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Govt Newspeak

Price of austerity: Local cuts falling particularly harshly on special needs children
Price of austerity: Local cuts falling particularly harshly on special needs children

When Hackney council announced they’d be cutting funding for children with special needs last year, they probably didn’t bank on getting much of a response.

After all, amid the torrent of funding cuts since 2010, this area of funding – which includes not just physical disabilities but conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorder – has gone largely unnoticed.

Library closures, Sure Start cuts and the adult care crisis had all gradually worked their way onto newspaper front pages, but cuts to services for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) seemed to pass without comment.

Indeed, Hackney council halved its SEND inclusion team last year, slashing the number of specialist teachers helping support special needs children in mainstream settings. The move sparked little reaction.

So when the budget-setting for 2018/19 came round, the cash-strapped council…

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Govt Newspeak

Exclusive: Families forced to spend nights in A&E waiting rooms, night buses and police stations after being denied emergency housing by local councils

Vulnerable children are being forced into homelessness because local authorities are routinely flouting child protection laws, lawyers and charities have warned.

Families with young children have been denied emergency accommodation by their local council and subsequently forced out onto the streets, spending nights in A&E waiting rooms, night buses and police stations.

Under the laws set out in the Children’s Act, local authorities are legally obliged to provide accommodation for minors, to prevent vulnerable children ending up on the streets.

But London charity Project 17, which works to end destitution among migrant children, said councils were effectively ignoring the law and often complying only after legal action was taken. It claimed that, of the scores of families it had supported that had initially been denied housing in the past year across the capital, around 90 per…

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Choosing adult social care in England is one of the biggest sources of stress compared to other key life events, according to a survey of 1,000 people carried out for the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The findings come as the quality regulator is raising public awareness about how its inspection findings can help support people in making these important decisions.

The survey findings, out today, reveal that seven in ten (70%) adults who were responsible for choosing care in a care home or at home – either for themselves or a loved one – over the last three years have found it more stressful than choosing their child’s nursery or school, or a venue for their wedding or civil partnership.

52% of people surveyed had cited choosing a care home and 31% had cited choosing care at home in their top three most stressful life decisions.

People’s experiences varied across the country, with the highest proportion of people in the North East (60%), Yorkshire and Humber (56%) and the North West and East Midlands (both 54%) saying that choosing a care home was their most stressful life decision.


Source: CQC survey shows public find search for care extremely stressful | Care Industry News


Social care providers must adopt new approaches if they are to survive the challenges of funding cuts and policy changes, according to a new publication released today.

The VODG discussion paper, Challenges can fuel change, outlines what social care providers believe are the future hopes for the sector as well as the barriers that block progress. The publication is a contribution to Civil Society Futures, the national independent inquiry into English civil society.

Based on the views of VODG members, the paper argues that voluntary social care organisations must adapt to be sustainable. By 2025, there will be 11.7m disabled people living in England, compared to today’s 11 million today. Cumulative adult social care cuts since 2010 have amounted to £6.3 billion, more savings are planned and the recent cash injection for social care in the local government funding settlement is only a temporary solution. Meanwhile the retrospective requirement for providers to fund national minimum wage/living wage back pay to sleep-in shift workers would be financially disastrous for many providers and Brexit is a threat to labour supply.

However, the paper argues, voluntary adult social care sector could be stronger if disabled people were more involved in decision-making. For example, providers could enable people supported to articulate their own demands for social care to government, arguing for better funding and support for high quality care.

The paper includes other hopes and solutions for the sector:


Source: Social care providers must adopt new approaches if they are to survive | Care Industry News


Received through the ROFA (Reclaiming Our Future Alliance) network:

