For 15 years, Disabled Parents Network (DPN) has supported disabled people who are or aspire to be parents, their families, friends and those working with them. For the past 18 months we have faced extremely difficult financial circumstances, which mean that as of now, we have ceased all operational activity.
During the past 15 years, with the invaluable support of our staff and volunteers:
Our Support Service has provided many disabled parent, prospective parent, families’ access information, advice and support enabling them to access services, equipment and their community. Families have been able to successfully challenge school admissions where a family described the support we provided ‘intrinsic to our success’ and access social care support. Sadly we were unable to support the many international enquiries we received where knowledge of their systems was required.
Our Forum, innovative when set up, provided families with an opportunity to families to access peer support, share experiences and form connections and friendships and our Facebook provided similar opportunities with the expansion of social media.
Demand for our Information Handbooks has been high, parents and those working with them, including requests from overseas, as they have given families much needed information on accessing services.
Our Advocacy Service has made a huge difference to the lives of those it supported and raised awareness within local authorities of the issues disabled parent families faced, influencing changes in some.
We have facilitated the participation of families in consultations, research, media projects and other activities. Assisted many students and researchers with assignments and research.
We have influenced policy and practice including the Maternity Services Review in 2007 and as a member of the NYCC (National Young Carer Coalition) The Children and Families Act 2014 and the Care Act 2014 under which holistic family assessments should be undertaken and there should be better communication between adult and children’s services.
We have delivered training to many professionals and students in health, social care, education and other statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations and believe we have raised awareness of disabled parent families.
Our thanks and appreciation to everyone who contributed to our work over the years.