Disabled man left for two years in unsuitable short-stay accommodation let down by council | Care Industry News

A young man with special educational needs has been left in short-stay accommodation for nearly two years because social workers in Lancashire could not decide where he should live permanently, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The man was placed in short-stay accommodation by Lancashire County Council after his family told social workers they were struggling to cope with his behaviour and the impact it was having on his younger siblings.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the placement in January 2016 was only meant to be temporary, but the man is still living in the accommodation today. It is likely the man’s behaviour has deteriorated through not living in suitable accommodation and not receiving appropriate support.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said:

“This man has been left in limbo in this accommodation, which by its very nature was only ever intended to be a short stay. He has missed out on vital support and development opportunities


Source: Disabled man left for two years in unsuitable short-stay accommodation let down by council | Care Industry News

Stop Banning Autistic Stimming Because of Fidget Spinners

Henny Kupferstein

Are the new fidget spinners driving you crazy? Autistic stimming and fidget toys differ in purpose. It is necessary to adjust your attitude from a different perspective.

Fidgets are marketing as a toy to keep the fingers busy, specifically for a kid who has focusing issues. Focusing issues are consistent with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or ADHD. Focus-seeking fidgeting is a very different purpose than the need to stim in order to prevent sensory overwhelm. The two should not be confused. During sensory overload, an autistic person’s body will uncontrollably move in ways that will try to reboot their brain back to its original functional state. When you react to their reactions to their sensory world, you are irresponsibly causing more harm with your judgement.

Imagine you have a tuning wrench because you are piano technician. The wrench serves a very specific function, and you need your…

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Parents who record child protection meetings: what do social workers need to know?

A group of lawyers has produced guidance after identifying a number of councils not fully understanding the law around recording child protection meetings

Source: Parents who record child protection meetings: what do social workers need to know?

College sets out expectations of social workers in delivering Care Act reforms

Original post from Community Care


Government-commissioned curriculum guide and capability statements provide guidance for practitioners and managers on implementing act

Photo: Gary Brigden
Photo: Gary Brigden

The College of Social Workers (TCSW) has today set out expectations for practitioners in delivering on the Care Act 2014 reforms in two government-commissioned resources.

Its curriculum guide on the act outlines the knowledge and skills that social workers need to develop to effectively implement the act in areas including assessment and eligibility, safeguarding and risk, integration and transitions. It is designed to support practitioners in their professional development and employers and educators to provide effective training and learning.

Alongside this, TCSW has produced a set of capability statements, setting out expectations of social workers of different levels of experience or seniority for delivering on the Care Act. These are based on the nine domains of the College’s professional capabilities framework.

What social workers should know

Among the knowledge and skills expected of social workers set out in the curriculum guide are:

  • Embracing and advocating the impact of early intervention in reducing levels of need, in line with the act’s duty on local authorities to prevent needs for care and support.
  • Taking an asset-based approach to assessment, looking at informal and community networks, promoting the expertise of adults and carers and promoting an inclusive approach to assessment to include self-funders.
  • Understanding changes to carers’ entitlements and balancing carers’ needs with the needs of the cared-for person.
  • Developing knowledge of new funding arrangements, deferred payments and providing subsequent appropriate support to self-funders.
  • Making safeguarding personal by starting with the outcomes that an adult wants to achieve, and fully involving them and those important to them in safeguarding.


The capability statements for social workers (those in the early years of their career) include to:-

  • Take responsibility for being up to date on the Care Act and Mental Capacity Act, including relevant case law.
  • Be able to assess mental capacity in increasingly complex situations and in diverse settings.
  • Work effectively in partnership with other involved agencies, recognising when multidisciplinary assessments or joint working are needed.

In a piece for Community Care to accompany the launch of the resources, the chair of TCSW’s adults’ faculty, Gerry Nosowska, said: “The Care Act enshrines a standard of care and support that I believe social workers can wholeheartedly support. We can lead, model and deliver the kind of practice that makes the Care Act meaningful. We also need the time, resource and understanding to fulfil its promise. This is ultimately down to the kind of society people want to live in, and the kind of support we want for ourselves and our families. If we want the Care Act to work, as a society we need to invest in social care.”

