Fit for purpose disabled children’s assessment guidance

What would ‘fit for purpose’ disabled children’s assessment guidance look like?  At the School of Law, the University of Leeds, this is what we hope to be researching in the first part of 2023. 

At present there is no specific guidance in England on this issue and in consequence local authority Children’s Services generally assess disabled children and their families needs using forms and guidance designed for ‘safeguarding’: forms and guidance that assumes that there has been neglect or abuse and assumes that the problem lies in the family, and particular, with the parents. This is the conclusion of our Institutionalising Parent Carer Blame report which calls for new guidance specifically directed at the quite different needs of disabled children and their families.

As a first step in developing such guidance, we have asked the Parent and Carer Alliance if it would undertake an initial survey of Parent Carers and Parent Carer Support Groups on what should be in in the guidance – and what should not be: on what questions should be asked during the assessment process – and what should not be.

We plan to hold a series of webinars in the New Year with Parent Carers to facilitate the co-production of guidance of this kind in the hope that many local authorities will adopt it and as well as the Department for Education when (as inevitably it must) it turns its attention to this question.

It would be tremendous if you could respond to the survey – including whether you would be interested in taking part in the webinars to be held in the New Year.

The brief survey form can be accessed by clicking on this link.

The Alliance has produced a brief video explaining what it is trying to do and how you can help – click on this link to watch the video.

Click here to read the document that the Alliance has produced which gives more of the details concerning what might be covered by the guidance – in the hope that you can respond with your thoughts on this question.

Having fit for purpose assessment practices that result in disabled children and their families getting decent empathetic support is incredibly important – so please consider responding to the survey and also circulating details of this initiate to all those who might be interested in responding.

Posted 9 November 2022


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