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Until everyone accepts that abuse is never acceptable then abusive situations will continue to occur. In a physical action of abuse then any associated injuries are more likely to be noticed, but with verbal, written and on-live abusive situations then injuries could well be invisible, but injuries there will be and in some instances some injuries which there may never be a recovery from.

The actions taken against all abusers should be effective and fit the crime to ensure all prospective abusers know what to expect if they start or continue to be abusive.

But many conduct themselves in accordance with the Children’s Nursery Rhyme ‘Sticks and Stones’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticks_and_Stones) ending as ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.’, but in reality this is far from the truth as words can and in many instances are worse than ‘sticks and stones’ , for broken bones can be mended in time, but not necessarily the invisible ‘hurt from ‘words’.

Verbal and on-line abuse needs to be taken more seriously and all areas where this can occur need to deal with it more effectively, be they employers, retail venues, schools, churches and all other areas.

Govt Newspeak

If Poundland cared about what happened in their stores, they wouldn’t be abusing the jobless by making them work for nothing – Govt Newspeak


Finsbury Park Poundland attack: ‘Staff did nothing to help abused disabled woman’

Image result for images of poundland

A BARGAIN chain store has come under fire after one shopper witnessed a disabled woman get attacked while staff did nothing to help.

Journalist Katharine Quarmby was in Poundland in Finsbury Park last Friday when she saw a mother with a pushchair shouting abuse at a disabled woman.

“I think there was an argument about who was first in the queue for the till,” said Ms Quarmby. “The mum started abusing the woman and told her to lose weight and saying stuff which was unacceptable. It culminated in the woman having to say ‘please stop I’m disabled’. She had a catheter attached to the shopping trolley.”

Ms Quarmby, who works pro bono at the…

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The tactics being taken by Government’s revenue agency HMRC is taking a spectacular new turn in dealing with the sleep in crisis says VODG the group that represents disability charities.

Government’s recent announcement of a new Social Care Compliance Scheme raised more questions than answers. The lack of clarity has prompted VODG and other agencies to work together to compile a consolidated list of questions and concerns which have been shared with HMRC and other Government officials in writing.

This scheme and the lack of clarity on key issues has strengthened employers concerns that Government has failed to step in and fund the long-running sleepin crisis.

Now in the latest turn of events the leaders of charities and their trustees are receiving ultimatum letters from HMRC. There are variations to the letters but all introduce the Social Care Compliance Scheme and “invite” the organisation to join. Some demand a telephone call with the recipient on a fixed date and time. So far all of the letters received give just 30 days to decide whether to take part in the scheme.

VODG chair Steve Scown said:

“There are too many unresolved questions for providers to make an informed decision as to whether to join Government’s compliance scheme. In the absence of answers, and funding to cover the back pay bill, HMRC’s approach and the timeframe they are imposing is unhelpful to a sector that is at full stretch financially.”

While the chief executive of a disability charity, who wished to remain anonymous, said:

“This appears to be a concerted and planned campaign by government to undermine the sector when a constructive not punitive approach is needed. At a time when we need more funding for social care, the sector is instead being hammered by the HRMC intent on taking away resources from the sector. As a charity working with thousands of people we are deeply concerned about the impact to services such as care and support for elderly relatives, families already struggling with disabled children and young disabled adults who may not only lose their services but the charities who have supported them over many years. The public should know that the very services who support them are being pulled apart. I am concerned and dismayed that our sector is being treated in this way.”

VODG is working with other sector bodies including Association for Real Change, Care England and Learning Disability Voices to demand that Government funds the mistaken back pay.

VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes said:

“The unspoken cost pressures on social care employers continue to mount as Government drags on the sleep in crisis. The Treasury must find the money to remedy this situation to enable local authorities to contract with providers at a level that covers the full cost of legal requirements. The long-term chronic under-funding of social care must be reversed and we demand the Chancellor takes action in the Autumn Statement.”

 

Source : Sleep in crisis will not be resolved by HMRC’s bullish tactics-VODG comments : Care Industry News


Social workers need to understand and use research to provide effective support, but there are debates about how evidence should be used

description_of_image_used_in_evidence_based_practice_piece_writing_in_notebook_imagesource_rex_shutterstock

Photo: imageSource/REX/Shutterstock

Social workers need to understand and use research in practice if they are to provide effective help. The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) says that social workers should “make use of research to inform practice” and the Knowledge and Skills Statement for child and family practitioners says they should “make use of the best evidence from research to… support families and protect children”.