The curriculum guide was developed for the College by Manchester Metropolitan University and Research in Practice for Adults, while the statements were drawn up following workshops with practitioners, managers and workforce leads. …… ‘

Care Act 2014 post from Community Care

The Care Act 2014 modernises and consolidates the law on adult care in England into one statute and has been described as the biggest change to the law in 60 years. Key changes include the introduction of national eligibility criteria, a right to independent advocacy and, from 2016, a cap on care costs faced by self-funders. This page contains the latest news on the act and its implementation. Community Care Inform Adults subscribers can also benefit from practice advice on the legislation on our dedicated resource page for the act.

College sets out expectations of social workers in delivering Care Act reforms

Government-commissioned curriculum guide and capability statements provide guidance for practitioners and managers on implementing act

‘The Care Act enshrines social work values – but we need support to fulfil its promise’

Social workers’ skills are critical to implementing the Care Act’s vision of promoting wellbeing but they need time, support and resources to make this happen, says Gerry Nosowska

How to learn the Care Act 2014 while juggling your caseload

Learning with colleagues and with service users are among Matt Bee’s suggestions for boning up on the Care Act while staying on top of your workload

How social workers and OTs are putting the Care Act into practice in prisons

Warrington council sets out how it has responded to the challenge of assessing and meeting the needs of prisoners, as required by the Care Act

More than half of councils unsure if care providers pay staff the national minimum wage

82 local authorities don’t know if care staff are paid the legal rate, finds Local Government Association’s final stocktake on Care Act readiness

‘Visual impairment workers face crisis despite Care Act 2014′s emphasis on their role’

By Simon Labbett, chair, Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network

In December 2013, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) re-issued its Position statement on visual impairment rehabilitation in the context of personalisation. At the time one wonders how much…

Government sets expectations for social workers assessing adults with autism

Practitioners expected to understand presentation of autism across lifespan and developmental trajectory of condition, says revised statutory guidance on autism strategy

Why we’re hiring 100 more social workers to deliver the Care Act’

How Essex County Council is placing investment in social workers at the heart of its Care Act strategy

Care Act drives 6% rise in social work posts

Workforce plans obtained from 90 local authorities suggest most councils plan to boost social work numbers this year

Parallel worlds of domestic abuse and safeguarding need to be brought together

Care Act should improve social workers’ approach to tackling domestic abuse between older couples, says former LGA safeguarding lead

Councils mount legal challenge against Care Act funding allocations

West Berkshire and Wokingham, which both have critical eligibility thresholds, say Department of Health has not given them enough money to implement act

Councils ready for Care Act but raise concerns about costs on eve of implementation

99% of councils confident about implementing Care Act on 1 April but one fifth concerned that they lack funds to do so, finds final stocktake of readiness

No need to reassess people against Care Act eligibility threshold until their next review, says government

Government sets out plans to make transition to Care Act in England, with old legislation continuing to apply in Wales

‘Social workers’ caseloads should be managed to provide more time for assessments under Care Act’

Practitioners need to understand more about the person and their community to implement the strengths-based approach to assessment envisaged by legislation, says guide

Early self-funder assessments vital to avoid ‘unmanageable’ Care Act burden, says DH

Councils given advice on implementation of funding reforms being introduced under Care Act from April 2016

Social workers hit by real terms pay cut, official figures show

Data also shows that adult social workers jobs fell 5% last year

and More  2 8 …………..’


Special needs child allegedly put in cage-like ‘withdrawal space’ at Canberra school

Original post from ABC



An investigation has been launched after a special needs child was allegedly put in a two-metre by two-metre, cage-like structure made of pool fencing at a Canberra public school.

Education Minister Joy Burch said between March 10 and March 27 the child was placed in a “withdrawal space” inside the classroom.

It is understood the incident involved a 10-year-old boy with autism.

Words could not describe her disappointment and horror at the situation, Ms Burch said.

“This structure could not be deemed acceptable in any way shape or form, in any of our public education schools, hence it was withdrawn,” she said.

“I have initiated an absolute thorough investigation as to the why and where … this structure was allowed to be put in place.

“I have also made assurances through the school executive and through our support teams that the child and the family involved is given the utmost support over this time.”

