With the summer holidays underway, things are a little quieter here at OxFSN so we thought it would be a good opportunity to update you on what has been happening both locally and nationally that you may find helpful.
The new Moving Into Adulthood Team is now up and running at Oxfordshire County Council. They will work with young people and adults with a learning disability aged 18-25, although they will be taking referrals from the age of 16. (Funding will be through Adult Social Care when your child turns 18. Until then, your family member will continue to receive support and funding through the Childrens Disability Team)
The plan is that families will be allocated a key link worker who will work with them and their family member through the moving into adulthood stage. There will be one central team who will work across the county. Referral will be either through the children’s disability team or the regional locality teams depending on the stage at which your family member makes contact with them.
The Direct Payment system for providing support has now changed. People in receipt of a new Direct Payment can now choose which support service they want to support them with managing the money; finding Personal Assistants and employment set up; and with payroll services. OCC have a preferred provider list which can be found on their website by clicking below. Families are able to contact the providers to discuss their requirements. If you want to use a provider not on the preferred list, you should be able to do so but you will need to check with the DP team as the same procedure will apply. Once you have decided which provider you want to use, the new DP advice team will work with you to complete the referral form.
Once the family have decided which provider they wish to use, the money for the new direct payment support service will be added to the direct payment in order to fund the provider. If you wish to change again in the future, it will be possible to do so, but you will need to notify the direct payment advice team as the support plan will need to be updated to reflect which provider the money goes to.
The new Direct Payment internal team which is based in the council provide a helpline and support with employment set up of Personal Assistants (they do not offer managed accounts, payroll services or assist with advertising and recruitment).
OCC are in the process of reviewing every Direct Payment and anyone currently using the PURPLE contract should be reviewed by the end of October. OCC have asked for you to wait until they get in contact with you if you fall in to that category.
Direct Payments - OCC
OxFSN will be holding an online zoom event talking about supported living on
Wednesday 15th September
10.00 am - 12.30 pm
The event will cover an overview of what types of supported living are available, what families need to think about when looking at supported living and how you go about finding the right supported living setting for your family member
We will be joined by a number of support providers who provide support within Oxfordshire, as well as key people from the county council’s adult social care and brokerage teams. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions. You can sign up for the event below.
Sign up for the Supported living event here
If your family member receives services from adult social care, they will have undergone a financial assessment to see if they will need to contribute towards the cost of their care. This is often known as Client Contribution.
After the recent success of a court case against Norfolk County Council bought by lawyers on behalf of a young person with learning disabilities, OxFSN have been contacted by a number of families who want to see if they can do the same.
An independent group has been set up who are looking at Oxfordshire County Council’s charging policy and processes with the aim of collecting people’s experiences and acting as one voice on behalf of others to challenge the council and to see if they are failing to be transparent, fair and non discriminatory.
The group run a facebook page to share the latest updates and any other relevant information. If anyone would like to get involved or know more information they can be contacted either through the Facebook group or email.
Link to the Challenging OCC’s Care Charging Contribution Facebook Page
Over the last few months, OxFSN have been running a series of Working with Families online workshops. The workshops were aimed at professionals working in a range of roles across both adult social care and health and were designed to help them work in a way that enhances relationships with families.
Family carers attended to share their experiences. Over 50 professionals signed up to and attended the workshops. We will be holding two more in September. The feedback has been very positive, and having family carers attend the workshops has meant a greater understanding of the range of issues families are dealing with every day. If you think a social worker has gone that extra step to support you and your family, please do let us know. We often only hear about those situations where things have gone wrong so It is always good to be able to feed back something positive and examples of good practice.
Gail Hanrahan, OxFSN’s CEO and Project Manager recently spoke to Learning Disability Today about the role of OxFSN in helping to inform, inspire and empower family carers. They published an article earlier this year in which Gail talks about why OxFSN was set up, how everything it does is rooted in person centred thinking and planning and how the organisation is doing the best it can to improve the lives of the family carers and their families. Click on the link to read the article in full.
Learning Disability Today article
Sibs is the UK charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults. They have a number of upcoming events that may be of interest including
- A conference on Getting it right for siblings of disabled children
- Online support sessions for adults of people with learning disabilities
- Camp in the Cloud - an online event for young siblings who have a brother or sister with a health condition and their families
More information about each event and how to book can be found on the SIBS website.
OxFSN have received some funding to run a series of workshops for families on Person Centred Thinking and Planning and Moving into Adulthood between September 2021 and March 2022.
We know that for many young people with special educational needs and learning disabilities and their families, leaving school and becoming an adult can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety. These workshops are designed to help families think about how to use person centred tools to help plan in a more meaningful and structured way for their child’s future.
A parent who attended a previous course said “I think you have given me back my little boy. Person Centred planning has just freed me to get on with being a parent who loves and cares for their child”
Dates will be confirmed soon.
The Government have just published the latest National Disability Strategy which is a document that contains a set of commitments from each Government department that they will complete over the next year.
The strategy contains a huge number of actions on everything from research, transport, employment, and technology to leisure and arts with the view to tackling the barriers that disabled people face. You can read the strategy in more detail by clicking on the link.
National Disability Strategy
Have a Question? Not certain about something? Need some support? Please get in touch. We can be reached on 07891 734987 or 07821 987080. Alternatively you can contact us via email.