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HoneyPancakes

Parents with disabilities.

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I'm wondering what responsibilities we have to assist parents with disabilities get their children into nursery/school? I've been observing a situation at the school I drop off at. For the past two years the little boy has been picked up from, and dropped back to the the Mother's car by the Teaching Assistant. Now the second child has started nursery and the parent has been told that it's too difficult to keep that up and the children (only just three and five) will be released from the door as long as a 'line of sight is maintained between the parent (who uses crutches to move to the car tailgate), and the teacher, and in reverse in the morning. I know other schools in the area refused this parent any assistance which is why she chose this particular school.

 

I'm thinking there must be many parents in similar situations and I'm wondering how they get their kids to school. Is there funding available? Should care for the children be paid for from Disability Living Allowance? I've lent a sympathetic ear but not offered any assistance as I'm a childminder and don't want to be seen to be touting, but I also know the family through the church we all attend. They haven't asked me for my assistance (professional or charitable).

 

I'm thinking it's all about rights and responsibilities, but this is tying me up in knots.

 

Any ideas?

 

Honey

 

 

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The parent won't get Disability Living Allowance and PIP, if they are getting it, is about the adult's care and/or mobility needs, not support with parenting.

 

This is a hard one and I would like to ask about it in a much more general way so the family couldn't be recognised, on a forum for parents of children with additional needs. Would that be OK with you?

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Do the children have any social care workers/family workers working with them? if this is the case then they may be able to get funded transport for them. This is the only route ive come across before....i'm assuming the parents don't have carers themselves or this might become part of their duties.

Seems a bit mean of the school really I'm sure they could get a TA to do it...or even a parent volunteer???

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How does she get the children into the car at the start of the day/get them out on their return home?

Just thinking out loud -what would happen if there was an accident and child/children were injured because

they hadn't been strapped in properly ?

child/ren had played about with their car seats so not strapped in properly ?

 

Big responsibility for the TA.

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Finsleysmaid, that's what I thought, but the family avoid social services. the Dad receives a carers allowance but he has a good job and they don't qualify for any other funding. The school have said something about added risk if other parents are randomly picking up and dropping off.

 

Blondie, I see what you mean about risk to TAs. I think the whole situation involves balancing risk, responsibility, rights and Christian duty (it's a church school). Really none of my business but I thought someone on here might have come across a similar situation and have a definitive answer.

 

Personally I think the Mum is having a bit of a sulk about the change in circumstances and not willing to accept any other arrangement, and the school have had a change in circumstances or don't want the risk. I thought if there was some funding somewhere the school would find a TA/breakfast club worker, or another registered person could be paid to go-between.

Edited by Rebecca
Deleted duplicated paragraph

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I'm following this with interest as we have been having a serious discussion about this this week.

 

We have the situation where mum is struggling to get her child in regularly or even just on time (get's in 11oc ish when she does attend) . This is also linked with mum 'not really want to let go' too, so double issues about attendance. The child is September born and will start school next year. We are gradually being up the trust so obviously we do not want to upset the parents by looking like we are interfering, so are treading very slowly.

 

A staff member offered to collect her- but personally I think this is a very grey area and think it should be done by a registered childminder as they would have the correct insurance etc.

 

Not being experts we did wonder if they qualified for carers allowance and whether this could be used to pay for a childminder.

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*Not being experts we did wonder if they qualified for carers allowance and whether this could be used to pay for a childminder.*

 

Somebody has to be caring for the parent for 35+ hours a week and earning very little or nothing to receive carers allowance and then it would be paid to them, not the parent.

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*

 

Somebody has to be caring for the parent for 35+ hours a week and earning very little or nothing to receive carers allowance and then it would be paid to them, not the parent.

 

Thank -you. :1b

 

Dad does work, but is often around, although he is in agreement that the child should attend more.

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Well I've had some responses, most of which suggest that this is a reasonable adjustment the school should make. One of those expressing this view is a well respected SEND solicitor.

 

As the staff would be insured to take responsibility for the same children on trips out, I can't see why there would be an issue with putting them in the car but this could easily be checked with the insurers.

 

When someone is in receipt of disability benefits, like Personal Independence Payment and Carer's Allowance, it is very common for people to suggest that anything extra they need should be paid for from this pot. These benefits are paid in acknowledgement that life with a disability entails multiple additional expenses. They are expenses related to the care and mobility of the person with the disability and they are rarely covered by that amount received in PIP and CA.

 

I can't imagine how hard it must be to have such limited mobility but still be caring for two young children. There must be huge challenges around every corner and I imagine a fair bit of guilt about not being able to do everything that able-bodied parents do. I think I'd find it very difficult to understand why someone could watch my three year old run to and from my car but couldn't walk the length of the car park with them, keeping them that little bit safer.

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You are positively encyclopedic Upsy Daisy. Reasonable adjustments under the DDA 2010. Trumps all else. Thanks so much. I was feeling pretty grim about it all.

 

H

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If this is a Church school they may have access to the parish relief funds. They could ask the vicar to support this issue with funds from there. It is often an overlooked fund and sometimes can be quite large if it is a well supported parish with little 'poor' relief or other problems

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.... and I imagine a fair bit of guilt about not being able to do everything that able-bodied parents do. I think I'd find it very difficult to understand why someone could watch my three year old run to and from my car but couldn't walk the length of the car park with them, keeping them that little bit safer.

 

 

Thank-you for the added info.

 

This is our mum's issue! The guilt of not being able to do things, and the constant feeling of being a 'bad parent'

 

I'm not sure why we haven't actually come up with meeting the child in the car-park. At least for us it would solve a short term problem and get a routine in place.

 

As a preschool I still wouldn't be happy for our staff to collect from the home though, as our policy states two persons minimum when with alone with children ( fully alone-not nappy changing etc!) and I couldn't afford two staff out for 20-30 mins twice a day, if they walked it would be even longer.

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louby loo, I wonder if a referral to social care for support might help your family?

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This may not be practical but does the school have a disabled parking space close to the main entrance. That way I'm sure a member of staff could be freed up for 5 minutes to collect both children and take them to class or their entrance. It isn't unreasonable and should be part of partnership with parents.

We did this years ago for a dad who was terminally ill but wanted to bring his children every day. In fact thinking about it is there a breakfast club where they could arrive 5 minutes earlier than the school bell and then go off to classes with other children or staff?

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Hi Mundia.

 

Mum parks in the disabled space and gets herself to the tailgate of her car where she can see the doors when there aren't any other people there. She has to be there nearly an hour early to get that space though!! TA used to bring the first child that far, but no longer. It isn't far at all. The children are mature beyond their years. I let my nearly three year old minded child walk that footpath without holding on, but I could catch him if I needed to - she can't.

 

H

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Had another thought about this last night. the school should have an access plan which should include this scenario ...the parents are entitled to see this ...and does their local offer mention anything about it?

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Findleysmaid. That is great. I can copy that, drop it her way - just found it in passing, thought of her. Double thumbs up.

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