Government to amend deprivation of liberty scheme to cover 16- and 17-year-olds | Community Care

The government will amend its planned replacement to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) so that it applies to 16- and 17-year-olds, not just those over 18, a minister has confirmed.

Junior health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy pledged to amend the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill so that the proposed Liberty Protection Safeguards applied to young people aged 16 and 17, in a House of Lords debate on the bill yesterday (15 October).

The government had been criticised for excluding 16- and 17-year-olds from the scheme, particularly as they had been included in 2017 Law Commission proposals to replace DoLS that form the blueprint for the government’s plans.


Source: Government to amend deprivation of liberty scheme to cover 16- and 17-year-olds | Community Care


Co-production with individuals: key advice for social workers : Community Care

Co-production is a set of core values, principles and approaches that can be used to transform the way social care and mental health support are designed and delivered. This can happen on both individual and collective levels.

On the individual level, co-production can be described as a collaborative relationship between the people who use services and the practitioner (be it a social worker, personal assistant, teacher or housing officer). By emphasising the importance of communication and negotiation between frontline staff and the people who use services, it offers an alternative to the gatekeeping and ‘gift’ models of care based on resource eligibility, or care and support delivery based on tasks. The emphasis is on power sharing, relationships and mutual respect for knowledge and expertise.

Assessment and support planning provide a primary opportunity for practitioners, services users and potentially family, friends and other supporters to work together co-productively to define goals and outcomes and to design the support needed to achieve these. This can happen in any social care or mental health context, be it self-directed support planning for personal budget or direct payment use in the community, or in the context of residential care (Sanderson and Lewis, 2011). To be co-productive, the practice should be informed by Edgar Cahn’s (2004) core values of having an asset perspective, nurturing reciprocity and building social capital. Person-centred, strengths-based and recovery approaches in mental health all have the potential to reflect these core values in assessment and support planning. For example, in mental health:


Source: Co-production with individuals: key advice for social workers : Community Care

Social work awards to conduct ‘ethics audit’ after Capita row : Community Care

The Social Worker of the Year Awards has pledged to carry out an “ethics audit” after it was embroiled in a row last week over outsourcing firm Capita’s inclusion in its 2018 list of sponsors.

A social work charity set up in response to the safeguarding crisis faced by refugees in Calais pulled out of the awards within hours of being shortlisted due to Capita’s involvement, which it said was at odds with social work values.

Since 2015, Social Workers Without Borders (SWWB) has supported young people and families around their applications to enter or remain in the UK, as well as undertaking campaigning and educational work. It was a finalist in the ‘Championing Social Work Values’ award category, sponsored by Essex council in partnership with Capita, which performs resourcing and recruitment functions, including around social workers, for the East of England authority.

After SWWB made its decision public, one of the judging panel, Nick Berbiers, also announced on social media that he would not be attending the awards ceremony, in “solidarity”. He said professional ethics demanded “ultra-scrupulousness as to who we associate with”.

In response, a spokesperson for the Social Worker of the Year Awards said it would be reviewing sponsorship policy as part of a wider audit, in conjunction with British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and others, to which it would invite SWWB to particpitate.

Capita controversies

Capita, which has provided outsourced services to fulfil hundreds of public-sector contracts, has often attracted controversy relating to performance issues and the nature of its work.


Source: Social work awards to conduct ‘ethics audit’ after Capita row : Community Care

Talking Alexa: how assistive technology can help adult social care services | Community Care

At this year’s ADASS spring seminar, incoming president Glen Garrod told delegates a pinch of “creative disruption” was needed to find solutions to the problems facing adult social care.

In his speech, Garrod made particular reference to opportunities surrounding digital technology, arguing that new approaches towards the delivery of care could help people lead “more independent lives”.

Hampshire and Oxfordshire councils have embraced the potential of new technologies. Within the last year, both councils have worked with Amazon to explore how its voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant, Alexa, can deliver more personalised care to service users and relieve pressure on a stretched social care workforce.

Being home to one of the most expensive cities in the country, director of adults’ social care at Oxfordshire council Kate Terroni says the national challenge of recruiting and retaining social care staff is only too real in her county.

She says the local authority is faced with the challenge of finding and keeping staff with the right skill set to support a population with increasingly complex needs.

More on assistive technology:

Reducing demand on the workforce has been a core motivation behind Oxfordshire’s exploration into the potential uses of assistive technology, which Terroni hopes could “supplement and support” staff in the future.

This year, the council used its innovation fund to finance an Alexa trial, specifically focusing on how the voice assistant, housed in an Amazon Echo device (a voice-activated smart speaker), could reshape the way social services provide daytime support to people.


