Partners in Policymaking

It is now a requirement of local authorities and health authorities to not only consult people who use services but also actively involve people in how policies are developed.


People who use services and their families need to be prepared for this role to make sure they can actively participate, but also ensure that local and health authorities continue to work with people.

Partners in Policymaking is a leadership training programme for disabled adults and parents of disabled children up to school leaving age. When we used the term disabled people we are including people with learning disabilities, people with sensory impairments and people with physical impairments.

Partners in Policymaking is now a recognised training programme with the World Institute on Disability, adopting the programme in recognition of its potential as a model for leadership training for parents of disabled children and disabled adults.

Course Aims

The course is designed to inform and teach people about how the social care system works and give people the skills and confidence to make positive changes to the way their families receive support and help and support other families do the same.

The course is intended to enable participants to:

  • Contribute to policy making and its implementation in wider service development, locally and nationally
  • Work in partnership with professionals and policy makers
  • Have the confidence and competence to influence decisions about services and negotiate much more successfully when decisions are made about what is needed
  • Support and guide people and their families
  • Contribute to the training of service commissioners, providers, planners and policy makers

How the course is delivered?

The courses are typically made up of between five and eight sessions over as many months. Each session takes place as a residential over two days.

An important element of the programme is the quality of the speakers who are all passionate about social justice. By hearing from the best people in each field, delegates become aware of what's possible, and motivated to strive for better lives for themselves and their families.

We strive to create a learning environment that is safe, where people feel comfortable about asking questions and talking about their experiences.

During the course delegates develop the experience of using microphones, public speaking and taking constructive approaches in meetings. Participants also have opportunities to practice skills such as finding the right information, making contact with policy makers and people who work in services, presenting their views and learning how decisions are made and how to influence them.

Everyone is provided with resources such as books, articles from journals and other documentation to form the basis of their own libraries.

Course Content

Each session looks at issues which are important to disabled people and their families.

Topic areas of the course include:

  • History of how disabled people have been supported
  • Inclusive education
  • Whole life planning and Person Centred Planning
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Policy Development
  • Assistive Technology
  • Supported Living
  • Advocacy

Please be aware that the course content may change.

Last Updated : 04 February 2011. Page Author: Administrator.