Procedure for Assessing and Responding to the Impact of Parental Learning Disability or Learning Difficulty on Children
This procedure is intended for anyone involved in providing services to parents who have or appear to have a learning disability or learning difficulty or providing services for children and young people whose parents have or appear to have a learning disability or learning difficulty.
1.1 This procedure is to be used when considering the impact of a parent / carer’s learning disability or learning difficulty on their ability to parent a child. It involves the practitioner thinking about the nature of the learning disability or learning difficulty and how this will affect the parenting of the child as well as the protective factors for the child so it brings into being the practitioner’s professional judgement.
2. Considering the impact of parental learning disability or learning difficulty on children:
2.1 The following is to support you when considering the impact of parental learning disability or learning difficulty on children; it is not intended to replace professional judgement. You need to think about the nature of risk but also the protective factors for the child.
2.2 Examples of protective factors include:
3.1 If any of the following factors are present they are highly likely to have a direct impact on the safety and well-being of the child. Follow Tees Safeguarding Child Protection Procedures
4.1 Where the following factors are present at a lower level of severity than for high risk (above) they may still impact on parenting and result in concerns for the child’s care. Where two or more factors are present the risk of harm should be considered Moderate. Where one factor is present the risk of harm should be considered Low:
4.2 Not considered at Risk - High functioning parent with multiple protective factors and no evidence of unmet needs for the child.
4.3 As events and circumstances may change and a child’s needs will therefore change it is important to keep this under review.
4.4 Professionals should be familiar with the Tees LSCBs Information Sharing Protocol.
5.1 The Mental Capacity Act (2005) applies to individuals aged 16 years +. All individuals must be presumed to have capacity unless they fail the test of capacity with the act.
5.2 Where a person has a learning disability they may lack capacity to make decisions. Decisions are time and decision specific.
5.3 To have capacity a person must be able to:
5.4 Failure on any one point means the person lacks capacity – but only at that particular time for that specific decision.
5.5 Where you have concerns that a person may lack capacity you should seek advice from within your agency from an appropriate person.