Social care is a prisoner of its history

David Brindle is a care sector commentator and former public services editor of the Guardian. His opinion for Social Care Today, 19 July 2021….

Social care is in many ways a prisoner of its history. Serial failure by governments of the past 25 years to put it on a sustainable footing is ascribed usually to political expediency, the avoidance of cost, the inability of opposition parties to resist a cheap shot, but it stems also from social care’s back story.

As we await the unveiling of the Johnson government’s reform plans, promised by the end of the year, it is well worth tracing where we have come from. And it does not make happy reading…read in full at…

SocialCareToday source:

What is truth? An inquiry about truth and lying in dementia care

This is the report of the major Inquiry about Truth and Lying in Dementia Care, commissioned and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

There are around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and the ageing population suggests this figure will rise significantly. Around half of these people may be living with different realities.

Carers often have challenging decisions to make when a person is living with different realities and beliefs – something that increases as the dementia accelerates. Should they agree or contradict? What should they say? This report looks to provide guidance in these situations.

Read more

Is it wrong to lie to people with dementia? Read Antonis Kousoulis’s blog

Read the inquiry’s full review of evidence (PDF)

Mental Health Foundation Source: What is truth? An inquiry about truth and lying in dementia care | Mental Health Foundation

The environments of residential living for children and young people under the age of 18.

1st August 2021

By Ewan Anderson and Norman Cooke.

The core and focus of any setting is the human environment in which children and staff interact. Within this can be distinguished the personal space of children and staff, communal space and service space. The human environment is enclosed within the physical environment which may comprise the built environment alone or may include grounds and gardens limited by a boundary.

These two environments constitute the residential setting, which is located within the external environment, essentially the outside world…. read in full at…

The Therapeutic Care Journal Source: The environments of residential living for children and young people under the age of 18. – The Therapeutic Care Journal

The role and task of Residential Child Care – there is no such thing as a ‘children’s home’ only children’s homes

This is raised as an area for focus in the Case for Change.

What is immediately apparent is that there is a diversity of needs, and so a diversity of response.

There is no such thing as a children’s home, as a singular typology, only children’s homes, a plurality. 

Children’s homes meet many needs and take many forms, from a temporary refuge to a long-term alternative to family life to a therapeutic setting where children can seek to resolve problems caused by adverse life experiences.

There is a range or should there be a range of residential care models to meet different needs. Read the blog in full at…

NCERCC source:

Virtual Care Home

The Virtual Care Home is an online resource that demonstrates dementia-friendly design in care home settings or people’s own homes.

Click below to view a larger version with information points on key features:

Dementia Services Development Centre Source: Virtual Care Home | Dementia Services Development Centre l DSDC, Stirling

Is it time for all policy to consider the needs of care leavers?

Posted on by Christine Garrington

Every policy should take into account the needs of care-leavers, participants at the launch of a major new research report on outcomes from a childhood in care were told. The Nuffield Foundation funded study, which pushes forward the boundaries of knowledge by looking at what happens in mid-life to those who have been in care as children, finds disturbing disparities – with some groups faring much worse than others. Read the blog in full at…

Child of our Time source:

The lifelong health and wellbeing trajectories of people who have been in care: Findings from the Looked-after Children Grown up Project, is by Amanda Sacker with Emily Murray, Rebecca Lacey and Barbara Maughan. It is published by the Nuffield Foundation.

Long Term Segregation

The Oversight Panel’s interim conclusions

This document summarises the interim conclusions of the Oversight Panel. It outlines the headline findings from a thematic review of 26 independently chaired Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews (IC(E)TRs), from discussions with IC(E)TR independent chairs, and Panel meetings. These have been grouped in to 6 ‘improvement areas’. Against each of these improvement areas we have described ‘what we want to see’ – that is what we consider to be the correct aims and objectives in those areas. The Oversight Panel has identified some actions which need to commence immediately but require a funded project plan. The Panel has also identified other actions and recommendations which need further development and would be completed for a final report in 2021.

These actions and proposed recommendations are specifically intended to improve outcomes and the immediate circumstances for people in long term segregation (LTS). However, the Oversight Panel also strongly recommends that these areas for improvement should apply more generally for all people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people who are inpatients or at risk of admission.


Read about the Panel’s findings in full here…

Independent report

Thematic Review of the Independent Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews

Care homes of the future could see technology take a leading role in the delivery of care

The report, ‘Silver Chic: The future of retirement housing and care’ contains two computer generated images that depict how care homes could look in fifty years time. (Now 44 years as the report was published in 2015) The designs are complete with ambient monitoring walls, rotating gardens and virtual pets for residents, and are complete with the latest innovations and modern design features. Source: Care homes of the future could see technology take a leading role in the delivery of care

View PDF of the report.

Criminalisation rate for children in residential care reduces

The Howard League is undertaking a programme of work to end the criminalisation of children living in residential care.

The latest Department for Education data shows that the numbers of children looked after continuously for at least 12 months has increased from 4,050 in year ending 31 March 2015 to 5,210 in year ending 31 March 2020, the number of children convicted or subject to a youth caution, including a youth conditional caution, during the year has fallen. In March 2014, 610 children (15 per cent) had been criminalised in the previous year and by March 2020, that annual figure had fallen to 280 children (5 per cent).

“Children in residential care need nurture and support, not repeated contact with the police, and it is a sign of how far we have come – and how bad things were – that they are now three times less likely to be criminalised than they were.” (Frances Crook, CEO, Howard League)


Social Work Today 26/07/21

The Howard League | More success for Howard League programme as criminalisation rate for children in residential care reduces further

Arts in care homes

This resource offers care teams, including activity providers, many practical ideas on how to get started….

SCIE Source: Arts in care homes – SCIE

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