Looking back over the major service developments in the period of twenty years to 1995, the strategic management approach to the promotion of social welfare in East Lothian managed to change the shape of care and support to those adults with a learning disability. Obviously, success was achieved in reshaping services in other parts of the country but I have found it interesting to revisit the conference report of the Association of Directors of Social Service in November 1985 and to find an absence of reference to housing services in the written report. Indeed, references in my written notes indicate problems of involving housing agencies in planning because of structures, policies and representation numbers. In East Lothian, the vision has been substantially delivered within a framework of services on the ground and in spite of the more remote Joint Planning system. The momentum for change must be maintained but it is only likely to be successful if the first focus is on the individual user, their family and carers and their immediate community support, as part of a service commitment to promote social welfare.
Further reading & references
- Audit Commission for England and Wales (Nov 1987) Occasional Paper Number 4, Community Care: developing services for people with a mental handicap
- Chant, J et al, (June 1985) ‘Health and Social Services Collaboration or Conflict’ Policy Studies Institute Discussion Paper 14
- HMSO (1957) The Law Relating to Mental Illness and Mental Deficiency, Cmnd 169
- HMSO (1979) Report of the Committee of Enquiry into Mental Handicap Nursing Care, Cmnd 7468-1
- HMSO (1979) ‘A Better Life’ Report on Services for the Mentally Handicapped in Scotland
- HMSO (1985) Second Report on Community Care, Session 1984-85
- National Development Group (1976) Mental Handicap: Planning Together London
- National Development Group (1977) Day Services for Mentally Handicapped Adults Pamphlet Number 5, London
- Scottish Home and Health Dept., Scottish Education Dept. (1972) Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped
- Scottish Society for the Mentally Handicapped (1975) Regional Patterns in the Education and Training of Severely Mentally Handicapped School Children in Scotland
- The Heatherbank Museum of Social Work at Caledonian University, Glasgow holds the Social Work Archive
Service tasks for Social Work Area Teams in Lothian Region: Developed from the East Lothian strategy in 1977
- Social work intervention at the time of diagnosis. Complementary role with hospital care teams and health visitors.
- Promotion of a counselling service for families with a mentally handicapped member. Identified referral point for other agencies.
- Establish links with referrals for other department services, e.g. aids/adaptations, welfare advice, short term care.
- Facilitating and supporting group support, parent to parent contact and toy library facilities.
- Development of substitute family care providing short-term relief.
- Re-assessment at 41/2 years with Health and Education and facilitating positive relationships between family and chosen educational establishment.
- During school years, clarifying for other agencies areas of possible social work intervention to facilitate early help to families when necessary.
- Reassessment with Health, Education and Careers in anticipation of leaving school at 16 years. Introduction of transfer from school leaver to Adult Training Centre, enabling families to help the young person make the transition to adulthood.
- Annual Social Work assessment and assistance on a task focused basis. In particular, enabling with day centre staff and hostel staff for the young person and their family to prepare for independent living in the future.
- Implementation of a case management system to ensure internal departmental co-ordination and working relationships between different services.
- Development of strategies for closer collaboration with health staff in the rehabilitation of people from hospital.
Jay Committee (1979) Action List