Statement from Inverclyde Council
In response to the information you requested about Inverclyde’s services to Children with Disabilities I can offer the following information.
Social Work Assessments (under S23 of Children (Scotland) Act 1995) are carried out to establish the needs of Children with Disabilities and their families. These needs are identified by gathering information directly from the family and from all agencies involved with them to gain a clearer understanding of the child and family's circumstances. This leads to the formulation of a care/action plan to meet these needs. Assessment is an ongoing process and regular reviews are required to ensure the services provided continue to meet the needs of the child and family
Respite provision is agreed at the Resource Allocation Group (RAG) where there is a full discussion of each young person’s needs and how these might best be met. In fact, the Local Authority’s budget spend for respite has increased over the last three years. Although overnight respite for Children with Disabilities in Inverclyde has reduced in 2011/ 2012 - by 112 nights (approx 15%), this is because 3 Young People with high levels of respite (42, 56 and 21 days) reached their eighteenth birthday and became counted as adults in the stats. These figures mean that in fact an additional 7 days respite was offered during this time period. At present 30 children are receiving Residential respite. During 2011/12 this equates to 781 nights, averaging 26 nights per child.
In terms of Thomas Arthur, we would dispute the suggestion that Thomas’s care package was not reviewed and that the family did not receive adequate support until BBC became involved. In fact Thomas‘s care needs were regularly discussed and reviewed through the RAG. During the last 18 months, the service responded on all three occasions that the family requested emergency respite, offering an extra 18 nights respite in total to cover these emergencies. In addition to this a further 11 nights were added to Thomas’s regular package bringing the total up to 49. This was in recognition of the added demands on the family as Thomas grew and became physically bigger. Thomas also received support over holiday periods from Play4 All, a play scheme for Children with Disabilities. Support is also provided via a Homecare Agency on weekday mornings. Previously support was also provided in the evening however this service was stopped by the family. Homecare provision was increased in November 2011 when Mr Arthur’s work shifts changed, reducing the time he had available to assist with Thomas’s care. I would acknowledge that on one of these occasions the support did not start until one day after the agreed date due to the social worker being absent.
It was recognised that Mr and Mrs Arthur appeared unclear as to what further supports they were looking for so it was agreed on 11/1/12 that a useful mechanism to reflect further on Thomas care would be via an Integrated Assessment process that would look afresh on all views held regarding Thomas needs .This would again be undertaken involving the family and all agencies/professionals involved with Thomas's care. The outcome of this process has been the formulation of an updated care plan which will continue to be responsive to Thomas’s needs and will be subject to review.
As indicated this service was not aware of the involvement of the BBC as Mrs Arthur did not inform the service until 16-1-12 that the BBC was filming for a documentary.
I would hope that the above information demonstrates that Thomas’s needs and the family’s stress at times of crisis were recognised and responded to timeously and positively regardless of cost of resource.
Statement from Glasgow City Council
Glasgow City Council responded to the concerns of Rucksana Mahmood and her son Kasim with this statement.
This is a complex case which centres on the fact that Kasim is an adult with the capacity to make his own decisions. A wide range of social care support, including respite care, one-to-one support, befriending and access to group activities within autistic services, has been offered to Kasim in recent years.
But this support has either been declined or not followed through on by Kasim and we fully accept that he is entitled to refuse the support offered to him.
However, efforts to ensure that Kasim receives assistance to access support services have continued.
Kasim has recently completed an assessment for a personal support budget that could help him with his studies.
He has also been referred to an independent advocacy service which will assist him in making sure his views and wishes are clearly expressed in future.
Kasim's mother has also been offered an independent carer's assessment, which will help her to identify the support available to her as a carer.
- Fiona Walker
- Judith Mackay
- Judith Mackay