Source: Talking Alexa: how assistive technology can help adult social care services | Community Care

Citizens Advice blame rent arrear rise on Universal Credit & welfare reform : Universal Credit Sufferer

A new report released by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has blamed the UK government’s welfare reforms for a rise in clients seeking help for rent arrears on. The report comes the day after the government whipped their MPs to block the release of papers showing how Universal Credit will impact families.
The report starts by saying that in Scotland, the agency has seen a 40% rise in clients seeking assistance for rent arrears. Before you can even get into the report their findings are listed, and it doesn’t make comfortable reading for the government in Westminster.
The first and possibly most damning finding for the Tories says;


Source: Citizens Advice blame rent arrear rise on Universal Credit & welfare reform : Universal Credit Sufferer

Relationships between families, providers and commissioners [2] – Bringing Us Together

At our third Stronger Together event, we brought together families and providers, along with some colleagues from NHS England to look at what makes a difference and what can we do now.  It wasn’t about changes in legislation, it was about transforming the way we work and working with what we have.

Let’s be honest, legislation without true accountability is as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

In our recent post, we talked about what the families and providers had to say about when relationships work between families, providers and commissioners.  However, in order to be realistic, we also have to talk about when relationships don’t work.

When it didn’t go well.


  • When staff and home is 300 miles away, transition is difficult.
  • Hospital don’t like home staff being allowed in unit so no way for young person or family to get to work together before discharge.
  • No communication with the other Borough’s teams
  • Young person was seen as a diagnosis, not as an individual
  • Family were seen as the problem
  • Family did not get to share their vast knowledge or insight into what helps, works and doesn’t for their child or young person
  • Autism seen as a mental health issue
  • Not enough understanding of behaviour being a symptom


Source: Relationships between families, providers and commissioners [2] – Bringing Us Together

Outrage as disability assessment reports are ‘altered’ to refuse benefits support

There is growing evidence to suggest that disability benefit assessment reports are being deliberately “altered” or “tampered” with in order to deny disabled people the benefits support they desperately need, it has been revealed.

Evidence suggests that assessment reports for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) sent to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are routinely “audited” by DWP officials so that the altered reports bear little or no resemblance to the originals.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey MP, is now facing calls to explain the reasons behind these “audits”, after SNP MP Marion Fellows highlighted the case of one of her constituents who was refused PIP based on an audited assessment report by a DWP official.


Source: Outrage as disability assessment reports are ‘altered’ to refuse benefits support

SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Universal credit rollout delayed yet again

No matter how long they delay the process progressing, will it ever solve the problems.

My own view is No, because to solve a problem you have to firstly find out what the problems are and where they are and then you have to have the willingness to allocate time, money and all others to find an effective solution. There is the major problem, for does this Government really wish to solve the problems, for they wish to remove as many people as possible from the benefit systems. Therefore the problems with Universal Credit (UC) are a bonus for the Government in achieving their aim, for if people are in crisis and this affects their health and their ability to live then this is achieving one of the Governments aims in reducing the number of people on benefits.

So all this Government talk is just a ‘whitewash’ for they do not want to solve the problems.

Govt Newspeak

Holly Sargent has had to sell her possessions because of problems receiving universal credit

Ministers have bowed to pressure and are planning to further delay the rollout of flagship welfare reform Universal Credit. The system, which will merge six benefits into one payment, has been beset with problems.

Leaked documents seen by the BBC reveal plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to prevent claimants suffering hardship as they move onto it. The government said it always intended to introduce the benefit slowly.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey told the Commons on Monday that she had been discussing details of universal credit with the chancellor and details of this would be revealed in the Budget later this month.

The universal credit system was originally supposed to be up and running by April 2017, but is now not expected to be fully operational until December 2023. Massive overspends and administrative problems have…

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Diabetic woman, 27, died after slipping into a coma when her benefits were stopped

When will appropriate action be taken against the DWP for these cases keep surfacing but no one is held accountable.

This strengthens my agruement that this whole process is geared to kill claimant, which is a sure fire way to reduce the benefits costs.

The DWP should be held on a charge of Murder.

Govt Newspeak

Diabetic woman, 27, died after slipping into a coma when her benefits were stopped and she ‘couldn’t afford to eat’. Amy Driver was given a sanction for missing a Job Centre appointment when she went to hospital – and was told to go to a food bank.

A man says he blames the Government for the death of his partner who slipped into a diabetic coma after her benefits were stopped. Amy Driver, 27, was given a four-week sanction after she missed one appointment at the Job Centre due to a hospital appointment, Clifford Watson claims.

Clifford, who cannot work due to a disability, said the halt in their income meant she couldn’t afford to eat properly – which triggered the low blood sugar attack. When they complained Job Centre staff told her to go to a food bank, he alleges. Not having enough food to provide glucose for the body can cause dangerously low…

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‘We all want to live the lives we choose’

Scope's Blog

Jameisha talks about the impact of a hidden impairment and how attitudes affect her daily life.

As a young person living with Lupus and a few other hidden impairments, I have had my fair share of challenges confronting attitudes surrounding my conditions. These experiences often come from well-meaning people, but they are a marker of how we need to change as a society to be more understanding and inclusive.

I have become very self-conscious about how people see me as a young person with an invisible impairment. So many thoughts go through my mind. What’s everyone thinking when I sit in the priority seating area? Are people judging me for getting the lift instead of the stairs? Are people staring at me for using the disabled parking space at the supermarket. It got to the point where I wouldn’t take help in fear that I would be judged. Ultimately, the…

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