Learning disabled parents 20 times more likely to have children in care


Huge disparity in number of learning disabled parents getting their children taken into care 

19th October 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Parents with learning disabilities over 20 times more likely to have children taken into care, a charity has revealed.

Research suggests between 40 and 60% of parents with learning disabilities will have their children taken into care due to them being assessed as unable to meet parenting standards.

This is against only 2% of children across Scotland, who are looked after or are on the child protection register.

Aberlour Children’s Charity has launched a new campaign, No Place Like Home, to highlight the support needs of parents with learning disabilities and their children. They say greater parenting support services are required across the country to help keep families stay together.

Sally-Ann Kelly, chief executive of Aberlour, said: “There is a huge benefit to society in providing early and ongoing support to parents with learning disabilities, such as reducing the number of children referred to children’s hearing systems and the associated financial implications.

“When provided with the correct support, many parents with learning disabilities can improve their skills and knowledge and learn to parent more effectively.”

Developed in partnership with parents with learning disabilities, the campaign is a joint campaign led by Aberlour Children’s Charity and supported by Parenting Across Scotland (PAS) and the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD).

It aims to raise awareness of the myriad of issues parents with learning disabilities can face and the need for more consistent services across Scotland to provide flexible and personalised support to families before they reach crisis point.

Children’s minister Maree Todd said: “The Scottish Government is committed to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families, and we recognise that learning disabled parents need help and support.   

“We are currently considering further work to address this, as part of the next phase of our Learning Disability Strategy “Keys to Life”.  We want to ensure that we meet the aspirations and expectations of people with a learning disability, including their right to a family life.”

Chris Creegan, chief executive of Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, added: “We know that with the right support and a whole family approach they can provide loving and stable homes for their children. Our Parenting Task Group will continue to work with partners to ensure that support is provided to every parent in Scotland who needs it.”