Parents with learning disabilities whose children are involved with Children’s social services do not have the right to have someone to support them to understand and contribute to, the child protection process.
Imagine a social worker saying they are concerned about your children. That you have to assessed to see if you are a good enough parent. That if they don’t think you are a good enough parent they may take tou to court to remove your children from you.
You would do anything to get listened too and understand what was happening. You would attend all the meetings, take part in the assessment to the beat of your ability right? You would stand up for your rights!
What if you could not understand the meetings or court proceedings. You found it hard to get heard. You couldn’t engage in an assessment because it wasn’t accessible to you?
That’s where independent advocacy comes in. An advocate would help you understand, support your rights, help make sure the social workers were using the right assessment for you. Help you get listened to.
The Equality Act and the Human Rights Act both make this essential but this type of advocacy is not compulsory for Local Authorities to fund.
Parents with Learning disabilities can be great parents but are vastly over represented in child removal by Local Authorities.
You can sign this petition here