Help stop councils prosecuting vulnerable parents of special needs kids
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I am a single parent of a 13 year old high functioning autistic daughter and let me be clear from the outset, she is my entire world.
I recently find myself at the mercy once again of prosecution from my local education authority, (LEA), because my daughter has completely refused school since December 2015, and I am by no means the only one. There are countless stories of other parents out there who are fighting every day just to get the support their SEN, (special educational needs), child requires. This in itself can be incredibly isolating and exhausting at times as can simply looking after the child.
Imagine then that on top of this daily struggle you are then accused of failing your child. These were the exact words in a recent letter to me from my Education welfare officer at my LEA. Bear in mind that we have, over the last 2 years worked with many different professionals all of whom ironically have ‘failed’ to provide my daughter access to education and mental healthcare. I have been subjected to many thinly veiled accusations of abuse of my child and insinuations of neglect despite having been totally transparent at all times and doing everything, (and much more), that has been required of me by the team involved.
It is therefore my belief that there should be a period of time after which a parent has had enough contact with professionals to prove their intentions are in the child’s best interests. At this point any possibility of the prosecution of that parent should be halted unless there becomes any indication to the contrary. Let me make clear that although it is within the EWO’s power to prosecute they can use discretion in this yet a large number do not. This means that there needs to be an enforcement of our rights as parents not to be harassed and/or unfairly prosecuted.
If this doesn’t stop now then it is my belief, from experience, that many more of our most vulnerable families will be put at risk, ignored, punished, intimidated and bullied by a system which is unsupportive, unfair, counter productive and ill informed. Simply for struggling with a mentally disabled child.
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