the idea of personalisation- what it means, the different ways that it is being implemented and asking the question: What is a personalised life?

Topics discussed during the presentation also included:

  • Who needs to know about personalisation?
  • What does personalisation mean for providers?
  • Planning for personalisation
  • Knowing your rights

Download the full presentation here

Support for Transition

Resource Officers Kerry French and Sara Knight from the ESCC Transition Team outlined how they support young people and their families though the transition from Children’s to Adult Services.  The screening process to assess eligibility for support was discussed alongside the role of EHCPs (Education Health Care Plans). You can find out more about eligibilty and what to expect as your child or young person reaches transition age here

Leigh Hills, NHS Funded Nurse Assessor – Learning Disabilities Specialist, also discussed when a young person may be eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding via NHS Hastings and Rother CCG. Electronic copies of the Public Information Leaflet for Continuing Health Care CHC and CHC easy read are available here and here

Amaze in Brighton was highlighted as an organisation that can offer independent support for transition  – website here

Family Stories

Leila McMillan shared her experience of supporting her daughter Eden through the transition process, including establishing a personalised provision through Direct Payments. Leila described the challenges faced along the way and the importance of working with other families to share information, experience, and support.


Families were invited to work in small groups to develop a ‘Path’ planning tool, either for themselves or the person they support. The exercise establishes and explores key questions: What is the situation now? Where do you want to be? Who do you need to enrol? What is strong/positive now & going forward? What are the steps next month/next 6 months/1 year/beyond?

More information about Paths and care and support planning is available on the Helen Sanderson Associates website.

Models of Support Research Project

Evaluator Susan Kent outlined her methodology for researching different models of support for people with complex needs. Families were invited to contribute through focus groups, interviews and questionnaires. If you would like more information or to contribute to the project, please email [email protected].

What’s Next?

In response to feedback from families, we are scheduling further Connecting Families Workshops for early 2017, which will include an extended ‘Path’ planning session. If you’d like to suggest topics for discussion, please email [email protected]


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