Duncan Siret, is a retired social worker. Before retirement he worked with Gloucestershire County Council’s Children Services for 30 plus years. He has been a social worker, social work team manager, Child Protection Conference Team Manager, and Complaints Manager amongst other roles. Duncan has worked with the Parent and Carer Alliance since August 2018 and has built up a lot of experience as a parent advocate. He is a qualified and registered child care social worker (SE no. is SW40073).

When asked for feedback about the Advocacy service previously provided by Parent and Carer Alliance C.I.C., families replied that:

  • Before support 78% of families said they were worried or very worried about resolving their concerns without help
  • 100% said that the Advocacy service was helpful or very helpful
  • 100% of families said that they would recommend the Advocacy service, and 44% of families said they had already done so.

Advocacy Case Study:

Presenting concern: Social worker was talking about putting child through child protection procedures and her parents were terrified she would end up being taken into care

In my role as an advocate to E’s parents I have listened carefully to them explaining what is happening with E, I have spoken to the social worker, especially after a difficult visit to the family or after incidents of violent outburst. I have attended child in need planning and review meetings and given advice to the parents as and when they have needed it. I took the view that these were not bad parents, although they clearly could not cope, and I feel my support has helped to steer the direction of the case away from child protection to a much less confrontational child in need approach. 

Impact: An agreed plan that addresses the emotional needs of E and provides support for her parents; employment of a ‘mentor’ to work closely with E and get her back into school over an extended period; and a push to get a formal assessment of her mental health and emotional needs (which may lead to a diagnosis). The parents said that things feel very different now that they are not being blamed for the difficulties that they are experiencing

We are pleased to announce that Gaynor Furse joins us as a new Adviser.

Gaynor has 16 years experience in delivering advocacy to vulnerable children and young people in Gloucestershire working for the Local Authority, NYAS and Barnardo’s in the following areas:

  • advocacy for children and vulnerable parents subject to Child Protection Procedures
  • advocacy for vulnerable parents in Family Law Proceedings
  • advocacy for children and young people in Gloucestershire who are looked after, care leavers or are making or intending to make a complaint
  • advocacy for children with complex needs and communication difficulties.          

An Independent Reviewing Officer commented “Gaynor, can I thank you for all of your dedication, hard work and commitment to our children over many years. I have always been impressed by – and I hope I have learnt a little from – your capacity to calmly combine a fiercely child centred approach with utmost professionalism”

Both Lucy Fullard, and Louise Arnold, Directors of the Alliance, Parent Carers and ‘Experts by Experience’ offer support to the Advice Service. Between them they have experience of navigating a wide range of issues families face, including Special Educational Needs, EHCP, EOTAS, Tribunal, Judicial Review, Social Care and Direct Payments, Health and Continuing Health Care and Personal Budgets.

DISCLAIMER The Parent and Carer Alliance provides information about Advocacy services to empower parents and carers. We do not seek to influence or control your decisions in any way. As such the Parent and Carer Alliance CIC does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by any service listed.