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Your spotlight on local services

EHCP Pathways: The perspective of parents and carers in Barking and Dagenham


Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham are pleased to publish our report, EHCP Pathways: The Perspective of Parents and Carers in Barking and Dagenham. 

We engaged with over 70 parents and carers of children and young people with special needs on the effectiveness of their Educational, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). EHCPs are care packages intended to assist young people with additional needs up to the age of 25. The plans are created by identifying specific areas of need for the young person, and in doing so provide support accordingly for them to achieve what they want in life.

Our report reveals that although there are examples of good practice and parental satisfaction, many parents feel let down by the system, ranging from receiving a lack of support in navigating the complex process of obtaining an EHCP, to young people not receiving the full support detailed in their EHCP.

Key findings:

  • Respondents' experiences varied, some parents and carers had a good experience of the EHCP process, however, others felt unsupported and dissatisfied, indicating that not everyone in need has equal access to the process and support.
  • Some families go through the procedure without a SEN caseworker being involved, and the process and follow-ups lack coordination from one.
  • More has to be done to involve parents and carers in the discussion and support them in understanding the complex EHCP process.
  • ECPHs should contain up-to-date content with actionable steps to measurable outcomes- this can be achieved by reflecting upon what is discussed with families and caseworkers during the annual reviews of the process.

We make 14 recommendations to the Barking & Dagenham SEND Partnership to improve the EHCP process and service and to ensure that young people in our borough with SEND in our borough have the tools and support to achieve their goals and flourish.

You can download the report along with the official response from the service provider by accessing the link below.





Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS