Campaign to support parents with learning disabilities


A campaign to support parents with learning disabilities, which has received support from leading Scottish charities, has been launched

6th September 2019 by Yasmin Hackett 0 Comments

A call has been made to end stigma toward parents with learning disabilities.

Leading charities have said that support is needed instead of judgement, as they launched a major campaign.

They said there needs to be a focus on what parents with learning disabilities can do, rather than what they can’t.

According to recent research, parents with learning disabilities are twenty times more likely to have their child removed from them and placed into care.

In a bid to address this, Aberlour, the Scottish children’s charity, hosted a reception at the Scottish Parliament as part of its No Place Like Home campaign, during which parents who had first-hand experience of such trauma inflicted on their families spoke bravely of their ordeal.

SallyAnn Kelly, chief executive of Aberlour, said: “We still have a journey to travel. The third sector and Aberlour continue to provide early intervention and prevention services for families but on a shoestring.

“These services provide substantial savings to local authorities but we still cannot shift their expenditure from intensive support upstream to instead supporting families earlier – we absolutely need to nail that as a nation.

“We believe it’s in the interests of children to remain with their families, and for the vast majority of families that is the case. “

The campaign has received support from charities Parenting Across Scotland and the Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities (SCLD).

Charlie McMillan, chief executive of SCLD, said: “To say that someone’s future is already ancient history is not acceptable. Too many parents in Scotland with learning disabilities feel that their future is already ancient history and we have to change that."

Aberlour's campaign has also received support from Maree Todd MSP, who said: “It’s vital that we recognise the crucial role of organisations like Aberlour who deliver change and strengthen the support on offer to families and parents.

“It’s vital that we recognise the essential role charities like Aberlour have in making such a positive difference to families by providing long term support.”