Children's Hearing Services Working Groups (CHSWGs)
Groups for parents, carers and professionals working together to improve local services for deaf children
Children’s Hearing Services Working Groups (CHSWGs) are groups of parents and professionals who work with deaf children and young people. They meet regularly to help improve health, education and social care services for deaf children, young people and their families.
There are 136 CHSWGs across the UK. Typically:
- Groups meet three or four times per year.
- They have 10 to 15 members (depending on the geographical size of the area).
- Meetings last about two hours.
- Meetings take place during the day, though a few do take place during the evening to enable more parents to attend.
- A chair steers each meeting through a prepared agenda.
- Groups use action plans that help them to work on priorities for their local area.
Each group member - also known as a representative or 'rep' - has the opportunity to share their views, feedback on any progress made, raise issues that are affecting deaf children and young people, and provide the voice of parents.
Parents, carers and deaf young people
Parents, carers and young people, we warmly welcome you to attend as you are perfectly placed to gather feedback from other families about local services for deaf children. These can be shared with your local CHSWG to help shape the support for deaf children and families in your area.
If you support deaf children and their families, CHSWGs offer you the opportunity to work together with parents to help shape services. You will play a key role in making sure that families and deaf young people have a voice at your CHSWG.
- Paediatric Audiology
- Auditory Implant Centre
- Ear, Nose, and Throat
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Health/Local Authority Commissioning
- Health Visiting/School Nursing
- Deaf CAMHS
- Specialist Education Services for deaf children
- Resource Provisions
- Further Education/post-16
- Professionals supporting children with disabilities
- Early Help
- National Deaf Children’s Society
- other local deaf children’s charities
For information on how you can get involved, contact our Local Engagement staff.
They can support you to get involved with CHSWGs in a variety of ways:
- Introduce you to your local CHSWG meeting chair and other members.
- Answer any CHSWG-related questions you may have ahead of attending your first meeting.
- Support you throughout your involvement.
- Provide access to helpful workshops and resources.
Email at [email protected] to find out more.
CHSWG group members are known as 'reps'. Email [email protected] for more information about becoming a rep.
Becoming a parent rep means using your own experiences and unique overview of services to shape the support for deaf children and their families in your area.
You can join for as long as you feel it will benefit both yourself as a parent and the deaf children and young people in your area.
There is a time commitment to attend meetings for two hours, three times a year. You will need to seek the views of other parents to feed into the meeting.
Most CHSWGs welcome the input of all parents who ask to join. There is rarely a selection process, although CHSWGs will seek to get a range of parents with children in early years, primary, secondary, cochlear implants, post 16.
Becoming a professional rep means working to ensure your CHSWG has a positive impact on outcomes for deaf children and their families. You will contribute to influencing strategic and operational decisions within local authorities and health trusts about local services. This will make a real difference for deaf children and their families in your area.
To find your local CHSWG you can:
The Deaf Education Map is designed to show you what’s happening with education services for deaf children where you live.
Read more about the map and the different ways you can use it.
Our Local Engagement staff represent us at CHSWGs. We:
Support parents, deaf young people and professionals to be effective partners in their local CHSWG.
Ensure deaf children, young people and their families’ voices are heard and acted upon in service development.
Help to assure the quality of services through gathering and analysing data, and monitoring provision.
Share information and best practice to inform and plan how services are delivered.
Offer advice, guidance and challenge to ensure high quality services are available and accessible.
Help to identify inequalities in service provision and address them through joint problem solving.
Make recommendations to inform and influence operational and strategic decisions.
Work together to safeguard deaf children and young people.
This helps groups to engage effectively with local services and service users, and coordinate and improve the services that deaf children and young people receive.
- CHSWG Chairs Guide (PDF)
- Promotional leaflets for groups - add your local group's details and give one of the leaflets below to parents to encourage them to join:
Promotional leaflet for groups - England (PDF)
Promotional leaflet for groups - Wales (Welsh language PDF)
Promotional leaflet for groups - Wales (English language PDF)
Promotional leaflet for groups - Scotland (PDF)
- Audit tool (PDF)
Service-specific CHSWG action plan (Word document download): CHSWGs can use this to separate their actions across each service area, e.g. education, speech and language.
- Cross-cutting priorities CHSWG action plan (Excel document download): CHSWGs can use this to integrate thematic actions across different services e.g. early identification, parent engagement.
- Strategic CHSWG action plan (Word or Excel document download): these can be used for a strategic CHSWG, where services are working over a larger footprint, e.g. four local authorities and two health trusts with local CHSWGs feeding into the strategic group.
If you're already attending meetings and would like to link with other parent reps via social media, then there is a dedicated Facebook page run by parents that you can ask to join.
If you have any questions about CHSWGs or want to find out more about them, email [email protected].