Interconnections Online Forum for your team, service, region or country
Interconnections Online Forum about early child and family support (or ‘early childhood intervention’)
The Online Forum
This online forum supports service development and is available to any linked group of people who are keen to share ideas and explore how to move forward. The subject matter will be health, education and family support in response to babies and young children who have disabilities, development delay and other conditions that impact on their early development and learning. The people who can take part include practitioners, parents, family members, local academics, members of support groups and other people who have a practical interest.
Discussions are by e-mail during a single calendar month. A new e-mail group is formed and members join in the discussions when it suits them between the other things they are doing in their busy days. Each Forum has an Organiser who belongs to the team, service, region or country and invites people to participate. Discussions are initiated and facilitated by Peter Limbrick. Towards the end of the month, information will be collected from the discussions that can inform service development. This will include:
an agreed refreshed vision for local early child and family support
new ideas and approached that need to be assessed and developed
local good practice to build on
relevant resources that can be accessed
evidence that needs to be collected locally to inform change
people who might take up some aspect of service development
The Forum is a safe space for discussion. Its content does not go outside the Forum. The Forum will inform future meetings and webinars for the team, service, region or country.
These depend on the size of the group. There is no limit to the time Peter will give to the Forum.
3 - 15 people £300.
Up to 30 people £400
More than 30 people £500
An Organiser from a team service, region or country, having discussed the Online Forum with some colleagues, contacts Interconnections with questions, etc.
There is agreement to proceed and costs are agreed. The month for the Forum is agreed. Discussions take place during the 20 working days of the chosen month and then the Forum is disbanded.
The Organiser discusses with Peter Limbrick some relevant local themes that should be addressed.
The Organiser and Peter compose the invitation that the Organiser will send to potential members. The Organiser can add new members during the month.
The membership should be as inclusive as possible with people who have disabilities and people of BAME communities.
The Forum is a closed group in which members share their e-mail addresses so they can continue discussions if they wish afterwards. E-mails to and from Peter should involve the whole group and not individual members.
Peter starts the discussion at the beginning of the month with an opening text relevant to chosen themes and likely to inspire new thinking on the subject.
Possibly, the Organiser has already identified two or three members who will respond to first discussions to help ‘break the ice’ and so encourage others to join in.
Discussions will continue with members raising questions, answering each other’s questions, making comments, sharing challenges, explaining their good practice and raising new topics. It will be Peter’s responsibility to refresh discussions as necessary with new texts.
Members will be asked to respect each other’s comments. Everyone will have an equal voice.
Towards the end of the month the Organiser and Peter will work on a summary of the discussions that includes significant pointers for service development. This will be shared with all members.
The Forum is disbanded and members stay in touch with each other as they wish.
Interconnections 20-Day Online Forum compared with meetings and webinars
The Forum does not have the advantage of immediate face-to-face contact. Its benefits include:
Forum members come to the discussion at times that suit themselves and give as much time as they wish. There is no need to arrange special days or times for the Forum.
There is no rush. Members can think issues through before responding.
People might ‘meet’ each other for the first time and form lasting links – perhaps across professional and agency boundaries.
Because the Forum has a flat or horizontal power structure, all thoughts and ideas are considered on their own merits.
- Members who meet each other in the Forum can link together as agents for change.
Peter’s biography in brief
Peter Limbrick had a brother with cerebral palsy born just before he went to study zoology at Liverpool University. Nicholas died at forty years of age. Peter’s career has taken him into special schools as both teacher and senior manager and into two voluntary projects as director: One-to-One and One Hundred Hours.
One-to-One was part of the UK movement in the 1970s to get children and adults with intellectual disabilities out of institutional care. One Hundred Hours in the 1990s pioneered keyworker support for families whose baby had neurological impairment.
From his One Hundred Hours experience, Peter developed and published the Team Around the Child (TAC) approach in 2001 and has promoted this in Australia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden and the UK.
Peter lives in the Black Mountains on the border between England and Wales where he edits the international Interconnections News Service and its online TAC Bulletin about babies, children and young adults who are disabled, marginalised or vulnerable.
Peter’s recent books include:
Integration Made Possible: A practical manual for joint working (2020)
Bringing up babies and young children who have very special needs (2019)
Early Childhood Intervention without Tears: Improved support for infants with disabilities and their families (2017)
Also: International Guide ‘Are you worried about your child?’ In many languages. PDFs free to download for parents and professionals
Peter Limbrick, Principal, Interconnections