Thousands more migrant kids separated from parents under Trump than previously reported : NBC News

WASHINGTON — Thousands more immigrant children were separated from their parents under the Trump administration than previously reported and whether they have been reunified is unknown, according to a report released Thursday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report found a spike in immigrant family separations beginning in the summer of 2017, a year prior to the “zero tolerance” policy that prosecuted immigrant parents who crossed the border illegally while holding their children separately in HHS custody. The families separated under zero tolerance were represented in a class action lawsuit, where a federal judge ordered that the government reunify them.

However, the government had no such order to reunify children separated prior to “zero tolerance.” Some may have been released to family or nonrelative sponsors, but it is not known how many have been reunified.

HHS officials did not keep track of whether children they were releasing from their custody had been separated from their parents at the border or whether they crossed the border without a parent.


Source: Thousands more migrant kids separated from parents under Trump than previously reported : NBC News


‘I was screaming for help but people looked away’

Unfortunately many people are ignorant of issues around disability, as they see the disability, but not the person.

They believe they are caring, but have no understanding of how care should be offered.

No one should assume that care is required, without contacting the person concerned. Just because a person has a disability does not mean their feelings and other senses are disabled also.

Everybody, no matter who they are wish to retain their own independence and therefore everyone should be respectful of others.

Before you act, think and consider how to proceed for no one should touch another without the expressed permission of that persons. This is also extended to any aids or adaptions that the person may have.

It is assault to make contact with a person without their permission and the act of touching a persons wheelchair or any other items of theirs is also assault, which is deemed a criminal act or should be as it is abuse

Do not ignore people, but treat them as you, yourself would wish to be treated, for you do not know the person like they know themselves.

The act of touching is further compounded when they are telling you not to do what you have done without their expressed permission.

They are not in the wrong, you are.

Ignorance is never any excuse.

Govt Newspeak

Photo shows Carrie-Ann, William and Ann, who spoke to the BBC about their experiences
The BBC spoke to Carrie-Ann Lightley, William Peace and Ann Webster about strangers trying to push their wheelchairs.

A tweet by a woman detailing how a stranger took control of her wheelchair has prompted other people to share similar stories and support.

In the tweet Bronwyn Berg recounts how passers-by didn’t intervene despite her “screaming for help”.

Twitter post by @BergBronwyn: If you see a person in a wheelchair (especially a woman) being pushed by someone and she’s screaming Stop! No! Help! For the love of humanity help her!A guy grabbed my wheelchair today and just started pushing me, not a single passerby helped even though I was screaming for helpMs Berg’s tweet has received a huge reaction online, garnering nearly 65,000 likes and 20,000 retweets, with many people expressing their outrage and offering words of support, including Baroness Tanni 
Twitter post by @Tanni_GT: That is awful. And scary.Ms Berg wrote on Twitter that she was “most upset that no one helped,” adding “the way people looked away when I was calling for help makes me feel a lot less safe in the world”.

Many wheelchair users identified with the “horrifying” tweet, and were moved to share their experiences.

Photo shows Carrie-Ann Lightley in a gardenTravel blogger Carrie-Ann Lightley says she has experienced similar behaviour

Carrie-Ann Lightley…

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Tories hand private firms £95 BILLION in public service contracts : Welfare Weekly

A year on from Carillion’s collapse GMB, Britain’s general union, has revealed the total value of outsourcing contracts let by the public sector rocketed by 53% in the past year.

In 2017/18 the lifetime value of public sector contracts awarded to private companies rose to £95 billion, up from £62 billion the year before.

Capita was one of the biggest winners of public outsourcing, receiving contracts worth almost £1.4 billion in 2017/18 – despite issuing a profit warning in the same year.

The private firm, who were given responsibility to carry out disability assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), have been criticised by MPs over the accuracy of reports sent to the Department for Work and Pensions.


Source: Tories hand private firms £95 BILLION in public service contracts : Welfare Weekly

Unpaid carer ‘surviving on a can of sweetcorn a day’ after benefits axed

A family carer claims he’s been forced to survive on a can of tuna and sweetcorn a day after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stopped his benefits, despite being the sole carer for his disabled parents.

John McDermott, 47, spends 18 hours a day providing unpaid care for his disabled father and mentally unwell mother, and was left feeling like a “nervous wreck” after the DWP stopped his Carers Allowance payments.

His father, Patrick, suffers from severe incontinence and dementia, while his mother, Katherine, has Schizophrenia. Both are 77 years-of-age and are entirely dependent on the unpaid care given by their son John.

Mr McDermott says he has been forced to survive on just £93 a week for a shocking 6 months, which is money provided via a direct care arrangement involving his sister.

