Child Protection for the Autistic Child - A Resource
RESPECT See - findings and recommendations from this2017 study (pg.29) :- · (Children and Young People need) help in understanding their case and family justice processes · Social workers, Cafcass guardians and judges need to explain to children and young people how the family justice system works and what the process will be. · Child friendly information on the family justice system should be available for children and young people.
My own experience as a parent of a young autistic person who entered Care under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 was that I had no idea of what help was available to him or us or where or how to access it. It is also my experience that in the main, parents/families are almost completely reliant on self-help and informal support to navigate a confusing, confused, frightening, unaccountable and opaque system when the stakes could not be higher.
It also seems self evident that the Local Authority/Social Worker must also produce information (flow diagram, visuals etc) to support individual parent/ child depending on their communication needs so that parent/ child understand the processes affecting them and the choices available to them. Where this is not happening then the unpalatable truth is that much of what is happening is likely to be a (largely unchallenged?) violation of the human rights of those affected.
Is there accessible reliable information about Child Protection Processes?
Finally It is my view that the Ministry of Justice and Department for Education should commission comprehensive audio and video resources and publish these on a dedicated website. That no Government Department has seen it necessary to do this is, given what is at stake, in my view, indicative of a deep and profound disrespect within government for families who have need of children’s social care. This disrespect runs like a seam through all interactions between professionals and families where pretty much anything can be justified by those ‘doing to’ families and pretty much nothing can be challenged by those ‘done to’ including de-facto denying the ‘done to’ access to information about processes affecting them, their families and the rights and responsibilities of all.