This all sounds very simple – but evidence-based practice is more complicated than that. In a recently updated guide for Community Care Inform Children, David Wilkins covers how to use evidence to inform your practice, and different ways to find relevant information and stay up-to-date with research. In the following excerpt from the guide, he goes through what evidence-based practice is, and some of the key ideas and controversies around it. Inform subscribers can read the full, in-depth guide.

Evidence-based practice (EBP)

Lindsay (2007) explains EBP in simple terms:

it involves using the best evidence you have about the most effective care of individuals, using it with the person’s best interests in mind, to the best of your ability and in such a way that it is clear to others that you are doing it.”

Put like this, it is hard to see how anyone could dispute the value of EBP – but there are many who do and for understandable reasons, even if one might in the end disagree. Most of us would feel uneasy if our GP suggested a treatment based not on the best available evidence but because of their ‘gut feeling’ or an anecdote they were told by a more senior colleague. It seems equally obvious that social workers should have a good working knowledge of the issues they encounter and an evidence-informed understanding of the best ways to help.

It is unlikely that anyone really believes otherwise. However, there are debates and controversies about the nature of evidence and how it should be used. Those critical of EBP often argue it is based on a medical model of evidence and that applying this approach in social work creates more problems than it solves. Put simply, medical experiments establish whether a medicine works for a specific illness. But are social work interventions comparable to medicines? And are the issues encountered by social workers comparable with illnesses? The answer to both these questions must surely be ‘no’.

Socially defined issues

Firstly, the issues social workers deal with tend to be socially defined. Deciding a child is being abused is not the same as saying they have measles. The latter can be determined via an objective blood test, which gives the same result irrespective of who administers the test. The former involves not only defining ‘abuse’ but determining what should be done about it and different results are not only possibly but likely depending on who make the judgement and when. A critical view of these issues is essential, and this makes interpreting ‘evidence’ – and deciding what counts as ‘evidence’ – more complicated.

For instance, both cholera and child abuse are more common in poor families; cholera, because of a lack of access to clean water and good hygiene among poorer people in poorer countries. The link between child abuse and poverty is much more complicated. It may be because the stress and difficulty of living in poverty makes a minority of parents more likely to abuse their children but it could also be definitional, because we are more likely to label the parenting practices of poor families as ‘child abuse’ than those of more affluent families. Accepting ‘common sense’ definitions of abuse and applying ‘evidence-informed’ interventions without critical thought is not good social work. EBP cannot provide simple solutions to complex problems for there are none (Pitts, 2001).

Social workers need to understand the contribution of social causes to many of the issues they deal with. Experimental evidence, on the other hand, tends to individualise problems. For instance, The Family Nurse Partnership is targeted at pregnant women living in poverty. The intervention appears helpful for many (although not in every case; see below). However, there remains a fundamental mismatch between the presenting issue and the response. Poverty is not an individual problem. Yet, gathering evidence about ‘what works’ in response to social problems is difficult using experimental approaches (although not impossible, as recent experiments involving ‘basic income’ may yet demonstrate). Experimental methods often shift the focus on to individuals and ignore the social causes of problems. This should be anathema to social work, where we aim not only to improve individual welfare but also for social justice.

Social, not medical, interventions

Social workers work in situations in which social, psychological and biological factors interact in complex ways. Social interventions are much more complicated than medical ones. Although the Family Nurse Partnership does seem to help pregnant women living in poverty in the USA, the same is apparently not true for pregnant women living in poverty in the UK. This might be because universal services in the UK are more readily available than the USA. Whatever the explanation, these different results for the same intervention in different locations highlights the importance of critically examining not simply ‘the intervention’ but the social and economic context in which it was administered and for whom (Pawson and Tilley, 1997).

EBP can risk giving the impression – or even creating a situation – in which social workers ‘apply’ interventions to people, rather than working with people. This would run counter to social work values. This does not mean that EBP is irrelevant for social work but it does indicate the need for caution, to ensure we still work in partnership with people, rather than assuming ‘we know best’. Using EBP requires highly professional individuals with the skills, knowledge and institutional support to use evidence appropriately.

Finally, a more pragmatic criticism of EBP can be made in relation to the very limited evidence base for social work. While we have a plethora of high-quality descriptive research, there is little strong evidence for the effectiveness of specific ways of working. As a result, social workers often need to ‘borrow’ evidence from other settings and translate it into their own context.