The school principal has been stood aside, but the name of the school cannot be revealed for privacy reasons.

The issue emerged last week after a complaint was made to the Children and Young People’s Commissioner.

Parents with students at the school have been informed of the incident.

Ms Burch said the student remained at the school and two extra staff had since been assigned.

‘This is not how our students should be treated’

Diane Joseph from the ACT Education Directorate said it was an isolated example of very poor decision making.

“The space was basically a fenced-in structure inside a classroom,” she said.

“It was entirely inappropriate and unacceptable, and the structure has been removed.

“The decision to erect such a structure raises so many questions.

“This is not how our students should be treated.”

The withdrawal space was built for a particular student, but the directorate conceded it did not know if it had been used for other students.

The Minister said an investigation would be conducted in two streams with the first stage expected to be completed within weeks.

It would be led by someone independent of the ACT Education and Training Directorate.

Independent inquiry needed ‘without delay’

Hugh Boulter from the ACT public school Parents and Citizens Association said he was most alarmed at the news and has called for a speedy, independent inquiry.

Hugh Boulter from the ACT P and C Association was alarmed by news of a cage being used at a public school.

“At this stage on behalf of the P and C Council and ACT parents I would call for an independent inquiry to be conducted without delay,” he said.

“I would also ask that it is important not to speculate until the findings of the independent inquiry are handed down and fully evaluated to ensure natural justice.

“I’d also call for the directorate to make inquiries in to non-government schools as well, immediately, to remove any question of systemic performance in the ACT.”

Liberal ACT MLA Steve Doszpot was horrified by what he had heard so far about the case and said many questions remained unanswered.

“Have these sort of situations occurred before? And do we have any other structures like this in other schools? Why has it taken so long for the issue to be escalated?” he said.

“I understand that the Directorate knew about this last Thursday, and it is now a week later.

“So these are questions that remain to be answered and an inquiry is the very least that should happen.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield expressed his concern over the incident on ABC’s Radio National.

“It’s appalling what we’ve heard from the ACT,” he said.

“Regrettably, we do hear of instances around Australia in schools from time to time where there are inappropriate restrictive practices used.

“This is something that we need to look at, not just in schools, but also as we look to the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) nationwide.”

Senator Fifield said the roll-out of the NDIS would improve safeguards for people with disabilities, and help implement uniform national complaint practices.

Ms Burch has appealed for the media to consider the privacy of the family involved.  …….’

Why You Should Never Assume Anything About People With Autism

Original post from EPOCH TIMES

Daryl Hannah has been open about her autism. (World Travel and Tourism, CC BY ) Daryl Hannah has been open about her autism. (World Travel and Tourism, CC BY )

Daryl Hannah has been open about her autism. (World Travel and Tourism, CC BY )

Decades ago I found myself working with a young woman with autism. I had done my reading of the autism texts of the time, and was singularly surprised when nothing I had read matched up to the person I was sat next to. There was no flapping, she had no interest in my earrings or buttons, and she certainly wasn’t even lining anything up.

We know so much more about autism now but the idea that all people with autism are disordered, impaired, or somehow “lesser” is one that still needs to be challenged. Having worked closely with people with autism for more than 20 years, I have had the pleasure of meeting many hugely intelligent, insightful, kind, caring, loyal, skilled autistic individuals, including two of my best doctoral students who both graduated successfully and are now prominent in their respective fields.

Some of the strongest marriages I have encountered are between people with autism, and I have also met multi-millionaire entrepreneurs who have been identified as autistic.

Identifying Not Diagnosing

So, the question remains, why is it that autism continues to be seen as a disorder, with terms such as “impaired functioning” still so rife within the literature and current diagnostic manuals? Why is it that one needs to present as a “problem” before being in a position to be identified as autistic? Even the term “diagnosis” brings along its own associations with “illness” or “disease”. Surely, this gives out the wrong message to all involved – parents, individuals, and the public.

For years I have been suggesting “identification” as a more appropriate term, which counters the pejorative language so often heard in reference to autism.

