Received from Katie Clark
My daughter has substantial complex needs. She uses an electric wheelchair, is profoundly deaf and uses a communication aid to talk. She has had a package of support that has enabled her to employ her own team of Personal Assistants. This has cost less than if she has gone into a residential home.
The Personal Assistants support her to contribute to society – to do voluntary work, do paid work training social work students, to speak at the Houses of Parliament and represent other disabled young people, and to take part in awareness raising projects.
The Personal Assistant team also support her emotional well being, her personal care, they support her to access leisure activities such as going to cinema, shopping and meeting friends. None of this she can do on her own.
Due to the huge savings our local authority is making on social care her budget is being reduced and we are under stressful “negotiations” with the council. Cuts to her budget will result in her becoming isolated, bored, not contributing or making a difference, her health and well being will be at risk, she may well become frustrated and angry resulting in behaviour which may be challenging. On top of that her Personal Assistants will be out of work, and I will become her carer and will have to stop my full time job. This will impact financially on our whole family and will cause stress to her and impact her mental health.
She is a young woman who does not want to be “looked after” by her mother. She may end up in the institutions we have worked for years to avoid, with far more needs and more at risk to abuse than having her own team of assistants.
Can anyone tell me where the sense is in this and is it not shortsighted and will result in heavier costs to social care within the next 5 years?
Good luck Pat, in your meeting with Liam Byrne.