Sharing the report from the Cerebra Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project Conference
On 18 October 2022, the School of Law hosted the Cerebra LEaP Project Conference ‘Addressing commonly occurring social care difficulties encountered by disabled children and their families’.
Over 150 participants attended the event online and in person, predominantly parent carers of disabled children as well as policy activists from Disabled Peoples and Carers organisations and statutory sector Children’s Services officers.
The Conference considered three broad themes:
1. The research outputs from the Cerebra Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project, including those relating to: home adaptations; practical approaches to problem solving; and the ending of local authority ‘Autism Plus’ policies. Speakers included Dave Everatt from the Access Committee for Leeds; Derek Tilley, John Furlong and Carys Hughes from Cerebra and Priya Bahri from the Disability Law Service.
2. The existence of local authority policies that had the effect of ‘Institutionalising Parent Carer Blame’ – namely of a ‘one size-fits-all’ approach operated by authorities, regardless of whether it is a parent carer seeking support for a disabled child or a family where the evidence suggests there to be neglect or abuse. Louise Arnold and Lucy Fullard from The Parent and Carer Alliance contributed as Key Speakers.
3. The final session looked to future research priorities. It commenced with a briefing on the 2022-23 research programme that is investigating the prevalence and impact of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) allegations made against Parent Carers. This was followed by a lively session where participants identified a wide range of important issues that would benefit from specific research by the LEaP Project – all of which are now being considered by the Team.
Thank you so much for continuing with this work… It is such a relief and gives hope to parents / carers / young people, to know that you are not giving up on the very difficult situation and it helps us to be strong in the continual fire-fighting battle.
Priya Bahri from the Disability Law Service
Louise Arnold and Lucy Fullard from The Parent and Carer Alliance