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|09 Feb 2016|
After years of campaigning the Kingspark families have won a commitment from the Scottish Government that the new guidance, 'Included, Engaged and Involved” will specifically refer to children and young people with complex additional support needs.
It will make clear that children and young people with disabilities have additional legal protection provided by equality legislation
There will be the inclusion of a section on the promotion of Positive Behaviour and the development of a whole school ethos. This would help in itself to minimise the use of restraint by helping to focus on the needs of each individual child.
The guidance might be also be renamed so that it did not primarily focus on exclusion but more on positive behaviour. This will help steer teaching and support staff in the right direction.
Beth Morrison, the lead signatory of petition said “It has been a long fight and I’m absolutely delighted the campaign has been successful. I’ve been told a draft of the guidelines will be drawn up next month and I’ll have the chance to have a look at it before things are made final.”
The Petitions Committee considered the Stop the Care Tax petition again on Tuesday 8th of December. They were struck by the difference in figures presented by the government which said that the immediate costs of ending care charges was £55 million and the ongoing annual costs was £330 million and those by SACT which said that the ongoing costs were only £20-25 million and only an additional 4-5 million per year caused by extension of charging.
The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and Professor David Bell.
We think this will be very interesting as we don't think that the Scottish Government's figures add up and we also think that despite the impression given in other evidence Professor David Bell has nothing to do with these figures.
The Couriers published an interesting article on this today.
New research by LDAS has discovered a serious error in the way social care charges are being calculated in Scotland's largest local authority. For over 5 years, we have raised concerns about the veracity of COSLA figures for the amount of income collected in non-residential social care charges. Glasgow claimed to raise over £16 million annually but the next nearest is South Lanarkshire with only a slightly smaller population but raising just £2 million. Our concern that the Glasgow figure could not possibly be correct was raised with senior local authority finance people but nothing was done.
New information we received in the last few weeks shows that Glasgow’s self-directed support care management information software, CareFirst 6, wraps up individual contributions along with their Independent Living Fund monies and declares it as a single contribution from each client. .
Senior Glasgow finance staff have now confirmed that the ILF contributions of 254 clients with a learning disability, a total of £5.3 million are included in their figures for income from care charges. And there are a further 310 service users in Glasgow with physical disabilities who receive ILF and whose ILF is similarly treated within the financial figures. This means that at least £10 million and possibly as much as £14 million of ILF monies have been declared as income from non-residential social care charges by Glasgow for at least the last 6 years. Actual income from care charges in Scotland’s largest city may be only £2-3 million per year rather than the £16 million claimed in the last financial year.
According to OLM, the company responsible for this software, a further 13 Scottish councils use the CareFirst system ranging from Highlands to East Dunbartonshire. As a result there is a possibility that the COSLA figure for income from care charges is further inflated by the inclusion of ILF funds in this part of the local government finance statistics from other areas.
This matters because artificially inflated figures will make it seem harder for the Scottish Government to end social care charges. Time to correct the sums!
 http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/viewDoc.asp?c=P62AFQDXNT0GUTZL – this report notes that £14.5 million is received by service users in Glasgow from the ILF. But we believe the figure involved in this error is lower as many pre 1993 ILF users are not known to local authorities.
The new Changing Places map has been launched www.changingplacesmap.org.uk
The Friends of Barrhead and Thornliebank Resource Centres who were campaigning to save both their local day centres have put out the following statement from East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership who have now decided to keep o[en both centres.
Please read the very brief statement below from the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership - it is an excellent result for the group but the statement also demonstrates our need to keep together and to keep engaging with them as the centres start to change.
We will thank all the individuals and organisations who have offered their support over the last years - ERDA, PAMIS, Learning Disability Alliance,Downs Syndrome Society, SDSForumER, carers' representatives, MSPs etc
This is a great group and we have made a significant impact in East Renfrewshire....( and beyond - some Glasgow carers rightly feeling even more now that they were never listened to.)
LEARNING DISABILITY DAY SERVICES
In February this year the Council approved a range of savings measures proposed by the HSCP including £90k which we hoped to achieve by the closure of one of our learning disability day centre buildings. We saw this as a natural consequence of our vision and strategy for daytime activities for people with learning disabilities. That vision, which we had been developing over a number of years, was for people with learning disabilities to access a much wider range of community based options, from volunteering to employment and participating in a wider range of community activities with support. Our intent was to work with a range of groups and agencies to develop alternatives that met the aspirations of people with learning disabilities to live good lives. It was also a good fit with self directed support, where more personalised support arrangements – perhaps with alternative providers, would evolve over time.