I was interested to read this paper from the Chief Social Workers for England, when it was published at the end of February. A spectrum of opportunity: an exploratory study of social work with autistic young people and their families looks at three things:
- how responsive social workers were to the needs of young adults and their families
- what barriers there were to enable more effective interventions
- how things could be done differently to improve outcomes
I won’t go in to detail about the main body of the report – it is straightforward and easy to read, so I recommend it to you. It talks about what works well and what needs to be done better. Unsurprisingly, it points to the importance of the development of specialist knowledge in social workers, joined up work across agencies, and earlier intervention and proactive support to provide help before things go wrong; with the centrality of long-term trusting relationships between families and workers. Sadly, there is mention once again of parents’ fears of being labelled as ‘bad’ or ‘failing parents’.
I wrote at the end of March about the impact of work on brain development to understanding about parent abuse, and so I initially found the recent very public spat about the validity of claims being made for neuroscience rather unsettling. A week further on, after hours spent reading and rereading, the main lessons to be taken away from the controversy about the use and abuse of neuroscience seem to be: to think about the agenda of the person writing, not to make extravagant claims for something, and to read things carefully before commenting! Continue reading
This piece from the Orlando Sentinel on 4th October, reporting on responses to parent abuse following the death of Rosemary Pate at the hands of her son, has popped up a number of times in the last week, cross-posted in different places. It was good to see the topic of parent abuse getting a good airing after an earlier item appeared in the same paper in a couple of months ago (see my post of 24th August); and encouraging to see a call for early intervention to prevent abuse before it reaches this stage. Continue reading
“Mental disorders cost the economy more than £100bn a year” …. “2 million more adults and 100,000 more children will need treatment in 2030” … “a reduction in the number of people across the UK developing mental disorders appears to us to be the only way that mental health services will adequately cope with demand in 20-30 years’ time”. Soundbites from a recent piece in the Guardian, reflecting anxiety within the NHS as a whole that the money just won’t stretch far enough; and similar discussions abound whether with regard to physical health, education, criminal justice, social care …. The list goes on. So how to fund something new, such as services for families experiencing child to parent violence, at this time of budgetary constraints and cuts, might seem to be a question too far. Continue reading