Children`s services staff show `worrying lack of knowledge` about disability issues

A “worrying lack of confidence and knowledge about disability
issues” among some staff in mainstream children’s services, is
highlighted in a new report.

Staff must be appropriately trained if they play a key role in
supporting disabled care leavers, says the report, prepared by
three researchers from the centre for disability studies at Leeds
University in collaboration with national leaving care advisory
service First Key.

It looks at implications of implementing the Children (Leaving
Care) Act 2000 for disabled care leavers, which comes into effect
in October.

Local authorities may need more specific guidance on completing
Quality Protects data returns in management action plans, as there
is confusion and inconsistency in recording the numbers of looked
after disabled children, it says.

Local authorities need reliable information and monitoring
systems to identify all children who are approaching their
fourteenth birthday and who may be eligible for an assessment under
the Disabled Person’s Act 1986.

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