The fact that parents with learning difficulties are raising a child does not necessarily mean that the child’s welfare and development will be adversely affected.

Social services will, however need to assess the implications for each child in the family.

There may be a need for additional support for parents with learning difficultiesand an assessment must be made of what support is necessary for for development of a parent’s understanding, resources, skills and experience to meet the needs of their children.

“I am really close
to getting my daughter
back. I would not
be where I am now
without Dawn and
Brendan. Dawn works
every hour God sends
to help your case. I
keep recommending
them to other people
in my situation.”Our client, Faye

Where additional factors are present, such support is particularly necessary:

  • Social exclusion;
  • Having a disabled child;
  • Experiencing domestic abuse;
  • Having poor mental health;
  • Having substance misuse problems;
  • Having grown up in care.

Generally speaking, it is a combination of these factors with the parent’s learning difficulties that give rise to concerns about the level of care a child is likely to receive.

Where a parent with learning difficulties is struggling to meet the needs of their child, social services have a responsibility to assess the child’s needs and offer supportive and protective services as appropriate.

Where the learning difficulties are severe, then the likelihood of a child suffering or being at risk of significant harm through emotional abuse or neglect, but also through physical or sexual abuse, is raised.

What Aspects of Parents with Learning Difficulties Give Rise to Concern over the Welfare of the Children?

The following factors may contribute to a child having suffered or being at risk of suffering significant harm:

  • Children of parents with learning difficulties are at increased risk from inherited  learning disability and more vulnerable to psychiatric disorders and behavioural problems, including alcohol or substance misuse and self- harming behaviour;
  • Children having caring responsibilities inappropriate to their years placed upon them, including looking after siblings;
  • Neglect leading to impaired growth and development, physical ill health or problems in terms of being out of parental control;
  • Mothers with learning disabilities may be targets for men who wish to gain access to children for the purpose of sexually abusing them.

In such circumstances, a multi-disciplinary assessment must be undertaken involving Children’s Social Care, Health and Adult Services, and other agency services, which must including specialist learning disability and other assessments.

The purpose of such an assessment is to determine whether or not support is required for parents with learning difficulties to enable them to care appropriately for their child. It will also assist in determining if the level of learning disability is such that the child’s health or development may be significantly impaired with the parent as the primary carer.

Contact Us Now

Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.

Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.

If you need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.

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Brendan Fleming Solicitors
165 Newhall Street BirminghamWMB3 1SW UK 
 • 0121 683 5000
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