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Channel 4 News Item about Autism

(23 Posts)
cyberseraphim Wed 16-Jul-08 19:53:32

In case you missed it - there was an interesting and depressing item on Channel 4 News about a boy with severe autism whose LEA won't pay for a residential place (where he has developed and thrived0 so now he might have to go into care !

www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/education/autistic+boy+forced+out+of+school+and+into+care+as+ council+stops+funding/2336477

amber32002 Thu 17-Jul-08 10:16:51

What always astonishes me is that apparently it would cost between £120k and £250k to look after this one child, yet people expect parents to do it for a tiny fraction of this sum, money which is continually tested and re-tested by the government to see if they can stop paying it.

* sigh *

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Thu 17-Jul-08 11:26:40

I don't know how the bastards in the LEA sleep at night.

And the penny pinching is disgusting. I found out last night that if ds1 goes into residential it will cost them £200 000 a year. And yet they're cutting our direct payments and obstructing the DFG to make our house safe for him at every stage.

magso Thu 17-Jul-08 16:33:55

The penny pinching doesnt make sense either!!Surely even the finance people should be looking at the long term!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Thu 17-Jul-08 18:40:48

The probably have to balance books per year iyswim. So no point thinking long term.

cyberseraphim Thu 17-Jul-08 18:58:55

And hope to get re elected so definitely no point in thinking beyond their own careers....

Geri2 Fri 18-Jul-08 22:05:35

Oh that's just so sad. To move him when he is doing well is really not in his best interest, but more the interest of bedford's budget IMHO.

what a dilema to be faced with. Lets hope Bedford see sense, bet they won't tho as they won't want to be seen as backing down.

Part of my thinks, let him go to the new school and into care, and hope that they cannot meet his needs, then he will end up back where he is now. It must be very confusing for Ben and it is such a huge risk to take. I really wouldn't want to be in his Parents situation.

Has there been any update on this, as have only just seen it now?

MannyMoeAndJack Fri 18-Jul-08 22:36:42

Thanks for posting. I hope that wherever Ben ends up, it doesn't undo all the hard work of the residential school - now that really would prove to be a waste of money sad.

I think LA's are just holding onto SN kids for as long as possible and avoiding paying for any of them to go into specialist care.

FWIW, we had a tour of a very good residential school over a year ago (out of interest mainly) and when I did some digging on the internet, I discovered that 49% of the pupils are in state care shock. In a separate bit of digging, I found the details of a second residential school where 71/73 pupils were in state care!

Seuss Fri 18-Jul-08 22:53:18

I didn't have a chance to watch this the other day - just seen it now. It's awful if they do make him move - you can really see how well he's come on since he's been there. If they do make him move I hope it all f*s up in their faces and they have to send him back again and admit they were wrong (but then for Ben's sake I hope it doesn't cos that would be horrid for him - pah!)angry. What was with that 'technicality' stuff about the original decision as well - how can you decide something so important on a 'technicality'??

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 19-Jul-08 07:33:28

Manny- if children go into a residential placement of so many weeks a year they have to go into state care. There's no other way that parents can get the long placements that their children need.

MannyMoeAndJack Sat 19-Jul-08 07:42:44

JJ - but if that's the case, then how do you explain the status of the other 51% (of the first school), given that only 2% were being privately funded and nearly all were boarders? Just curious.

Davros Sat 19-Jul-08 08:35:16

All children in any sort of residential care that is publicly funded in the UK, whether it is one weekend respite per month or even per year or fulltime are classified as "Looked After" which is modern PC speak for "In Care". Being Looked After can be on some levels, e.g. with the parents' consent or without it, with parents retaining parental responsibility or not, part-time or fulltime etc. There are big advantages to being classified as being Looked After although most parents baulk at first. It means that there is very rigourous monitoring and continual assessment, it also means that the child has far more rights when school ends than a child not Looked After, e.g. must be housed etc.
Another thing, it is all very well to think that they could move him, fail and move him back but the place probably wouldn't be there for him.
It fills me with dread as DS started at residential last January but we have to trust that this is an unusual case. I can't fault the school, our LA or our Social Worker so far....

