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Wakefield Parent / Carer Forum (TEAM)


TEAM are the lead Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) Parent Carer Forum for the Wakefield area representing your views and concerns with education, health and care services for your child or children with additional needs.

TEAM is made of parents and carers from the area who also have children with additional needs so they understand what issues or challenges families can sometimes face. They regularly host training, participation sessions and fun events for families. TEAM also make sure parents voices are heard when services make key decisions about what they do and offer to families across the Wakefield District.

TEAM is not a replacement for other groups - parents can be members of more than one parent/carer group. We are also not disability-specific so we aim to link with other groups across the area including those that may be. Members of TEAM try to attend sessions other groups hold from time and keep in touch via email about any issues coming up they may be able to raise on their behalf or help with.

TEAM are also members of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums which helps them with sharing good practices and ideas from other local areas too. This makes sure the Wakefield area is represented about national topics and changes in government policy that may affect our families.

What we have been involved in

TEAM have worked hard to develop relationships with the local authority, health and social care, helping to provide parent voice at a strategic level and voice concerns on behalf of families. Some of the things we have been involved in include:

  • organising the first Market Place event for services in Wakefield to come together under one roof giving families the opportunity to meet them face to face. In 2016 we worked in partnership with Wakefield Council, WESAIL and Oakfield Park High School, to include Post 16 services, and make this bigger as Local Offer Live.
  • co-producing the Wakefield People’s Charter with the local authority to help embed a good working practice between parents and services and working towards consulting with schools and health services to embed the Charter as a mark of good practice. You can take a look at the Charter here (hyperlink to Doc??)
  • organising the annual Parent/Carer’s Conference. Barrister Steve Broach, recognised advocate of disability and children’s rights as well as co-author of Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook, has previously attended and given a parent friendly guide to the law and discuss how changes from the Children and Families Act 2014 work.
  • representing views of parents on the SEND Transformation Board and different working groups set up to bring in SEND Reforms in the Wakefield area.
  • participating in the first Local Area Joint SEND Inspection for Wakefield in June 2017.
  • participating in the update and design of autism assessment pathways working in partnership with the Clinical Commissioning Group and local health services to do that.
  • hosting Parent/Carer Listening Events each term each with a focus on health, education or transitions and more.
  • helping to signpost parents to where they can access help and support.
  • delivering A Day in My Shoes sessions to practitioners working with families to help them better understand issues we may face from a parent/carer perspective.

It’s not all business though, we also host social events for families too to help reduce social isolation and give you a chance to meet other families like yours, sharing experiences and tips. Some of our past events have included:

  • Halloween parties at The Hut
  • Ski, snowboarding and tobogganing sessions at Snozone
  • A day out at the Wonkey Donkey Sanctuary
  • Coffee mornings

Many of the events we host are free to attend, some more carry a small charge depending on funding available.

What do we have coming up?

Dates for your diary for activities and events coming up are:

TEAM Steering Group Meetings

  • Thursday 17 January 2019 - 10am to 12pm
  • Tuesday 12 February 2019 - 10am to 12pm
  • Wednesday 20 March 2019 - 10am to 12pm

All sessions for the Steering Group will be held in Barnardo's Conference Room at Castleford Civic Centre. Please press the buzzer for Barnardo's when you arrive and someone will come down to let you in the building. 

Coffee and Cake sessions

  • Tuesday 22 January 2019 - 10am to 11:30am - Farmer Copley's Cafe, Pontefract Road, WF7 5AF

Free Tea or Coffee and Cake will be provided. Come along to meet and chat with parents and carers of children and young people with special needs and disabilities. Contact for further information.

Short Breaks - Listening Event Feedback Session

  • Thursday 24 January 2019 - 10am to 2pm - Glasshoughton Centre, Leeds Road, Castleford, WF10 4PF. 

Lunch is provided for this event please contact Jackie Parkin, Parent Participation Co-ordinator (Wakefield/Barnsley), on email at with any specific dietary needs and to book.

Space is limited to 30 attendees and will be booked on a first come first served basis.

If you book a place and are then unable to attend, please let Jackie know as soon as possible.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) process and pathway - Listening Event and Feedback Session

  • Wednesday 30 January 2019 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm - Brook House Working Men's Club, 221 Barnsley Road, Wakefield WF1 5NU. 

This event is aimed at parents/carers whose child has recently gone through the diagnosis process for ASD and is part of our ongoing commitment to improving the ASD process and pathway for the diagnosis of children with ASD. We are keen to get your views and opinions in order to do this.

Professionals from Mid-Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust will be in attendance, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Wakefield Education/Schools will also be represented. The newly appointed Wakefield Council Service Director for Education and Inclusion, Andy Lancashire will attend this session following discussions at a previous event, held on 28 November 2018, requesting more support for children and young people in educational settings. 

Refreshments are provided for this event.

Please contact Mellissa Mackell, Wakefield Parent / Carer Forum, on email at to book or to send any comments or questions, if you are unable to attend.

Family Fun Events

  • February 2019 - During Half Term - Details to be confirmed

To book your place please contact Jackie Parkin, Parent Participation Co-ordinator (Wakefield/Barnsley), on 07590 487736 or email

Parent/Carer Conference - Save the Date

  • Thursday 21 March 2019 - Topics include SEND Support, School Exclusions and Short Breaks. Guest speaker on the day will be Steve Broach, Barrister and co-author of Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook.

More details about the conference and how to book will follow.

You can also find out about our events and useful information we share on our Facebook and twitter pages. See the How to contact us section for more details.

How can I get involved?

We are always keen to hear from parents and carers who might want to get involved with our work and to help shape services and support for children and young people with additional needs and their families. Membership of TEAM is free and available to parents and carers of disabled children and young people up to the age of 25 years, living within the Wakefield District. You can take part in shaping services in lots of different ways including:

    • Completing questionnaires when you are asked to share your voice.
    • Attending consultation events.
    • Taking part in courses or information sessions that have an impact on children and young people with SEND and their families.
    • Attending meetings with the local authority and/or health services or Ofsted to represent parents and carers views and raise concerns.
    • Taking part in focus groups about particular topics.
    • Helping share information with other families where they may be affected by a change to a service or support available.
    • Representing TEAM at events held for families with children and young people with SEND.
    • Using your creative skills to help us produce materials to publicise what we do and what plans we have.
    • Helping us keep up to date with our social media and website.

You can find out more about specific things you can get involved in by downloading the flyer below.

Wakefield Parent / Carer Forum (TEAM) Flyer - December 2018

How to contact us

You can get in touch with us through our social media on Facebook, @Teamwakefieldparentforum, or twitter, @team_wakefield. You can also email us at or call us on 07880 203670.

Last reviewed: 04/01/2019