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Campaign Promoting Children Disabled Social Services and Reducing Stigma
My name is Joanna, I am a registered adult nurse and I am a mother to 4 children, my oldest and will be 11 this August, has Cerebral Palsy and is severely disabled with complex health needs.
Over the years we have had to fight, pretty much for everything to get what she needs. One of these fights was to get a social worker from the Disabled Social Working Team, to help with respite as she is 24 hours care with complex health needs and can't do anything for herself. This is something many families have to fight for too. Following getting a social worker, we encountered baffling systemic confusion, leading to stigmatisation, discrimination and at times, painful accusations.
This simply needs to change. I will not rest until this issue is resolved. It affects so many families across the UK who are simply trying their best for their child and at times vilified for it.
- Raise awareness of the Disabled Social Working Team and the importance of this team which supports disabled children and their families.
- Highlight the difference between the Disabled Social Working Team and the Child Safeguarding Team. When you mention Social Services or having a social worker the vast majority of professionals and non-professionals assume it is because of concerns of child protection
- Raise awareness about the current confusion in the Children's Act 1989 around Disabled children, in particular, Section 17 of the children's act 1989, which disabled children fall under, which again is combined with children at risk of harm.
- Direct Payment annual reviews to be called the same across the country with standardised paperwork to avoid confusion with professionals working with these children.
- Highlight the deficit in training around this area for professionals working with children and reduce the chances of families being falsely stigmatised by confusing terms.
- Make Disability Social Services Training mandatory like Child Protection safeguarding training. Training to include understanding the differences between the two separate Social services and include EHCP plans
How can you HELP
- Promote this campaign and raise awareness of these issues by using your social media platforms
- Follow Beautifulmisspandme on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and if you feel able, share this information on your social networks.
- Promote and support the campaign to ensure disabled children and their families have a voice and together, achieve the change that is needed.
Thank you so much for your time in reading this and I really do hope that you feel you would be able to support us and make life easier for disabled children and their parents.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Kind Regards and well wishes.
Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead
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