95% of decisions in favour of parents, but nobody wins at the SEND Tribunal – Special Needs Jungle


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,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/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

When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine? 5 questions parents are asking


This article looks at the vaccines for children and it appears that work has already been started or is soon to start, but there is still, at least, one other area and this is for adults with learning disabilities (Intellectual Disabilities) and Autism who are needle averse, for in this area needle injections are not possible.

The adults are very vulnerable, but as I see it there is no work taking place in that direction.

With regards to Flu these adults can be given the nasal spray, which is generally given to children under 12 years, but it is not as effective as the injection, but something is better than nothing.

 

Source: When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine? 5 questions parents are asking

Covid-19 has exposed UK’s battered social care system. But there is a solution | Samantha Baron | Society | The Guardian


A new National Care Service could provide the leadership, recognition and identity the sector so desperately needs

Source: Covid-19 has exposed UK’s battered social care system. But there is a solution | Samantha Baron | Society | The Guardian

Developments in Adult Social Care Bulletin: December 2017


Welcome to the December 2017 Developments in Adult Social Care Bulletin. This bulletin contains brief details of news, research reports, guidance, journal articles and government policy relating to adult social care.

 

Source: Developments in Adult Social Care Bulletin: December 2017

Social care’s funding pressures in numbers


Ahead of this week’s Autumn Budget, Community Care highlights the main pressures facing social care for children and adults

Photo: Michail Petrov/Fotolia

by Gordon Carson & Luke Stevenson

To stake their claims to receive more funding in next week’s Autumn Budget, children’s and adults’ social care leaders and experts have submitted a series of requests to the chancellor, Philip Hammond, as the sector tries to convince the government of the scale and scope of the crises facing the sector.

Here, we’ve picked out some of the key messages and numbers from their submissions and other reports, ahead of the chancellor’s speech on Wednesday (22 November).

Children’s social care:

25% – the real terms cut in central government funding for children’s services, from £10 billion to £7.6 billion, from 2010-11 to 2015-16. Spending on services by local authorities has fallen from £10 billion to £8.4 billion (Source: Turning the Tide)

£2 billion – the estimated funding gap in children’s services by 2020 (Source: Local Government Association)

£605 million – the overspend on children’s services in 2015/16 (Source: Local Government Association)

40% – the reduction in local authorities’ early help services since 2010-11 (Source: Turning the Tide)

7% – the increase in crisis support spending over the same period (Source: Turning the Tide)

29% – the predicted cut in funding for children’s services from central government by 2020. The most deprived councils had already had to cut funding six times more than the least-deprived areas (Source: Turning the Tide)

23% – the level of spending cuts made in the most deprived local authorities (Source: Turning the Tide)

40% – the proportion of council leaders who said they were unable to meet one or more statutory duties for children (Source: National Children’s Bureau)

72,670  – the number of looked-after children in England as of March 2017 (Source: The Department for Education)

The growing pressures on children’s services have been highlighted again in a report by a consortium of children’s charities, including Action for Children, the National Children’s Bureau and The Children’s Society, which warned that councils were being forced to intervene later in children’s lives because of funding pressures.

The Local Government Association, responding to the report, said councils had worked hard to minimise the impact of cuts, but the increase in numbers of children in care and referrals to children’s services had made this harder to maintain.

Richard Watts, chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, said: “With such high demand for child protection services, councils have been forced to scale back the early help that can make such a difference in reducing the need for this support in the first place.

“This report suggests that government funding for early intervention has fallen by £1.7 billion since 2010, leaving local councils with the impossible task of attempting to continue delivering these services while also providing help and protection to the growing number of children at immediate risk of harm.”

He called on the government to use the Autumn Budget to fully fund children’s services. The association has previously warned about a £2 billion funding gap in children’s services by 2020.

Adults’ social care:

£2.5 billion – the funding gap facing adult social care in 2019-20 (source: a pre-Budget report published by The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation, which said social care “remains on the brink of crisis”)

7% – the real-terms cut in gross spending on adult social care services by councils, from £19.1 billion in 2009-10 to £17.8 billion in 2016-17 (Source: The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

25% – the reduction in the number of older people accessing publicly funded social care, equating to more than 400,000 people, due to tightened eligibility criteria (Source: The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

9.5% – the increase in hours of unpaid care provided between 2009 and 2014 (Source: The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

1.2 million – the number of older people estimated to have unmet care needs (Source: The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

50 – the number of councils who have had adult care contracts handed back to them by providers (Source: Association of Directors of Adult Social Services annual budget survey, 2017)

64 – the number of councils who had experienced the closure of adult care providers in their area (Source: Association of Directors of Adult Social Services annual budget survey, 2017)

6.6% – the overall staff vacancy rate across adult social care in 2016-17 (Source: Skills for Care / The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

