The Ministry of Equality organised a presentation that was delivered by the Care Agency staff members for the benefit of parents of St Martin’s School, who are due to transition to St Bernadette’s Resource Centre.
The presentation, which took place at the John Mackintosh Hall, is the second presentation on the subject delivered by the Care Agency, the first one was given in June. Given the positive feedback on these presentations, a similar one will be available to parents on an annual basis. It has been expressed by families that they found that the explanation of the services offered at St Bernadette’s very reassuring.
Representatives for the Care Agency started the presentation by explaining the functions of the Care Agency’s Community Learning Disability Team and the referral process to receive advice and support and assessment for services to include St Bernadette’s Resource Centre, Respite and Home Support. Since the creation of the Care Agency’s Community Learning Disability Team in April, advances have been made in the way children with learning disabilities and their families are supported. The new respite service was also presented as a way to provide continuity of support for parents who required a break from their caring responsibilities.
A representative of the Care Agency’s Learning Disability Services’ St Bernadette’s Resource Centre then gave an insight on the different services and therapeutic programmes available to young people who join St Bernadette’s at the age of 16 and how the gradual transition from St Martin’s is made. The aim to ensure a smooth and effective transition, for those who would benefit from receiving services from the centre, was highlighted. It was also stressed that the process entails multi-agency working in collaboration with the young person and their family / support workers. The purpose of transition is to plan for improved clinical, educational and social outcomes for young people.
The Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, MP said “This session was another opportunity for parents of children who attend St Martin’s School, to learn about the options and services available for their children and in particular once they finish at St Martin’s School. I have learnt from a number of parents, whose children attend St Bernadette’s Centre, how any negative preconceptions of St Bernadette’s have disappeared once they saw the Centre for themselves and how their children engaged in new activities and the care and support provided by the care workers. I am grateful for this initiative by the Care Agency and the Ministry for Equality to work together to better explain the services and we have learnt how important it is therefore for information sessions like these to take place so that parents can be properly informed of the services available. I am grateful for the hard work by those who organised this.”