Community Care’s Mission Statement Proposals


Community Care’s Mission Statement Proposals:



1.      Older people treated with dignity

On going action:

  • expose poor practice and promote good practice in relation to treating older people with dignity in care settings or their own homes
  • promote good practice around designing older people’s services around the individuals, not forcing them to fit the services
  • campaign for an improvement in older people’s diets and mealtime experiences in care settings


Examples of good practice:

Simple schemes such as memory boxes for people with dementia help people recall their past and provide stimulation for older people and their carers or staff.


Similarly, research has shown that playing videos of family members or tape-recording the voices of relatives to be played on personal stereos has reduced problem behaviour in people with Alzheimer’s. The creation of such a simulated presence has reduced verbal outbursts and improved mood.


For older people to live in the community they should feel safe. In Telford & Wrekin, a free home-safety check service is helping people move safely around their own homes and also protecting them from crime.




2.      A better deal for carers

On going action:

  • fight for allowances for grandparents acting as kinship carers
  • call for a cabinet-level champion for carers in England (as in Wales)
  • campaign to improve welfare benefits and respite care provision
  • fight for an increase to the carers’ allowance and its extension to the over-60s


Examples of good practice:

The Access Initiative is run by the Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project in partnership with Edinburgh Council, West Lothian Council, minority ethnic carers and older people. Its twin aims are to give carers from Edinburgh’s south Asian and Chinese communities a break from caring and to provide culturally competent services for older members of the family who need care.


The Primary Night Care Service aims to provide night time pop-in visits of around half an hour for both planned and emergency cover, providing a range of personal and practical care tasks.


As people with learning difficulties live longer, their carers become correspondingly older. A council project in Southwark, south London, is helping meet the needs of older carers.




3.      Better justice and protection for vulnerable adults

On going action:

  • expose bad practice and promote good practice among police forces and the CPS in relation to the treatment of people with disabilities or mental health needs as witnesses/victims
  • push for strengthening of the No Secrets guidance
  • monitor allegations of abuse against vulnerable adults to ensure they are always reported to, and investigated by, the police
  • monitor adult deaths
  • call for adult protection to be placed on the same statutory footing as child protection


Examples of good practice:

Research has shown that, of 284 suspected cases of alleged sexual abuse against people with learning difficulties, only 63 (less than a quarter) were investigated by police. Just two of these went to court, and only one resulted in a conviction.

Very few cases even get to court because either the vulnerable witness has been unable to give their side of the story or, because of their learning disability, has been considered “an unreliable witness”. However, the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 and guidance such as Achieving Best Evidence recognise that, with proper support, vulnerable people can make good witnesses.

A partnership between social services and police in Staffordshire has resulted in a five-day vulnerable witness training course to try and address this issue.


The Metropolitan Police has a five-day foundation training course in special measures, put together by officers of the vulnerable and intimidated witness team.



4.      Increased choice and power for vulnerable adults

On going action:

  • monitor the promotion and take-up of direct payments across the country
  • promote the benefits for staff and service users of signing up to In Control
  • support a rise in the number of local authorities signed up to In Control
  • support a change to the benefits system so disabled people are not restricted to only three-and-a-half hours’ paid employment a week and earnings of £20 before their benefits are affected
  • support the growth of social firms
  • expose poor transport or lack of transport for service users who need help getting around


Examples of good practice:

It is estimated that there are about 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK. Of the 300,000 or so who have severe learning difficulties around 95 per cent of them won’t have a full-time job.

This is a startling figure that has sparked into life an employment project by the London-based housing association Yarrow, a charity which provides a range of community-based services including care and support. The project aims to match-up job seekers who have learning difficulties with suitable employers.


Stockport Council’s employment services, which for 17 years had supported socially excluded people in the borough into work, is now run by social firm Pure Innovations – a newly formed charitable company.


Councils have been pushed into seeking to communicate the benefits of direct payments. The information video produced by the London Borough of Enfield won an Association of Social Care Communicators and Community Care’s top social care communication award. And the judges who described it as “an outstanding piece of work” commended the campaign to other local authorities to follow.




5.      Fair treatment of people with mental health problems

On going action:

  • fight to ensure compulsory community treatment is restricted to revolving door patients only
  • expose cases of children being placed in adult wards
  • fight for the proposed ‘approved mental health professionals’ to replace ASWs to be accountable to councils rather than the health trusts responsible for detaining patients
  • ensure that people are not sectioned solely on the basis of their substance misuse
  • campaign for the growth of talking therapies as part of a preventive agenda


Examples of good practice:
Talking therapies are designed to test the theory, promoted by Labour peer Lord Layard, that psychological therapies will help people with common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, return or remain in work. However, the therapies have long been advocated by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in guidance, but this has not been widely followed by health services due to a lack of resources. 


Talking therapies are currently being trialled in two areas but this is due to be extended.



6.      Fair treatment for asylum seekers

On going action:

  • support the Refugee Council’s Just.Fair campaign on access to health services
  • oppose sections 9 and 4 of the Asylum Act
  • demand equal rights for unaccompanied minors in the care system


Examples of good practice:

Managed by the Royal Liverpool Children’s NHS Trust, Building Bridges aims to reach out to asylum-seeking families and those from ethnic minorities who are experiencing social exclusion and emotional or psychological problems and are not accessing mainstream services.


In Kirklees, Yorkshire, the My Life in Huddersfield project directed by an advisory panel and the young people themselves, consulted a community artist, a youth worker and an artist from the refugee community in Huddersfield about recording the experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers of being dispersed and living in a new place.


Sheffield Council has long sought to put citizenship and civic pride at the heart of its services. And this is at the root of its services for asylum seekers and refugees. Following the council taking in asylum seekers during the Kosova crisis, it recognised that although the service was primarily a housing one, there was a strong element of social care – so set up a joint team. Partnerships have also been formed with health services, Connexions, Sure Start, NSPCC, police and voluntary sector organisations.



7.      Improved educational opportunities and aspirations for young people in care

On going action:

  • campaign for the school attainment target for children in care to be raised from one GCSE to five GCSEs
  • promote good practice around care leavers going to university
  • promote the involvement of carers in education
  • promote study support, out-of-school-hours learning opportunities, mentoring, homework classes, holiday programmes and summer schools


Examples of good practice:

With young people leaving care consistently underachieving academically, it is little wonder that the, Every Child Matters says “the educational achievement of children in care remains far too low”. This under-achievement is also reflected in higher-than-average truancy and exclusion rates, with one in four looked-after over-14s not attending school.

The city of Leeds has about 1,500 young people in public care, of which 1,050 are of school age, including about 30 unaccompanied asylum seekers. Education Leeds, a not-for-profit company owned by Leeds Council, has an integrated programme, Stepping Stones, which is part of the Aimhigher initiative and accountable to the Excellence in Cities partnership. Its remit is to raise aspirations and widen participation for young people in public care.

Great Yarmouth is the fifth most deprived district and worst-performing education area in England. Its full-service extended school system has been remarkably effective. Based on a cluster of schools, the system offers holistic, multi-agency support to pupils and their families, with the focus on preventive action.

Community Care Mission Statement cont.  



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