On the 11th October I attended the meeting detailed below (11/1-/13) (taken directly from DCC website regarding the meetings and it clearly states that children with additional needs are included (highlighted in bold)
The information given about the meetings by DCC clearly references the new ECH plans…. (…or under 25 with additional needs..) yet when I raised questions about learning disability and other disorders I was met with a scathing response that the meeting was not about that…. it was not for ‘targeted’ groups!! Hmm, a breast-feeding support group.. support for teenage mums… not targeted??? As the new ECH plans are clearly aimed to support those with additional needs and the reference to them is clear why then was this the response of the facilitator? Was it really an academic exercise designed to try and ensure continued funding for Surestart?? While they may be a useful stream of support for some, to suggest that they do not / will not offer any support for those with additional needs is really quite alarming. What about disability discrimination? Where would they or the Children and Young People Department stand with this if any of their services were found to be discriminatory?
I was taken aback by the rudeness of the facilitator…. she was not prepared to have a discussion about it, refused in fact to have the ‘conversation’…. she said ‘I am not talking about this…’ and walked off!!! This was after I had questioned the validity of her reasons for dismissing this specific sector of society. I strongly feel that if these ‘focus meetings’ were not concerned with children or young people with additional needs, almost universally defined as: ‘when children and young people have a physical, sensory, communication, behavioural or learning difficulty, or have a long term/life limiting condition. This may also include children with emotional health and well-being needs where there is an impact on their daily life.’ then it ought to have been clearly stated. As it stands the information given was misleading at best, if the stance of the facilitator is anything to go by.
Did you attend any of these meetings? If so, how did you find it?