A new campaign has launched to highlight the support needs of parents with learning disabilities and their children and the need for improved parental support services across the country to keep families together.

It has been reported that an estimated 40% – 60% of parents with learning disabilities will have their children taken into care. The ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign is led by Aberlour Children’s Charity and supported by Parenting Across Scotland (PAS) and the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) and it aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by parents with learning disabilities and the support that they need to ensure their families can stay together.

The campaign was developed in conjunction with parents who have learning disabilities and Aberlour Children’s Charity currently runs a service in South Ayrshire which provides flexible and long-term support for parents with learning disabilities and their families. The service supports families in a variety of ways, from weekly cooking classes that teach parents with learning disabilities about nutrition and the importance of cooking healthy meals for their children, to providing more intensive, at-home support for parents struggling to cope.

Chief Executive of Aberlour Children’s Charity, Sally-Ann Kelly said: “Our new campaign, No Place Like Home, has been launched to raise awareness of the wide-ranging challenges parents with learning disabilities face and the importance of providing this vulnerable group in society with flexible and personalised help and support. If we can get it right for learning disabled parents, we can prevent children from being taken into care.

“There is a huge benefit to society in providing early and ongoing support to parents with learning disabilities, such as reducing the number of children referred to children’s hearing systems and the associated financial implications. When provided with the correct support, many parents with learning disabilities can improve their skills and knowledge and learn to parent more effectively.”

Chris Creegan, Chief Executive, The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability: “The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability welcomes the No Place Like Home campaign. People with learning disabilities should have the same rights to family life as anyone else. Research commissioned by the SCLD on behalf of the Scottish Government shows that, in practice, people learning disabilities face a myriad of challenges when they become parents. But we know that with the right support and a whole family approach they can provide loving and stable homes for their children. Our Parenting Task Group will continue to work with partners to ensure that support is provided to every parent in Scotland who needs it.”

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