1st October 2004 at 01:00
PARENT PARTICIPATION - IMPROVING SERVICES FOR DISABLED CHILDREN. Contact a Family Council for Disabled Children. Professional guide. pound;15; Parent guide free.

These are two useful and succinct guides with good case studies. The professional guide accurately explores parents' attitudes towards professionals. It describes what participation is and is not, and its challenges and benefits to service providers - with a sensible emphasis on value for money. It includes important principles for successful programmes.

The parent guide offers motivating advice on how and why to become involved, and about the problems that may be encountered and how to overcome them. It offers advice on building self-advocacy skills and confidence. The focus is on righting the balance of power. The professionals' guide encourages them to appreciate parents' attitudes and the parents' guide encourages them to believe in themselves.

Only one question: where is the child's voice in all this?

Jonathan Rix

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