Trusts ‘may hinder disabled parents’

The development of children’s trusts and the switching of
children’s social services to the Department for Education and
Skills could hamper disabled parents, a task force has

The group, representing government, social services, voluntary
groups and disabled parents, fears that children’s and adults’
community care policies could become further separated under the
new arrangements. This would hinder joint working and increase
difficulties experienced by disabled parents.

The group’s report is based on evidence from parents, professionals
and researchers over two years. It points out that the failure of
children’s services to work with adult community care teams has
already caused some disabled parents to have their children taken
into the care without their entitlement to support being assessed
or addressed.

Chris Hanvey, UK director of operations at children’s charity
Barnardo’s, said he shared the report’s concerns about “a worrying
omission in the thinking about the co-existence of children’s
trusts and adult community care services”.

The report says social services often only respond to parents’
problems if their children are placed on the “at risk” register,
making them vulnerable to being placed in care.

The task force, set up by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is
calling for changes in child protection guidelines to ensure that
disabled parents’ support needs are assessed before decisions are
made about their capacity to care for their children. 

The Right Support: Report of the Task Force on Supporting
Disabled Adults in their Parenting Role

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