Research

Lindsay, B (2007)
Understanding research and evidence-based practice
Exeter: Reflect Press

Pawson, R and Tilley, N (1997)
Realistic Evaluation
London: Sage

Pitts, J (2001)
Korrectional karaoke: New Labour and the zombification of youth justice
Youth Justice, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp3-16

 

 

Source : What is evidence-based practice? : Community Care


Govt Newspeak

Too little attention has been paid to the additional burden this “reform” will place on self-employed workers, argues CHARLOTTE HUGHES

SELF-EMPLOYED people have always been regarded as the backbone of the British economy, with an approximate 4.7 million self-employed workers registered in the first part of 2016.
Self-employment has helped give people employment opportunities otherwise unavailable to them and part-time self-employed work accounts for more than half of the growth of all employment.
Self-employed people work long hours, preparing for work, submitting work and generally keeping their business running.
Many work by themselves or are sole traders and therefore have no-one to help them, making the hours that they work long and laborious.
Many also work for below the minimum wage and have to rely upon working tax credits to top up their income.
A steady income cannot be depended on as work is often seasonal, paid upon commission etc…

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This is good news for once and I would suggest that you be proactive and do not reply on the DWP to contact you.

We are all aware, especially taking into all the publicity given with regards to benefit assessments that you have to look after number one. If you feel there is the slightest possibility that you could be eligible for a benefit increase contact you local government DWP office. Alternatively, access a support group in your area. If you are unsure where these are this information could be available from your local authority, GP Surgery, other health areas and many others. If you have internet access then conduct an internet search, as it could well be in your interests to do so.

Govt Newspeak

 Benefits And Work

Seven months after it lost a personal independence payment (PIP) court case, the DWP has begun searching for claimants who should be getting a higher award. But many claimants, especially those who previously received no award, are likely to miss out.

Safety and supervision
Back in March 2017 the DWP lost a vital upper tribunal case relating to safety and supervision.

Until then, the DWP had argued that a claimant could only score points for being unsafe if harm was likely to occur on more than 50% of the occasions on which they attempted an activity.

A claimant who has epilepsy which causes seizures once or twice a week, for example, may not attempt to cook unsupervised because they know that if they have a seizure they could come to serious harm.

However, the DWP had been refusing to award points to claimants with epilepsy on…

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The UK is approaching a perfect storm with an ageing population and many people unprepared for the future

Former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Ed Davey (centre) and campaigners protest against Theresa May’s social care policy during the 2017 general election campaign. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

For a short while, it seemed like the issue of social care funding would finally be addressed after years of government procrastination. The Conservatives promised a consultation on social care reformU-turned on the so-called dementia tax and, instead, confirmed their intention to cap the amount people pay towards care.

But now that plans to introduce such a cap have been scrapped and the social care consultation is rumoured to have been delayed until next summer, it seems that the government has followed previous administrations and kicked social care funding into the long grass.

Such a decision is worrying and flies in the face of public opinion. A cap on care costs will increase the fairness of social care, so it’s risky to turn our backs on this idea without an alternative plan in place. There are too many vulnerable older people at risk.

Following an election campaign full of confusing messages about social care, Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people, conducted a public poll to gather insight into people’s understanding. Our research found that 70% of British adults believe there should be a cap on social care costs, while almost half believe that social care – including dementia care – should always be paid for by the state.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, who first proposed a cap on social care, has cautioned that plans to abandon it could cause a “catastrophic risk” of poverty in older age. And councils have warned that they cannot afford to pay for all those in need of state-funded care if the dementia tax is introduced, putting many providers at risk of going out of business.

The question of how we fund social care remains unanswered, and the most recent suggestions fail to get to the crux of the issue.

Jackie Doyle-Price, the social care minister, suggested that older people should sell their homes to fund their care. But this doesn’t take the full picture into account. There is a perception that all or most older people are well-off and own their own home – this isn’t the case. For those older people who are home owners and are, to quote the minister, “sitting in homes too big for their needs”, we know that two thirds would like to downsize but can’t due to a lack of suitable options.

Again, this comes down to a lack of funding and supportive policies, despite the fact that more retirement housing could save £14.5bn to the public purse over 50 years.

Whichever direction the future of social care funding is heading, and whether a cap is introduced or not, the government must be open and honest about how social care will be paid for so that everyone can plan for the best possible life in older age. At present, this is far from the case.

More than a fifth of people wrongly believe the state pays entirely for care needs in later life, and more than half underestimate social care costs by up to 20%. Considering these misconceptions, it’s no wonder that just 14% of us are currently saving for our care in later life.

We’re approaching a perfect storm where the future of social care funding is unclear, the population is getting older, and most of us are unprepared for the future. We need a transparent and sustainable long-term strategy that integrates social care, health and housing. Recognising, and acting on this, is our only option.

