Unfortunately Local Authorities (LAs) are not only not working with the ‘best interests’ of children under ‘SEND’ or ‘SENDIST’, as they also are not in many assessments of Need for both children and adults.
Are they doing this deliberately, I feel they are, but not because they are mean and wish to do do, although some may, no it is because LAs have been left desperately short of funding, due to 10 years of austerity cuts and the the additional costs of COVID-19.
In fact, social care has never been sufficiently funded and this is purely down to successive Government in depriving LAs of sufficient funding, not only for social care, but many other essential services.
Also when Governments put additional responsibilities on LAs, the Government fail to provide the additional funding to allow the LAs to successfully manage these additional responsibilities.
To a large extent this is also the care with health care (NHS), but no where to the same degree.
Is it that these Governments do not understand LAs and especially Social Care, well to some extent this can be so, but they also see LAs as a means to save on funding, as they do not fully understand the needs.
This has been recently be shown in the Governments handling of PPE during this COVID-19 pandemic. for they could not see the need to have a large stock of PPE, but would assume that they just need supplies to cover the usual demand, and felt if that demand increase it would be easy to obtain additional supplies, which COVID-19 has proved is a false premise.
But like LAs in their dealings with SEND and SENDIST, they never learn and only look to make saving, when, effectively saving are not there to be made, it is pure incompetence.
So when, it is clear needs are not being covered or they spend money they can ill afford to in defence of indefensible legal cases, this leads LAs to be even more short of funding, rather than cut their losses and pay or provide what they should have done initially.
This, in turn, creates an impossible situation for the persons in need and their families, who are already in very stressful situations and they should not be subjected to immense further stress from LAs and technically Governments.
The leaders of LAs in challenging the Tribunal’s to be changed is far from the answer, but LAs see this has the easiest option.
For the LAs are completely ‘at fault’ and so are the Government, but to challenge the Government for more substantial is much more difficult.
In addition the need to have Social Care, which is effectively as important as health care and could be more so, is far from recognised by Government and unfortunately a sizeable portion of the UK population. For, if you are not in need of Social care, many will not see its importance, that is, until they require it for themselves or for a loved family member.
Most people use health care. but not the same proportion use social care, so social care is not recognise as a very essential service, when it really is.
This Government needs to do, urgently, to reverse the non-actions of itself and many previous Governments and immediately provide all the funding for LAs to provide all that is required within Social Care, which will include SEND and SENDIST.
For this reason and many more, I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,
Please show your support for children and adults in need of social care, by signing the petition and then sharing.
Source: 95% of decisions in favour of parents, but nobody wins at the SEND Tribunal – Special Needs Jungle