I was absolutely astounded to read the case of Riven Vincent, but not surprised.
In case you have not yet heard of her, or read the news over the last couple of days, she has asked social services for residential care for her daughter, as she can no longer cope at home. She asked for additional respite to help her, and it was refused.
For one, I am not surprised that this has happened, and I do believe that it is going to happen more and more often as the cuts that the Government send down to local councils bite. In my own local council, there are several cuts to disability and ASN childrens services which have been given the green light for swathing cuts.
People who have never lived with severe disability, or mental illness, have actually no idea of what stresses they and their carers are often under. The long term effects of people who do not access help are far reaching.
1. On average, it can take years for requested services to come into effect. Thats if they are offered at all. Contrary to popular belief, it is quite difficult to be allocated a social worker for a disabled child, even if you ask for one.
2. DLA to which disabled people are entitled, make applicants jump through hoops, and expect people with disabilities to manage to complete a novel sized application form intelligently. Many give up trying to get it.
3. Parents with disabled children are often not in a position to fight for their children, as they are exhausted by the day to day caring. They are an easy target.
4. If services, respite and additional care is not offered when it is needed, suicide rates and passing off to care services will increase as people cannot cope in their homes.
The fact that Riven Vincent has asked for her daughter to go into care is not surprising. She has other children to look after, a huge workload with Riven, and being denied enough support for her to be able to nurture her family properly.
I do not pretend to understand how hard it is for her with a doubly incontinent child, not enough incontinence pads, and insufficient support to allow her to care for her other children. I know how hard it is for me with my family, and my heart goes out to her, and those like her.
She gets no sleep, and it cannot carry on like that. I have huge respect for her, and the fact that she has asked for help shows how strong a lady that she really is.
Leave the political stuff aside. This is a family that is struggling, who asked for help and were denied.
I wish Riven Vincent all the luck in the world, and I hope that she gets all the help she deserves. It sounds like an awful situation that she can neither move forward, nor backwards from, unless someone takes charge to help her.
Moving the blame back onto local government is a disgraceful cop-out.
Thats my opinion.