10.4% – the vacancy rate in domiciliary care in 2016-17 (Source: Skills for Care The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

95,000 – the number of people from Europe working in the adult social care sector, compared to 67,000 five years ago. “As a result, Brexit is likely to compound these staffing challenges in social care.” (Source: Skills for Care The King’s Fund, Nuffield Foundation and The Health Foundation)

£1.3 billion – the amount of money required to stabilise the adult social care provider market (Source: pre-Budget submission by the Local Government Association)

£366 million – social care overspends reported by councils in 2016-17 (Source: Local Government Association)

£824 million – savings required in 2017-18 (Source: Local Government Association)

24% – the proportion of funding authorities in England which say they have enough care provision to meet demand (Source: Family and Childcare Trust Older People’s Care Survey 2017)

The government’s announcement in the past week that a green paper on older people’s social care will be published by summer 2018 has largely been welcomed, though immediate funding pressures remain and are, if anything, intensifying.

Although the government announced an extra £2 billion for adult social care in the Spring Budget, the Local Government Association has said this is not enough to deal with all immediate and short-term pressures on adult social care, and highlighted that the funding stops at the end of 2019-20.

It also pointed out that this funding was followed by the introduction in July of “further, more rigid and unrealistic target reductions on delayed transfers of care”, and the possibility of sanctions if targets were not met.

Although the adult social care council tax precept, which enables local authorities to raise council tax bills by 3% in 2017-18 and a further 3% 2018-19 to help fund adult social care, was a “welcome short-term measure”, the LGA said extra council tax income “will not bring in anywhere near enough money to alleviate the growing pressure on social care both now and in the future”.

It also said the government’s main vehicle for driving integration, the Better Care Fund (BCF), had “lost credibility and is no longer fit for purpose”. Its focus on reducing pressure on NHS acute services “is detracting from local initiatives to support social care and stabilise the perilously fragile social care provider market”.

 

Source : Social care’s funding pressures in numbers : Community Care

UK at risk as more than 500,000 missing out on flu jab, says Labour | Society | The Guardian


Government is accused of failing to take threat seriously after vaccination targets missed and publicity spending cut

Source: UK at risk as more than 500,000 missing out on flu jab, says Labour | Society | The Guardian

Stay well this winter as Public Health England urges people to get the flu jab | Care Industry News


People who are the most vulnerable to flu are being urged to get their free vaccination ahead of the winter period when the virus is most common.

Source: Stay well this winter as Public Health England urges people to get the flu jab | Care Industry News

Call for more Shared Lives carers to help people ‘blossom’ in Sheffield | Care Industry News


“You help someone blossom as a Shared Lives carer, and they help you blossom too. They just become part of the family…”

 

That’s the view of carer Sue Cashmore, 59 years old from Shiregreen, who has been caring for adults in her own home for around 20 years. She’s part of the Shared Lives scheme, a community-based approach to supporting adults, where ordinary people open up their home and lives to support people through respite or live-in care.

 

Three adults with learning disabilities live with Sue, along with her husband and teenage daughter, and Sue says the experience has been good for all of them:

 

“You develop relationships with people. And if they are comfortable coming to you and you enjoy having someone in your home, you just feel good.

 

“The people who we support are all independent in their own way. They don’t all need 24/7 care and they’ve got their own thoughts and feelings. They do what they want to do, and you’ve got to encourage that.

 

“You’re not just helping them though – it brings out your own personality a bit more. They bring out the best in you and you bring out the best in them. And I think my daughters are better people for having people with learning disabilities live with us – they get a better understanding of things.”

 

Sue joins Sheffield City Council in calling for more people to become a Shared Lives carer. People are given

 

Source: Call for more Shared Lives carers to help people ‘blossom’ in Sheffield | Care Industry News

Adults with autism see interests as strengths, career paths – Medical News Today


Adults on the autism spectrum see their interests as possible fields of study and career paths, as well as ways to mitigate anxiety, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

The findings, published in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, continue a shift away from perceiving strong interests as a negative and toward a perspective that recognizes the strengths and potential of these personal pursuits.

Research has shown that people with autism may show intense interest in subjects like science, technology, and art – developing, for instance, a deep knowledge and appreciation of trains, mechanics, animals, or anime and cartoons.

Historically, these “preferred interests” have been negatively perceived and deemed as “restrictive” problems or even obsessions. Some experts have thought that the intensity of the interests may interfere with people on the spectrum’s ability to develop social relationships by limiting their topics of conversation.

However, the field of autism is shifting away from this deficit-focused perspective and is beginning to recognize the benefits of preferred interests. Researchers are now arguing that preferred interests can be strengths and that using these interests, rather than discouraging them, can lead to better outcomes, including increasing attention and engagement and reducing anxiety in individuals with autism.

Source: Adults with autism see interests as strengths, career paths – Medical News Today