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We are pleased to announce the publication of our latest newsletter dated October 2014. You can listen to it online here
You can read the articles online by clicking on the following links
Article One - This looks at the wider implications of the closure of an Edinburgh service for young adults with special needs. Issues such as Policy Rush, Cherry Picking and Give Back are looked at. Read it here.
Article Two - This is part of our long running campaign for the ending of care charges. We reveal that 23 councils in Scotland charge people in poverty, making their living situations intolerable. Read it here.
The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland is pleased to announce its major new conference on the crisis that many people with learning disabilities are experiencing in care, support and managing the cost of living. We would be grateful if you could share this information with members and service users that you know so they can make the choice to come to the conference.
The day is a chance for people with learning disabilities and their families to look at the challenges in their lives that is making life hard. From changes to eligibility criteria to get social care to the rise in charges for getting support and help, we will look at the different things that make life difficult. We will look for what we can do to find some answers to these challenges
The conference will be mostly for people with learning disabilities from all over Scotland. There will be some carers and parents of people with more profound disabilities there too. We will also be inviting a small number of politicians, officials and professional staff so they can hear more about what people are saying and can help us in finding some solutions.
We are collecting the views of people with learning disabilities to tell the Commission tasked with agreeing more powers for the Scottish Parliament what they think should happen. The Smith Commission , led by Lord Smith of Kelvin, is asking lots of people what they think to help with writing a Bill. This would start the process of handing more powers to the Scottish Parliament.
Lord Smith of Kelvin said: “Following the referendum we have a willingness, shared by all five of Scotland’s main political parties, to strengthen the powers of the Scottish Parliament, within the UK. My job is to create a process through which politicians, civic institutions and the Scottish public can come together, work together and agree the detail of what those powers should be.”
A Statement by the Engine Shed
Over the last year at the Engine Shed has tried to work with Edinburgh Council to resolve our difficulties.
- Receiving a further years transition funding of £211,000 until April 2015 to allow time to develop new opportunities;
- Meeting and working with Business Gateway to develop new ways of workings;
- Working with a Community Enterprise Consultant funded by the Just Enterprise scheme operated by Business Gateway.
- Spending 4 months in an ultimately unsuccessful negotiations with the “Preferred Consortium” to secure a place in a joint tender that recognised the Engine Shed’s unique contribution to support young adults in learning employments skills.
- A willingness to explore new option for individuals including self-directed support.
- Exploring way of applying to the Challenge Fund and other Third Party Grants programme available through the Edinburgh City Council;
- Exploring ways of applying for future European Social Funds (subject to first having a grant suitable for matching) from April 2015.
- From April to June, the CEO and directors taking part in a series of three meetings with senior council staff and councillors to explore funding opportunities.
The Mental Welfare Commission has published its latest report on the use of the Adults with Incapacity Act. It looks at the use of welfare guardianship.
The 2013-14 report shows a continued year-on-year rise in the number of applications for welfare guardianship being granted, with a 58% increase over the past four years. Dundee, Glasgow and Stirling showed the highest rates of new orders.
There was a significant reduction in the granting of orders on an indefinite basis, which is a positive change, but again, there were wide variations across the country. Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen City all had high rates of orders approved on an indefinite basis. The Commission also found that significant numbers of guardians were not being regularly supervised by the local authority.
There was a slight fall in welfare guardianships granted for people with dementia, and a rise in those granted for people with learning disability; a trend that has been apparent for a number of years, and which has resulted in 2013-14 being the first year when welfare guardianships were on an almost equal basis for both.
Just two areas Glasgow and North Lanarkshire had 24% of all the welfare guardianship orders taken out adults with learning disabilities. Surely its no coincidence that both these areas claim they are the most advanced areas in the development of Self Directed Support. This would be in line with evidence that we have found that many families are taking guardianship orders out on sons and daughters to ensure that they have a say in protecting their care. This is a worrying trend that means people have less legal control at a time when the Parliament says they should have more.