Source: Unpaid carer ‘surviving on a can of sweetcorn a day’ after benefits axed

Severely disabled 64-year old man found starving to death – while billionaires get tax cuts

Yet again another welfare atrocity, this time ESA, but it could have been UC, PIP, etc.

One situation of this nature is one too many, but there are much more than one and it goes on and on.

This, the UK, is supposed to be an affluent country, so how can situations such as these occur.

In many instances it is down to Government policy or policies and you would think that a reasonable Government would respond to everyone of these situations.

The Government do say they care, but how can they, for these situations would not then continue to occur.

They feel punishments, sorry sanctions, will lead to people overcoming any detrimental situations by encouraging the people to obtain employment after an assessment process.

But it is clear to everyone, except the Government that these assessments are not fit for purpose.

But are they, for what purpose is it the Government are intending these rules, regulations and sanctions to bring forth. Is it to benefit the claimants or to make it that benefit claimants can not cope and thereby lead them to suffer horrendously and in many instances suffer to lead to death.

Is death the ultimate end that this Government is wishing for, well the stories that keep occurring certainly lead people to assume this.

So is that the correct assumption, I hope not but according to the evidence it does appear so.

Pride's Purge

These photographs and this status was posted on Facebook by a law adviser on Christmas Eve:

Please spare a thought for this 64 year old severely disabled client of mine? Please share this post to see if we can garner a response from the Tories although, I doubt we will. 
My client was thrown off ESA by ATOS 18 months ago. Since then, he has been expected to sign on. Obviously, he’s been sanctioned and forced to go hungry. so much so he weighs 6 stone. On Friday, not surprisingly he was at death’s door with pneumonia. Fortunately, I was able to get him into hospital.Evidently, his left lung was full of fluid with his right not much better, he’s now on the mend.
He has been unable to heat or look after his home properly because his health has deteriorated which I suggest is obvious from the photographs…

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The decimation of the welfare state

A truly worrying situation and one that could be happening within the UK. The DWP situation with Benefit claims and while the appeal process is reversing many of the wrongful dismissed cases, will this always be so. Not if we implement the American system as we appear to be doing.

It is very worrying and this should be noticed by the DWP, but will it be, I fear not.

Govt Newspeak

It’s sickening that the British welfare state is being gradually demolished by successive governments, to be eventually replaced with private healthcare insurance [1] and what’s even more galling is: they [some members of the UK govt] went to the USA to find out how to decimate our welfare state and NHS, encouraged by American corporate funders. Mo Stewart has written extensively about this in her book Cash not Care.

Amber Rudd has the absolute nerve to say Universal Credit has not always been compassionate whilst her dept have overseen the demolition of the welfare state causing misery not seen seen Victorian times [2] and I have added hundreds of  DWP atrocities like the one of Alan Chrisman [below] which have contributed to many suicides [3] 

Since 2010

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Anger as disabled woman ordered out of Castle Bingo

What a complete lack of understanding by Castle Bingo and they should be made to consider ‘reasonable adjustments’.

Say this was not an adult, but a baby or young child would Castle Bingo have requested the baby or young child to leave.

If the answer be, Yes, then Castle Bingo need to consider if they should continue to be in business.

If the answer be No, then they are guilty of discrimination and again they need to consider whether they should be in business.

Govt Newspeak

Anger as mentally disabled woman ordered out of Castle Bingo in Nantgarw
Katie Clarke from Caerphilly was ordered to leave Castle Bingo in Nantgarw

A woman from Caerphilly with a mental disability was “made to look stupid” and ordered to leave Castle Bingo in Nantgarw.

Katie Clarke, 34, was at the bingo hall with her family on Boxing Day when she was evicted for not having a membership card.

However, Katie, who regularly visits the hall, was “screamed and shouted at” for 25 minutes by a member of staff, which left her “shaking like a leaf” and having a panic attack.

Katie Clarke and her family have been regular customers at Castle Bingo

Katie’s sister, Aurial Clarke, who was with her when the incident happened, told Caerphilly Observer: “We’ve been going there for well over two years and it’s the first time anything like this has happened. “They told us we…

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Care cuts failing older people in England

Much is wrong with the UKs system of caring and the main factor is that it is seriously underfunded. A main reason for this is the continued Government of austerity, which is bleeding Local Authorities dry of resources.

All Local Authorities need, immediately, sufficient funding to cover all of their Social Care provision, thereby providing service care providers sufficient income to pay their care workers a remuneration in accordance with the responsibilities that these care workers should be undertaking.

For caring is not only for cleansing people during the day and night, providing meals, etc but to help the person they are caring for to lead their lives how they wish. This means in addition to basic functions such as dressing, washing and meal preparation, but also emotional support, catering for social inclusion, working to the pace of the person they are caring for and not rushing them to met their next call.

