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|04 Dec 2015|
Forth Valley Stronger Together
Other services are currently under threat. This year in Falkirk two employment services for disabled people are facing financial challenges.
ASSET is a council run non profit making business to get people with learning disabilities into work. In a sheltered workshop setting they make a lot of different things, from fences, benches, bird houses, planters, balloons, wedding favours, invitations and much more. A redesign of employment services to people with a disability is being proposed with potential closure mooted.
Also in the same area is the Caledonia Clubhouse is an employment service for people with mental health problems and people with learning disabilities which helps people take up a range of options from volunteering to employment. It tries not to pressure vulnerable adults too quickly. Falkirk Council is reviewing its mental health services and hopes to achieve efficiency savings of about 20% as a result.
For us at the Learning Disability Alliance the debate should not be an either/or decision between supported and open employment. It is right that adults with learning disabilities or disabilities should have every opportunity to work in a mainstream setting.
Lobby of Glasgow Council Budget Cuts Meeting
Thursday, February 19 at 12:30pm
City Chambers, George Square. The people of Glasgow should not have to pay for the mistakes of millionaire bankers.
• Defend services and jobs
• No to cuts in public spending
• Oppose the privatisation of public services
• Tax the banks and financial institutions that caused the crisis. End tax avoidance by the super-rich and make them pay their fair share
• For a united campaign of public services workers, community/ voluntary organisations and service user groups to defend Glasgow’s services
On Thursday 22nd of January, the Executive Committee of Glasgow Council decided to close another two day centres, Southbrae and the Wedge. The council say that only 21 people still use Southbrae and 15 the Wedge and most of them are not full time. This comes less than 12 months after the last round of closures took place and the council says that many people who are getting budgets are choosing to spend them eleswehere and now they have no choice but to close the centres.
Do you still use one of these two centres, Southbrae or the Wedge? If so what do you think? Do you want to move to another centre or move elsewhere altogether? Or do you want to stay?
If you have stopped using one of these centres or any other one including those that closed could you tell me what you are doing instead? Did you choose that because that was what you wanted or was it what you could afford with your new budget?
National Guidance exists for the use of restraint on “looked after” children in Scotland but nothing similar covers children with special needs in schools. This is a major oversight and means schools have no national standards on the appropriateness of restraint techniques, the use of de-escalation and the necessary levels of training.
This means that is some circumstances, bad practice has arisen and parents have little recourse to challenge teaching and other support staff. For more information see our stories on the events at Kingspark School in Dundee.
Even more surprising is that there is no external supervision of the care regime in schools. HMIE does not cover this in their inspections. It is left up the same local authorities who employ staff and run the schools to monitor them. This is a real concern and we are supporting a national petition to start a national dialogue to improve this picture.
In late 2014, the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland along with a number of National Carers Organisations, the Coalition Of Carers in Scotland, Carers Trust UK, MECOPP and Carers Scotland sought information from each council in Scotland about how they were getting on.
We found that many of the developments in Self Directed Support show that it is making some changes around Scotland. Yet the numbers affected by this remain very small compared to the hundreds of thousands of people who use social care support every year.
Concerns over liability, risk, managing expenditure seem to operate behind the scenes of the far more visible outcomes focussed assessment and creative support planning.
For a number of years, the development of the Single Shared Assessment introduced a standardised model of how social care needs would be assessed throughout Scotland. Now with the introduction of SDS, we have almost 32 different methods of assessing social care needs. Each values different things or takes different approaches. While social work professionals will do their best, every craftsman knows they need the best tools. Too many of these tools feel inadequate, with no real way of understanding what is missed or overlooked.
We welcome the move away from the pseudo-scientific approach of Resource Allocation Systems by some councils. This was a concern and worry for thousands of vulnerable people and their families.
Matching points to questions in the way that Points Based RASs do has the outward appearance of rationality, yet overlooks the key question of context. When people in one part of Glasgow or Edinburgh die on average 10-15 years earlier than in another part of the same city, how much more important must the social context of vulnerable people be when it comes to assessing social need. Yet so much of this is missed from the new assessments.
The “Equivalence” models are no panacea for social care but they avoid the worst of the budget cutting approach that might have developed by an over reliance on computer technology. However it is not yet clear how much change will emerge from those councils using the equivalence model.
Much of the opportunity for change the landscape of social care in Scotland lies with the development of Individual Service Funds and more flexible ways of spending these funds. As we have shown few councils have yet committed to taking a flexible approach and this really raises the question of what will, in reality, change.
The biggest challenge in introducing Self Directed Support will be assuming that those who currently receive support are looking for more control or a change in their service. Most just want to keep getting good support. Imposing change on people through reduced budgets or a new system could end up creating new problems which is why we welcome the efforts of a few councils to consider how to speedily resolve differences of opinion over social care.