  • Jane Ashcroft is chief executive of Anchor

Source: Social care funding can’t take any more setbacks. It needs reform now : The Guardian


New guidance means providers are being forced to pay for the government’s mistakes, and puts the future of the care industry at risk

By Matt Wort

Organisations have a year to identify what they owe, and those with arrears have three months to pay up. Photograph: Alamy

The government’s latest policy update on sleep-in shift pay has once again put the future of the UK care industry at risk.

Some may be forgiven for hoping that given the level of opposition and the magnitude of a looming £400m back payment billthis saga might come to a positive conclusion. However, what we are instead left with is a Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) that encourages some already stretched care providers to calculate the extent of their own insolvency.

Policymakers assert that the scheme affords providers who may be liable for historic repayments for sleep-in workers more much-needed time to access the reserves needed to settle their debt, as the government calls it. Organisations have a year to identify what they owe, and those with arrears at the end of the self-review period have three months to pay up.

This is once again an ill-considered move by the government that could have dire consequences for vulnerable individuals needing care.

There is an alarming lack of clarity in the guidance – care providers are being instructed to self-assess their national minimum wage liability, with no indication of how far back these payments may stretch.

Despite this confusion, which may still see providers liable to top up what has been paid for sleep-in shifts dating back six years, the government admits that until February 2015 its guidance was “potentially misleading”. In fact, data uncovered via a Freedom of Information request shows that as late as February 2016, HMRC was issuing guidance to its own staff that stated care workers were not entitled to the national minimum wage while asleep, other than in exceptional circumstances. This inconsistency must be resolved.

For the majority of the back-payment period, local authority and NHS commissioners won’t have funded providers sufficiently for the shifts in question to compensate this shortfall. Forcing care providers to pay for the government’s own mistakes and leaving essential services at the mercy of HMRC is both unethical and nonsensical.

As well as potentially putting hundreds of care services out of business, the government has stated that individuals who pay for their own care are liable for back payment – leaving thousands of vulnerable individuals, many with complex disabilities, at risk of bankruptcy. Again, it is highly unlikely that in many of these cases, local authority-funded personal care budgets were sufficient to cover this additional cost.

In a climate of such uncertainty, it is vital that businesses and individuals do not sign up to the self-assessment scheme until they have further clarity. Not only are they lacking essential details relating to the scope of back payment, but Mencap’s upcoming court of appeal case due to be heard in March 2018 could change the position as to whether sleep-in care workers are entitled to the minimum wage.

This latest announcement aside, the government must take a long hard look at the inherent unfairness in the way social care is paid and legislated for, ensuring budgets reflect the increased cost of sleep-in care and the wider estimated shortfall in funding of £1.3bn for residential care.

Furthermore, while sleep-in workers are entitled to the national minimum wage while asleep, this is not the case for live-in care staff, as this is classed as “unmeasured work”. There is no difference in the level of care provided, so the courts and HMRC must consider taking the same approach to sleep-in shifts that it does to live-in care.

What care providers need now is clarity, consistency and common sense from the government, and quickly. Those affected by the latest announcement would be well advised to seek further information before taking action; in such a pressurised financial environment, doing so could prove vital.

Matt Wort is a partner and health and social care expert at Anthony Collins Solicitors

Source : Policy on sleep-in pay could have dire consequences for people needing care : The Guardian


David Hencke

liz truss Liz Truss former Lord Chancellor Pic credit:BBC

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

Michael Gove and Liz Truss, two former Lord Chancellors,  the former lord chief justice, Lord Thomas, six High Court judges and  heads of the tribunal services are facing lthe prospect of legal action for victimisation and racial discrimination by three fellow black and Asian  judges and a black former tribunal member following a ground breaking ruling by the Supreme Court. An article appears in this week’s Tribune magazine.

The virtually unreported Supreme Court judgement last week, which involved interpreting an EU equality treatment directive, is seen by campaigners as removing immunity claimed by the Ministry of Justice, the Metropolitan Police, magistrates and tribunal bodies, barristers, solicitors, doctors and dentists disciplinary bodies, from the Equality Act when handling misconduct inquiries.

It will also apply to disciplinary hearings involving sexual and gender discrimination and disabled people.

The original case was brought…

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But care sector leaders call for greater government accountability and criticise plan for ‘voluntary’ self-evaluation scheme

Photo: md3d/Fotolia

Care sector leaders have criticised the government’s latest plans to deal with the dispute over backpay for sleep-in shift workers.

Derek Lewis, the chair of Mencap, said he was “dismayed” by the government’s announcement yesterday of the Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS), under which employers will have 12 months to review and identify what they owe to workers. He and other leaders called on the government to provide funding to help providers deal with back payments.