The time allotted for a care call should be focused on the needs of the person and not the length of time the money is providing for. Calls of 15 mins, even calls of 1 hour may not be sufficient as all the caring requirements and responsibilities need to be catered for in every call.

These areas need to be assessed when a Needs Assessment is undertaken and it is the needs that need to be assessed, not the funding allowed that these needs have to be fitted into. The needs have to be fully funded, for to not to means that each and every care package is failing the needs of the person requiring care. They are human beings and not objects and what may be sufficient on one call for that person may not be sufficient when the next call for that person is due. Why when some one is requiring care should their feelings and their choice not be respected.

This, of course all needs funding and this funding should be the priority and not austerity.

Govt Newspeak

Care cuts failing older people in England, says human rights group
Vulnerable people could be denied help to live dignified life, says Human Rights Watch

An elderly woman holding a cup and saucer
 ‘Many older people desperately need these services,’ said a co-author of the report. 

Vulnerable older people in England are at risk of being denied their human rights because of failures in the way the government allocates care resources since budget cuts, Human Rights Watch has said.

After a 13-month inquiry, the global campaign group has concluded that people are facing physical, financial and psychological hardship and are at risk of being denied adequate help to live independent, dignified lives.

It accuses the government of a lack of oversight of a system which is largely devolved to town halls and voices concern about a 140% increase in adult social care complaints since 2010 following a cut of almost 50% in central government funding for councils.

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Unjustified Imprisonment | Publications by date | Library | The Centre for Welfare Reform

In the context of disability care is an inadequate word. It implies that someone is a passive recipient rather than an active participant in a process to help them live their life.

The detention of young people with autism and complex needs in hospital settings where they are locked up all day, every day is nothing short of a scandal. Moreover it is a scandal arising out of lazy thinking and institutional indifference to the needs of citizens who happen to have an intellectual disability or autism or both – but who cannot make their voices heard.

Despite all the talk of advocacy and the rights of people with a learning disability – backed up by reams of legislation – we are shocked out of our complacency to discover that young people, teenagers, are being held in their personal, private hell because in 2018 we are not geared up to give them the support they need.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock – in response to recent heartbreaking revelations that have echoes of Victorian asylums – has asked the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to investigate. We have been here before. Nevertheless it’s a welcome first move. And it may bring some urgently-needed relief to these young people and their families. I dearly hope so. The CQC after all is charged with regulating our health and care system.

The move follows a public outcry after a father successfully challenged a local authority’s bid to secure a gagging order that would stop him from speaking out about his daughter’s treatment in a psychiatric unit. That in itself makes the mind boggle. We are not the Soviet Union.

Bethany, 17, who has autism and extreme anxiety, has been locked in a seclusion room for almost two years. She is being restrained and she communicates through a hatch.

Her father Jeremy, 50, had been fighting an injunction sought by Walsall Council banning him from discussing her treatment. The council claimed it wanted to protect Bethany by shielding her identity. We might ask: protect her from whom?

Bethany is not alone. There are it seems many such cases, signs of a system that blames its failure to provide the right support for people who have complex needs on what they describe as their ‘challenging behaviour’ which, by and large, is a response to a sledge-hammer approach.

A CQC review will not address the wider issues

This admittedly is a complex problem. But I question whether the CQC is the right body to address it. The regulator is not a body known for its ability to see much beyond the box-ticking approach. It does not on the whole concern itself with ethos: the underlying culture of how a provision is run. Despite its remit it is essentially a nuts and bolts organisation, a policeman there to check on providers from schools to care homes.

The CQC deals with what is there. Not what should be there. It does not make or advise on policy. It would be most unusual were it to turn round and say “This system that we have been overseeing isn’t working”. It is not in any case within its terms of reference. This is not the place to discuss the CQC’s failings. Suffice it to say that it’s an organisation that, in my personal experience, too often employs people who have little in-depth knowledge or understanding of the nature (as opposed to the process) of care.

Compliance is not the same as care

Nobody pretends that supporting people with complex and sometimes volatile behaviour is easy. It takes time, skill, the right training, the right setting and above all else continuity.


Source: Unjustified Imprisonment | Publications by date | Library | The Centre for Welfare Reform

Cumulative Impact Assessment debate | News | The Centre for Welfare Reform

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the WOW Campaign and the support of Debbie Abrahams MP and Kate Green MP there was a debate in the House of Commons on 19 December on the need for the Government to provide a Cumulative Impact Assessment on the impact of cuts and welfare ‘reforms’ on disabled people.

Debbie Abrahams began the event with a powerful speech which gave a very good overview of the range of cuts experienced by disabled people and the devastating this is having on the lives of millions of people.


Source: Cumulative Impact Assessment debate | News | The Centre for Welfare Reform