Letters to Community Care 15 July 2010

letter of the week ➔ Anne Smyth, director, The Carers' Resource Adults' services face job culls as cuts bite Spare elderly and child protection...

Ditched scheme will leave a long legacy

In the short time it takes you to read this letter, someone somewhere in the UK is benefiting from the Caring with Confidence programme. We are delighted to have been part of such an innovative programme which reached into the heart of the communities we serve. We also regret its closure later this year (editorial, 8 July, )

We are a listening organisation – as well as a training one – and we know first-hand from the carers we have worked with that they have found the support offered by Caring with Confidence to be invaluable. The personalised nature of their training ensures that carers are better placed to benefit from the government’s commitment to transformation of social care.

We all know how carers struggle with their roles while coping with work and family life, and that access to training can make a big difference. Trained carers have the best opportunities for informed choice and control. The programme will leave a long-lasting legacy across the parts of Yorkshire that we serve.

We will continue to deliver the Caring with Confidence programme to the highest possible standards over the remaining months of its life and would welcome the opportunity to work with the government to explore optimising benefits from the reinvestment of the Caring with Confidence budget.

Anne Smyth, director, The Carers’ Resource

Don’t sweep care under the carpet

It is understated to say that the Personal Care at Home Bill was disappointing. The rushed proposal was seen by many as a pre-election piecemeal offering while the National Care Service White Paper was contradictory, claiming that the government could not afford to pay for the UK’s future social care requirements.

The bill did nothing to allay public confusion and, as the plans had not been fully budgeted for, lack of funds and clarity would mean that in reality the proposed support provision would not help anywhere near the numbers claimed.

Yet one thing that both of these papers did do was raise the profile of social care which can only be seen as a good thing. The number of those requiring home care when and where it best suits them will only increase and it was excellent to see the subject was finally receiving the exposure it deserves.

The announcement that the coalition government has decided to discard the main provisions of the bill with little indication as to a viable alternative may be financially prudent, but I fear we run the risk of sweeping the subject under the carpet and ignoring the bigger picture. With a forecast of 1.7 million more people requiring care in the next 20 years, those in need of care will soon escalate beyond the government’s control.

Dealing with this issue head-on now is the right thing to do, not only for reasons of improving dignity and choice to the elderly and others who need care, but also because it is sound financially.

David Lyon, chief executive, Carewatch Care Services

Magic deserves respect too

As a social worker and also a practising pagan and witch, I am seriously offended by your uncritical repetition of comments deriding belief in the integrated children’s system as on a par with belief in magic (news, 24 June,).

Many faiths, both ancient and contemporary, experience magic as a valid force in their lives, and whether or not you share that belief you should at least be respectful of it.

Many Christians would likewise believe in the efficacy of their prayers to their particular god, and although an atheist writer might privately believe them to be deluded, they would not think it acceptable to mock them in print.

So is there any reason why minority faiths should not be accorded the same respect as hegemonic ones?

Name and address withheld

Hate crime and Holocaust appeal

I have a learning disability and work with Ealing Mencap.

In my spare time I like helping other people with disabilities. My passion is fighting disability hate crime. The Holocaust is a very important part of our history that shows what extreme hate crime can do. I want to go to Poland and Germany to make a documentary film about the way people were treated during the Second World War. I am working with the Holocaust Memorial Trust and will launch my film on the UK’s Holocaust Memorial Day in January.

I need to raise over £3,000 to pay for the costs of my trip and for some support and I am fundraising and applying for grants. For more information or to help please contact me via Ealing Mencap or e-mail me at bergekanikanian@yahoo.co.uk

Berge Kanikanian, Ealing Mencap

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