Keeping Carers Informed
Unpaid Carers' Rights and Services available - helping you through the maze!
We keep unpaid carers informed of their options by using a variety of means including:
- News and information bulletins
- Mail shots and newsletters
- Leaflets and flyers.
- Parent meetings.
- Workshops and, information events
- An online information guide to services called 'Where You Stand'
- A free information and signposting service
We listen to you then Campaign and Represent your Views
It is through the Parents Federation that the views of parents and unpaid carers, are officially shared with Local Authorities, Health Bodies, and the Voluntary Sector in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
We have also commissioned independent surveys of our member's views.
We listen to your concerns and use them when:
- Working with Councillors, Assembly Members (AMs), Members of Parliament (MPs), and Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure that the voices of disabled children and adults with learning disabilities and their families and carers are heard.
- Supporting parent representatives on Local Authority Planning and Monitoring bodies
- Working with other disability organisations.
- Campaigning on specific issues.
- Responding to consultations
- Attending strategic planning meetings or participating as part of any strategic policy group.
How to challenge decisions
Sometimes you may not have a smooth ride and feel no option but to complain.
This is OK, you are not alone - many carers say they have to fight for the support that ought to be freely offered but parents also suggest that you try every means at your disposal to achieve your goals before entering the lengthy and sometimes tiring complaints procedures. Here are a few tips from carers:
- Clearly state that you are writing to complain and focus on the issue at hand. Avoid mentioning specific people or getting too emotional. Use bullet points to keep your letter concise and to the point.
- Be polite, formal, and positive. The person reading your letter may be the one who can help solve your problem, so avoid giving them reasons to dismiss you. Offer help to solve the problem and keep your tone respectful. Threatening to “go to the papers” etc will not worry the reader as these are common threats.
- Seek help from an advocate to help you write your letter e.g., Llais.
- Write to only one person and copy in one other if you must, rather than copying in 20 people at once. Write the same letter again separately to others you want to inform about your issue, so each person will take you more seriously.
- Use plain language and avoid using abusive or offensive language. Use technical language only when necessary and explain it in simple terms if possible. Always check your spelling and grammar.
- Include your contact information, the date, and the name and address of the person you are writing to. End your letter with a clear question or statement of the action you desire and offer a reasonable date for a response.
- Type your name clearly, sign the letter with a pen and keep copies of any relevant documents you want to include.
- You may wish to send your letter via recorded mail, if you fail to receive a response write a fresh letter but add a copy of the original letter in.
- If you get a helpful response, write back straight away thanking them for their support. If you unfortunately get an unhelpful response, calm down and wait ten days before replying.
Remember that writing a complaint letter is just one step in solving your problem.
Be patient and persistent and seek help from an advocate if necessary.
We Arrange Training for Parents and unpaid Carers
- We provide training and support to use IT and to participate in meetings.
- We support parents to speak on our behalf at meetings
- We arrange and promote specialist training skills such as communication tools, manual handling and coping strategies.
- We support parents to become trainers to ‘teach’ professionals
We Promote Positive Attitudes Towards Disability
- We organise the annual Understanding Disability Awards that celebrate examples of the successful inclusion of people with learning disabilities in ordinary life.
- We promote the needs of people with a learning disabilities and their families in equality forums and public meetings.
We Encourage and Enable Contact with unpaid Carers
- We encourage and enable contact between carers in similar situations.
- We co-ordinate carers social gatherings and other events for carers