A worker at Inclusion London has mentioned that some Disabled people are being asked to replace funding for Personal Assistants with volunteers to undertake their personal care by some Local Authorities.   Inclusion London would be grateful for your thoughts and  any examples of expectations from social workers to use volunteers to make up for cuts in your support package. Email
I am aghast that this could be on the agenda of any authority.
This is extremely worrying and hopefully is not being contemplated within many Local Authorities. That being said, could you advise your thoughts to
Hopefully this worrying situation can be stopped.
My own view on this is what messages are these local authorities, who are in the process of asking for volunteers to replace paid carers, sending to the paid care workers. For the huge responsibility that these care workers undertake within their role for the low remuneration they receive, this is deplorable. No paid care worker should be only on the Minimum Living Wage, but should be, at least on the Living Wage and even above.
To be a care worker requires them to be committed to the person they are caring for, be responsive to the needs and requests from the cared for person and conduct themselves respecting the cared for persons dignity, privacy and the confidentiality with regards to the information they will be aware of about the cared for person and also their family.
They are required to attend at the times required according to the respective care packages and inform the cared for person when they are unable to do so with sufficient time for a replacement care worker to cover the caring shift to be found. Where the cared for person is deemed to be vulnerable and therefore be at risk of abuse, safeguarding is therefore an area of concern and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.
You cannot say that one person requiring care is the same as the next person requiring care, as we are all individuals and therefore have our own views. This is especially so for persons with learning disabilities and those with Autism. In these instances it takes considerable time to understand each individual and their routines, for to not take this into account could cause the cared for persons to have an adverse reaction, which if a full understanding is not known could and most likely will create situations where harm could occur to the carer and the individual concerned. The carer needs to understand that they are technically a guest in the cared for persons home and as such they should act accordingly.
While a volunteer could and should be capable of all of the above, will all volunteers respect the commitment that is required to undertake care. After all they will be undertaking this on a voluntary basis so will they really commit to engaging with regards to timings. Then what will occur if they cannot attend , say to illness, will the cared for person have a bank of volunteers they can call upon.
These Local Authorities are only looking at their own interests. If they are so committed to using volunteers, why do they not have a volunteer Chief Executive and then there will be a multitude of funds saved.
That you could say is flippant, but where is the difference with regards with paid carers.
Any local authority who undertakes using volunteers could be open to a challenge on ‘Duty of Care’.


Independent-run Wrexham Borough Council has declared war on disabled people, it seems.

The council wants to take away £25,000 a year from the money disabled people in the borough need to survive – in parking charges.

Not only that, but the council is prepared to pay twice that amount to install the changes needed to impose those charges – so it would not even start to make any money for two years.

 I wonder how badly the change would affect disabled people during that time? They don’t have much money to support them and even the smallest change can be disastrous. Wrexham’s MP is Labour’s Ian Lucas. Hopefully he will monitor the situation.

It seems unlikely that the so-called Independents (they’re usually closet Tories) on the council have even bothered to think about that.

Source: Wrexham’s plan to charge disabled people for parking is not only “absurd” but vindictive :Vox Political



”The Conservative-led Council in Norfolk has come in for stinging criticism today after deciding to award themselves with an inflation-busting 11% pay rise just hours after voting through swingeing cuts to vital children’s services in the area.

Not only will Norfolk’s Councillor’s see their allowances rise by over £1000 a year, the greedy Tory Councillors also decided to backdate their own pay rise from May, meaning they will each pocket an extra £400 on top.

The decision was made despite the fact that the Tory-led Council had argued Norfolk would need to make cuts of £125m to vital services over the next four years.

And to add insult to injury for the people of Norfolk, the vote to hand themselves huge pay rises came just hours after Tory Councillors had forced through budget cuts to vital local children’s services.

The Councillors, who are only generally required to work for only…

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“People who have nowhere to sleep or are about to lose their homes are being turned away illegally by councils, BBC Scotland can reveal.

Local authorities have a legal obligation to find accommodation for people facing homelessness.

Government statistics show that most people are made homeless following a family breakdown or household dispute.

Legal experts told the BBC that people were being unlawfully turned away by councils, despite their statutory duty.”


Source: Homeless illegally turned away by councils : Vox Political


It is shameful that Theresa May will not scrap this law and that being so would it be possible to review this Act so that it becomes more relevant to the 21st Century.

This being that now, as it was not so in 1824 there are other means to consider people who are homeless. Rather than criminalise them the Law should be reviewed so that there is a commitment or ‘Duty of Care’ on every Local Authority to do everything possible to minimise homelessness. Many of these homeless persons will be there due to circumstances, which in many ways would be outwith their control and therefore each individual should be considered so that their life could be changed in such a way that they are given choices that are mutually agreed upon and not just dealt with like an object that can be bungled away.

Like everyone these homeless persons also have rights and deserve the choice to lead a reasonable life.

Govt Newspeak

Theresa May refuses to back bid to scrap Dickensian law that criminalises rough sleepers

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions

Lib Dem Layla Moran has called for the 1824 Vagrancy Act to be repealed – but the Prime Minister refused to back it. Theresa May has refused to give her backing to a bid to scrap a Dickensian law that criticises homeless people sleeping rough.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has called for the “draconian” law to be scrapped, after it was used by local authorities more than 2,000 times last year. Most recently, Windsor council wanted to use it to ensure homeless people were “moved on” ahead of the Royal Wedding.

Conservative Simon Dudley said beggars could present the town in a “sadly unfavourable light” when Prince Harry marries American actress Meghan Markle in May. He drew criticism from figures including Prime Minister Theresa May…

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