How can we involve children, young people and their parents?

Our friends at The Communication Trust have resources to help young people and their parents engage in discussions around tailoring speech, language and communication need (SLCN) provision.

We know many of you are passionate about involving children and young people with SLCN, and their parents, in the support given to them – but that doing so can be a real challenge.

If you want to hold an initial conversation with a parent, you might find yourself filled with questions like: “How formal should I make it?” “Should I bring evidence?” or “What happens if the parents get upset?”

And, if you want to involve children or young people with SLCN in decision or choice making, you might struggle to find effective strategies as the very nature of their difficulties makes it harder for the child or young person to express their views

The 2014 SEND Code of Practice is clear that children and young people must be involved in thinking about what they want for the future, and outcomes should be set from this. It also says that parents should be enabled to share their knowledge about their child and that they should feel confident that their views and contributions are valued and will be acted upon. 

As part of our commitment to involving children and young people with SLCN, and their parents, we are asking for your help. If you are working with this group of people, please:

And let us know how useful you find these resources! We’re committed to widening effective participation and need you to feedback on our work so far so we can improve it further. Complete our short Brief Guide survey or our short Talking to Parents survey.


Our Involving Children and Young People – a Brief Guide is an accessible resource covering the strategies you can use to gain the views, wishes and feelings of children and young people, ideas and advice to enable them to participate as fully as possible in decision making, and information about outcome setting for children and young people with SLCN. Inside the guide are links to a number of new printable resources you can download from our website and keep in your classroom or setting.

Our Talking to Parents video has been developed in partnership with Afasic to support practitioners working with children and young people with how to raise initial concerns about a child or young person’s speech, language and communication development with their parents. The video is intended to be used as a professional development resource, to enhance confidence and skills in talking with parents about their child’s speech, language and communication development and skills, with reflection and discussion points throughout.