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 19-Jul-08 09:07:55

Davros- how do you ensure you retain parental responsibility? Is there a way you can do that?

MannyMoeAndJack Sat 19-Jul-08 10:17:27

I get that any child who accesses foster care or any type of resi care is labelled as 'looked after' or 'in state care' - my ds will become one of those so labelled if/when he ever accesses the local resi unit for monthly respite care.

My quesion is this: there is a resi school not far from where we live; 49% are labelled as 'in state care', 2% are privately funded - what category do the remaining 51% come under? Are they also 'in state care' or not? Any explanations welcome!

cyberseraphim Sat 19-Jul-08 13:36:06

There was a similar case in Scotland a few months ago

www.theherald.co.uk/search/display.var.2279656.0.charities_attack_autism_schooling_judgment.php

Financial grounds and the need to separate educational from social provision is cited in the judgement - not taking account of the the fact that severe autism is pervasive and you cannot just switch from one form of care to another on a 9-5 basis.

Davros Sat 19-Jul-08 13:47:45

Maybe those not "in state care" are Looked After but with their parents' consent and with them retaining Parental Responsibility iyswim.
JimJams, it is all part of the long-winded but quite rightly vigorous procedure that Parental Responsibility is agreed and documented. We have a LAC Review (Looked After Child Review) every 4 months or so and our Social Worker goes to visit DS every 4 weeks or so! It is very heavily monitored and documented with input from as many people as possible which gives a good overview and plenty of checks and balances.

r3dh3d Sat 19-Jul-08 13:49:36

I think a huge part of the problem is that the child has ASD. Ime, LEAs have so many ASD children on the books that they are terrified of making a "precedent" by giving just one of them appropriate provision.

DD1 has a couple of incredibly rare unrelated conditions and there is unlikely ever to be another child born with the same combination. So no precedents set at all and the LEA ushered her into a SLD/PMLD placement entirely voluntarily. (Still issues with statement wording and provision of other services - but my point is they are happy enough to place her in the right place first time because there is only one of her.)

Seuss Sat 19-Jul-08 17:23:47

r3dh3d - good point about them being scared to set a precedent, I think you're probably right.

MannyMoeAndJack Sat 19-Jul-08 19:52:30

It seems to be extremely difficult for kids to be placed in specialist resi schools so I can only assume that those kids in state care (i.e. those who cannot live at home or don't have any parents) are given priority and any remaining places are taken by those kids who have been excluded by state maintained special schools._

Davros Sat 19-Jul-08 20:16:09

Big assumption! In our case it became obvious that the placement DS was in was no longer meeting his needs. I know its all SEN jargon but it does sum up the situation. Then everyone had to decide whether a good enough improvement could be made at that provision and, if not, alternatives had to be explored. DS was not excluded and I don't think any kid in state care would get a place UNLESS IT MET THEIR NEEDS. Just being in State care is not enough. In our case we lead the whole thing with the support of our Paediatrician and got what we wanted and what we think is the best placement.

MannyMoeAndJack Sat 19-Jul-08 21:05:33

That's actually quite heartening to know! I must stop being so cynical!!! I know of cases where exclusion has led to a resi place so it does happen. Also, I think kids can get places in such schools if their LAs cannot find anywhere local. It's good that your ds got the placement that he neede without the need to go to Tribunal (which I believe is also what many families have to endure to secure a specialist school).

Seuss Sat 19-Jul-08 22:00:49

Was it Friday they were supposed to make a decision on this? Does anyone know what was decided?

Seuss Sat 19-Jul-08 22:13:19

Just had another look - is this an old story or have I read the dates wrong? (Sorry being a bit dense tonight - been a tiring week!)

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