Under the new scheme, drawn up by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), care providers who identify arrears will have three months to pay up, following the expiry of the year’s review period, after which they will be subject to enforcement action.

A final deadline of 31 March 2019 has also been set by which employers must settle outstanding backpay, regardless of when they enter the SCCS.

A guidance note issued yesterday said that providers not entering into the SCCS would be offered no concessions.

“They will be subject to the full HMRC investigative process – including financial penalties (except for sleeping time arrears accrued before 26th July 2017), public naming and possible prosecution where appropriate,” the note said.

‘No commitment to accept responsibility’

Mencap was the subject of an employment tribunal in May which ruled that workers were entitled to the national minimum wage for sleep-in hours, rather than the fixed rate that most had historically been paid.

Following this, the government announced in July that it would waive fines related to backdated pay owed to workers for sleep-in shifts, and would temporarily suspend all enforcement activity relating to pay for sleep-in shifts.

However, Lewis said that, three months on from this commitment to “seek a solution to the devastating £400 million liability” facing the sector, “there is only the promise of further delay and no commitment, even in principle, to accept responsibility for a liability created by government changing the rules”.

National minimum wage legislation published in 2015 says that a worker can only be considered to be “available” when “awake for the purposes of working”, appearing to contradict the tribunal ruling as well as historical guidance published by BEIS.

Lewis added that many providers, particularly smaller ones, could be reluctant to take part in the SCCS in the absence of any funding assurance, concerned that they would be “writing their own suicide note”.

Ann Mackay, director of policy at care provider body Care England, echoed Lewis’s calls for greater government accountability.

“The government needs to accept the responsibility for meeting the substantial costs of backdating sleep in costs and take full account of the reality that the sector has been operating for years within very contradictory guidance,” she said. “We are still no further forward with this latest announcement after years of alerting the government to this issue.”

‘Helping no one’

Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, welcomed the grace period on settling arrears. But she warned that the sector would continue to face severe problems if the government did not provide “genuinely new” funding to deal with back payments.

“Councils already face a £2.3 billion annual social care funding gap by 2020 and pressures across the sector – particularly on providers – are acute,” Seccombe said. “If the Government does not fund the historic liability then we are likely to see more care providers going bust, more contracts being handed back to councils, and care workers being made unemployed.”

Christina McAnea, assistant general secretary of Unison, said that the SCCS “helped no one”.

“The care system is creaking at the seams, and no-one wants to see it plunged further into crisis, but without sufficient numbers of care workers and a substantial injection of cash from the government that’s exactly what will happen,” she said.

“Care workers who have been paid illegally low wages over many years shouldn’t have to go months and months before getting back what they’re rightfully owed. Ministers knew for years that sleep-in workers were not being paid properly. If they’d stepped in sooner, this mess could have been avoided.”

Seccombe added that the government “cannot ignore” the additional costs of sleep-ins in the here and now, and into the future, as well as looking at backpay. “It is wrong to assume the Spring Budget £2 billion for social care can cover this additional burden,” she said. “The forthcoming Budget needs to inject new money into social care to meet this pressure.”

Source: Government gives care providers until 2019 to settle sleep-in shift backpay  : Community Care


When you feel that this ESA WCA cannot become any worse, the DWP or it associated private co-antagonists just make it so.

In any reality how can anyone be penalised for not turning up for an appointment which has been cancelled by the very same organisation that is penalising you for not turning up for the appointment they cancelled.

Why can these persons within these organisation not see how stupid these actions make them, or is it they have no real sense of reality.

Or are they staffed by people or just computers/robots which have no feelings or thoughts in comparison with humans with a sense or fraction of common sense.

Surely the systems cannot be so rigid that common sense cannot have some bearing on the eventual initial outcomes. For an appeal reality is brought to bear and the initial outcome is overturned. Thereby the administration costs related to the final outcomes are considerably higher than formulating the outcome that in reality should have been the initial outcome.

The system is insane and maybe the persons who are operating it.

Govt Newspeak

A disabled woman was denied vital benefits for 10 months after health assessors cancelled her appointment – and then penalised her for failing to turn up.

Untitled

Teresa Geale, who has several serious conditions which prevent her from working, was on a bus five minutes away from the work capability assessment session in Canterbury when she received a voicemail telling her staff were running behind and it would have to be re-arranged. But a few days later, the 63-year-old received a letter asking why she did not attend.

Despite explaining the situation and providing proof, she was told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that because she had failed to show without good reason, her entitlement to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) had ended.

The former pub manager’s income was slashed as a result, forcing her to make cutbacks and sign on at the JobCentre – despite doctors deeming her unfit…

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