Is there ‘Parent Carer Blame’ in Wales?
A recent report entitled ‘Institutionalising Parent Carer Blame’ has been published by the Cerebra Legal Entitlements and Problem-solving research team at the University of Leeds. It considers the policies and practices of English children’s services departments when assessing and providing support to disabled children and their families. The report finds that the key English guidance (‘Working Together’ 2018) issued by the Department for Education is not fit for purpose and that the policies and practices of English councils create a default position for those assessing disabled children, that assumes parental failings. This approach locates the problems associated with a child’s impairment in the family – a phenomenon referred to in this report as ‘institutionalising parent carer blame’.
There is no doubting that the law in Wales is different. The ‘Working Together’ guidance does not apply and there are regulations and guidance in Wales that require those assessing the needs of disabled children to have the necessary skills, knowledge and competence to fulfil this role.
It would be wrong, however, to suggest that the research findings are of no relevance to Wales. Indeed, the report itself notes that the impetus for the research came from families in both England and Wales expressing concern about the assessment procedures they and their disabled children experienced. It then explains that it was for methodological reasons that the policies and practices of English councils were analysed.
The report Institutionalising Parent-carer Blame. The experiences of families with disabled children in their interactions with English local authority children’s services departments can be accessed by clicking here.
 See for example, the Care and Support (Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015 reg 3; the Part 3 Code of Practice to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (assessing the needs of individuals); Welsh Government Code of Practice on the Delivery of Autism Services WG21-60 (WG July 2021) p.22 – and see also Welsh Government Code of Practice on the Delivery of Autism Services. Supporting Guidance Document (WG July 2021) p.32.
 Luke Clements and Ana Laura Aiello Institutionalising Parent-carer Blame. The experiences of families with disabled children in their interactions with English local authority children’s services departments (Cerebra 2021) para 3.03.
Photograph of ‘Mynydd Bodafon’ by Richard Jones -@lluniaurich
Posted 29 July 2021