Editorial Comment: Parental support needed

    The Valuing People white paper laid great emphasis on the rights of people with learning disabilities, so it is a strange fact that six years later more than half of parents in this group have their children taken into care.

    While the interests of the child should always be paramount, the right to family life should never be neglected. That is why the Department of Health’s new guidance urging councils “not to make assumptions” about the parenting skills of people with learning disabilities is so timely. Splitting children’s and adults’ services may only encourage excessive caution in child protection, when what is needed is adequately resourced parental support. Here, it is vital that the recently divided services find new ways of working together.

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     Mark Ivory

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