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Fact sheet

The National Valuing Families Forum

The National Valuing Families Forum (NVFF) is facilitated by Carers Trust (previously known as The Princess Royal Trust for Carers). It developed informally through the Valuing People Now programme leads for families who drew together representatives from family carers from nine regions across the country.

This group helps the National Learning Disability Programme Board know what is important for families. It also provides direct links between family members who sit on local Learning Disability Partnership Boards, Regional and National Learning Disability Programme Boards and the Standing Commission on Carers.

Organisations and carers groups working with families nationally are also represented at the NVFF. These include the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, the National Family Carer Network, the BME Family Carers Advisory Group, Hft’s Family Carer Support Service, Mencap, Partners in Policymaking and Carers Trust (initially represented by its legacy organisations The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care).

Valuing People Now, the Government’s strategy for people with learning disabilities and their families, states that:
* people with learning disabilities should have the opportunity to speak up and be heard about what they want from their lives
* the big decisions and the everyday choices
* it is vital that family carers are recognised and valued as key partners in the delivery of this strategy.

The National Learning Disability Programme Board was set up in 2008 when the Government published Valuing People Now. This replaced the Learning Disability Taskforce that was established through Valuing People in 2001. The Board has been meeting four times a year to discuss how Valuing People Now is going and to solve any problems.

The Board has on it:
*senior government officials from many departments (health; housing; work and pensions; children, schools and families; business, innovation and skills; communities and local government; home office; cabinet office; office for disability issues) as well as
• people from key organisations (Mencap; Association of Adult Social Services; Local Government Association)
• National Directors and others from their office
• Family carer representatives from the National Valuing Families Forum
• Self advocates (the two chairs of the National Forum for People with Learning Difficulties)

The National Valuing Families Forum is a crucial link between family carers and national Government. The Forum meets twice a year, with the regional representatives bring the views of family carers in their region to the Forum, and two representatives attending the Learning Disabilities Programme Board to report on the Forum’s views.

For more information on how the NVFF works, please see the following diagram:
Voices Of Carers Flowchart And Accompanying Notes 01 02 10 5668 (306 KB)

For any questions, you can contact Ruth Hannan at rhannan@carers.org