Camphill Families and Friends recently submitted a paper to the Select Committee on Social Care.

The full report can be downloaded  submission-to-the-select-committee-on-adult-social-care

Many learning disabled people have chosen to live in Camphill intentional life-sharing communities because they offer a more holistic way of living, with meaningful work, social interaction, a shared home and spiritual awareness.  We write from a family perspective and reflect our members’ experience and views.

Whilst families such as our members may not be actively providing year-round care – our relatives make their homes for most of the year in communities usually at a distance from us, as the fulfilling life they find there is not available locally – we need to continue to be involved in decisions around their care.  We have a vital role in their lives, a life-long responsibility, and an unrivalled view of their whole history.  Our families offer all kinds of support to their relatives, including often managing their finances, and challenging local authorities’ decisions; and we offer much emotional support.  Crucially, when difficulties arise or placements fail it is families who are left to pick up the pieces.
SUMMARY:
Where families have the person’s best interests at heart, they need to be fully involved in assessments and decisions.  They are often their relative’s most long-standing and best advocate.

  • Wellbeing (see Care Act 2014) is an excellent concept, implying a rounded life with purpose and authentic relationships.  The current system doesn’t always work to promote wellbeing.
  • Funding is insufficient, and focuses on limited, definable “outcomes”, rather than a totality of experience, encompassing a real home, work, relationships and an investment in the lives of others as well as oneself.
  • The “one size fits all” mentality in social care narrows options, and limits real choice.
  • In the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal, living far from family is seen as undesirable in itself.  But “local” doesn’t always mean “best” or most appropriate, as we know from our own lives.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to relocate in order to find the best way of life for oneself.  Funding should always be portable across local authority boundaries.
  • There is an over-emphasis on risk and safeguarding, which can create a sterile and disagreeable environment in which to live and work, for both residents and support staff. This is not to minimise the importance of thorough risk assessments and evaluation of individual needs.
  • We need to raise the status of people who work in care, and pay them properly.  They carry the greatest responsibility.
  • The eligibility level for funding is set so high that many who need it are left with little or no support.   Long term this is costly to society in both human and financial terms.
  • The success of life-sharing communities can be seen in Scotland:  Camphill communities are awarded high gradings in all aspects by the Scottish Care Inspectorate, and recognised by the Scottish Parliament.
  • The Better Care Fund and other such initiatives cost money which comes from people’s budgets; and they often re-invent the wheel.

Download the full report (11 pages)   submission-to-the-select-committee-on-adult-social-care

For further reading the link to the Select Committee’s website is http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/adult-social-care-16-17/

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Diary of Events 2018

AGM and Open meeting
Saturday 20th October 2018
Birmingham

This meeting will have a focus on funding, including the issue of Universal Credit and Direct Payments.

HANDOVER GUIDE

The Handover Guide is for family members or friends who take on the role of supporters of people with learning disabilities who live in Camphill communities in England and Wales. Click on the image for details of how to obtain a copy.

Balance of Rights

This film gives an overview of how learning disabled people have been viewed by society from the 18th century until the present day. It has some really interesting insights into how recent welfare cuts “target” them and threaten progress.

Balance of Rights