Sunday, 29 December 2013

Couple with learning difficulties may lose daughter

A couple with learning difficulties are afraid that social workers are going to remove their six year old daughter and place her 150 miles away.
THE heartbroken parents are terrified they will lose their six-year-daughter after Renfrewshire Council social workers claimed the couple "lack insight" to care for her. SOCIAL workers want to remove a child from a couple with slight learning disabilities and put her in care 150 miles away.
The heartbroken parents are terrified they will lose their six-year-old daughter. Yesterday, the 33-year-old mum said: "We had to sit our wee princess down and tell her that she has to go and stay with someone else. "She’s our whole world. But social workers told us to get her dressed and ready because they were coming to take her away.
"She was crying so we let her open all the presents under the tree because we didn’t know if we would all be together on Christmas Day. "We didn’t know if we’d be able to see her again and wanted that special time with her."
Renfrewshire Council social workers claim the couple "lack insight" to care for their daughter.
Daily Record

The report on decision making on whether to take children into care has this to say:
Parents with learning disabilities
77. Groups who represent parents with learning disabilities also made strong criticisms about the decision-making processes, including the hearings system.
78. We explored some of the challenges facing such parents in an informal meeting with People First (Scotland) Parents’ Group and with the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability (SCLD) in oral evidence. SCLD referred to international research showing that about two out of every five children born to parents with learning disabilities are permanently removed from their care. While noting that the research base is not robust, SCLD said it had no reason to believe that the levels are significantly different in Scotland. It also suggested that some decision makers still display prejudicial attitudes—
"Some professionals see someone with a learning disability and assume incompetence. Indeed, written evidence and reports have on occasion cited that as the reason for removal."
79. SCLD also claimed that "a lot of children and families social workers are totally unaware of the Scottish good practice guidelines on supporting parents with learning difficulties that were produced in 2009"
80. Another concern raised by parents’ groups is that the support offered to parents with learning disabilities does not, in their view, take a suitably long-term perspective—
"One of the main difficulties is the culture of short-term interventions in children and families social work departments … there is now more of a financial imperative simply to go in, fix the problem or make the situation good enough and then withdraw. However, for many parents with learning difficulties, such an approach is not effective and does not work."
81. This approach was contrasted with adult learning disability services where, SCLD argued, "there is an acceptance that long-term support is needed and many adults with learning disabilities in Scotland get lifelong support as the norm"
82. SCLD went on to advocate ‘a supported parenting model’, which, it considered, would "have positive outcomes for children and reduce the numbers of children having to be accommodated"
83. SCRA and Scottish Government explained some of the steps they had taken to improve the inclusion of parents with learning disabilities in the decision-making processes, but again acknowledged that more effort is required.

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