Thursday, November 04, 2004

Special Needs

I am really quite unsettled following a meeting with constituents earlier. I can't talk about the specific case but the meeting summed up what is wrong with some aspects of local government and our very politically correct society.

The most challenging part of my work (and the most rewarding when it goes right) revolves around the problems people have in securing appropriate help and support when there is a problem.
I have sadly come to the conclusion that the prevailing attitude in local authorities is "how do we fulfil our statutory obligation to this child/person" rather than "How can we help this person achieve their potential?"

Then, throw in the very real problem that if a family knows the system or is capable of getting to grips with it quickly then a measure of help can be obtained. Woe betide the family who are nervous of the system, have difficulty understanding it or have a mistaken belief that they will be alerted if there is a problem and given help and advice to obtain the assistance needed.

Another complication is when children with problems become adults. This can then mean that hurdles are put in the way of well meaning parents because the politically correct view is that "X is an adult now and entitled to make choices". True, true but if the adult has the mindset of a child should that adult be allowed free rein to indulge in self destructive behaviour when if a little loving care and attention were available quality of life could be improved?

Ultimately, there are too many people that our society is failing and it shouldn't require a visit to an MP in order to access appropriate services.