Without doubt being autistic in a world populated in the main by people who are not can cause huge issues for the individual and their family. But this is not the same as suggesting that the problems are caused by being autistic. The very fact that there are plenty of autistic individuals who are hugely successful demonstrates that being autistic does not preclude anything at all. Actors Dan Ackroyd and Daryl Hannah, and singer Courtney Love are to name but a few, while others have retrospectively identified other potential big names such as Stanley Kubrick.

Measuring Outcomes

Some research has shown poor outcomes for people with autism but there have been fewer evaluations using real-world measures such as employability, self-sufficiency and social support. Some of the ways we measure ability may also be problematic – take memory and learning, for example. The task support hypothesis – the idea that situations can be created for individuals with autism that capitalise on their areas of strength – can lead to situations where the ability to remember is increased.

The sad fact is that there are still schools of thought that deny the fact that people with autism can lead very successful lives; comments such as “she will never be able to have children”, or “he will never go to university” are still way too prevalent. Parents of newly identified children are still sometimes told what the future will hold, despite the fact that no one has a crystal ball. Perhaps many of the problems stem from being in a poorly understood minority group, rather than directly from being autistic?

 (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

(AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

Nonetheless, things are changing for the better – however slowly. The National Autistic Society, for example, promotes employment for people with autism. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is working to ensure a level playing field in the workplace, although there is some way to go before this is fully realised.

At the Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University we’ve been working to further these initial advances; to continue to promote a more accepting view of autism and to encourage society to recognise the potential of autistic individuals. One of the courses we run in collaboration with the National Autistic Society has welcomed a plethora of autistic speakers, guest lecturers and autistic students who share insight and expertise.

So, have perceptions changed over the years? Well, for absolute certainty I can say that mine have. I no longer assume that all publications are correct, and recognise that all autistic people are individuals. I have learnt to challenge the notion of impairment and disorder, while still recognising the huge challenges faced by individuals and families. I have begun to recognise the damage that can be done by ignorance and misinformation. And I have learnt that changing perceptions through a better understanding of autism can significantly improve lives, and the best way to develop an understanding of autism is to listen to those who are autistic, their families and friends.

In terms of general perception – well, society is certainly moving slowly in the right direction, with more and more autistic people self-advocating and promoting their strengths, but there is an awful long way to go.


This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read theoriginal article.  ………’

State of Sheffield

State of Sheffield 2014 –Executive Summary

An extract

‘ …………….This report summarises a study of the views and experiences of parents of children and young people (aged 0-25 years) with disabilities and/or additional needs in Sheffield. It makes recommendations to commissioners and providers of education, health and social care services.  ………….’

State of Sheffield 2013 – Consulation Report

An extract

‘ …………1. Background

This report summarises work carried out by the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum in April/May 2013 as commissioned by Sheffield City Council. It forms part of a needs analysis in relation to the support requirements of families with disabled children in Sheffield. Sheffield City Council will use the information gathered to decide whether current information, advice and support services for parent carers are meeting local need, or whether different or additional services are required. ………….’

Teaching; Is there more to teaching?

Heartwarming story of Teddy and Mrs. Thompson from Rishika Jain Inspirations

An extract ‘There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard……..’

Teacher one who provides education for others, but is that all? As the above  story indicates there is always more to learn.

But this is not only so for teachers, what about the Police, Social Services, Health Authorities. Many approach some situations from a judgemental view point. In doing so they may not be listening to what is being said to them.

No matter what we feel we already know, we can always learn more.

My Advice to New Teachers (and Old) from Education Commentary

An extract ‘Teaching is a rewarding profession.  Teaching is an amazing, fulfilling, dynamic profession.  Teaching can also be a draining, depressing and stressing profession.  How do we stay afloat?  There are many simple things we can do in order to keep ourselves thrilled about waking up each morning and working with the future leaders of our society.  ………’

Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge of yesteryear and also today, although this is a marker of how a person may perform in the future. But the persons being taught need to be prepared for the future, for if they are not will they have a future.

To do any of this needs team work, which not only includes the teachers and others in the educational establishment, but also the establishment itself, together with the students, their families and the outer community. For eventually we all will progress to the outer community and our contained knowledge obtained from our schooling will be required for us to partake in this greater community. So dependent on the combined team work, this will be the deciding factor in the roles we will or will not play in all our futures.