Research evidences the need to increase effectiveness of assessment, communication and joint working between professionals from different agencies if parents are to be adequately supported and children protected. Which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development. This is considered a ‘pervasive’ definition of learning disability and must be differentiated from a ‘learning difficulty’, which describes a range of the learning process of children with disabilities such as dyslexia that can lead to special educational needs. Enquiries made of the Learning Disability Register maintained by Adult Care Services.
ACS criteria relate to vulnerability and risk in relation to health and safety, autonomy, management of daily routines, involvement in family and wider community life. The issues which most frequently give rise to concern in relation to parents with learning disabilities arise from a lack of skills, understanding or knowledge of the child’s needs, rather than deliberate abuse. Consequently learning disabled parents may need considerable support to develop the understanding, resources, skills and experience to meet the needs of their child. Such support is particularly important if they also experience additional stressors e. Children of parents with learning disabilities are at increased risk from inherited learning disability and more vulnerable to psychiatric disorders and behavioural problems. Such increased stressors, when combined with parental learning disability, may lead to concerns about the care of children. Learning disabled parents are sometimes targeted by individuals who may pose a risk to children and the children could in these situations be vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
Appendix 4 of the Hertfordshire Protocol for the Assessment of Parents with Learning Disabilities provides further details of research and of the links between neglect and parental learning disability. Professionals should be alert to the possibility of significant harm and signs of neglect in children cared for by parents with learning disabilities. Parents with a history of violence or sexual abuse. Due to the increased vulnerability of this group of children they may require a rapid multi agency response to assess parent’s learning disability and potential for adequate parenting.
Each service will have its own criteria for prioritising referrals. This must not become an obstacle to co-operation at an early stage. Her ability to provide adequate care for the baby. This assessment should consider strengths and the nature of any support available from family and partner.
Named Children’s Social Workers are also available in each of the 5 Safeguarding Assessment Teams to provide consultation as appropriate and contact details can be found in the Multi-Agency Pre-Birth Protocol HSCB. Staff in CLDT should also refer to Flowchart 2: Checklist for Community Learning Disability Staff flowchart. Children’s Services in line with pre-birth procedures as set out in Multi-Agency Pre-Birth Protocol HSCB. Some parents with learning disabilities may not recognise that they are pregnant, and this should be considered if there are suspicions that a parent is concealing or has concealed a pregnancy. Children’s Services in line with these procedures. Specialist assessments may also be appropriate e.