In March, local mums, dads, and carers invited local councillors and others to their ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign event in South Ayrshire. The No Place Like Home Campaign aims to raise awareness of the rights and capabilities of parents with learning disabilities who, with the right support at the right time, can keep their family happy, healthy, and together.
Best research tells us that at least 40% of mums, dads, and carers with a learning disability have children who are taken to care. The No Place Like Home Campaign has been developed in partnership by Aberlour and parents with learning disabilities we work with and is supported by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) and Parenting Across Scotland (PAS). The campaign launched in 2018 and last year Aberlour hosted an event to launch its campaign film at the Scottish Parliament alongside South Ayrshire parents with learning disabilities. You can watch the film here
The campaign hopes to raise awareness of the issues faced by parents and their children, and also highlight how best families can be supported to prevent children from being taken into care. Parents themselves are the best people to tell us how that should happen and what help they need, and so they have been at the forefront of the No Place Like Home campaign.
At the local event in South Ayrshire, parents with learning needs and learning disabilities invited groups, services and local councillors to come together to hear directly from parents about their experiences. They took part in discussions and activities to gain an understanding of their experiences, as parents, and consider new ways of working.
One parent, Alyssa, spoke to the invited audience saying: “Now I keep on top of things in my house I am focused and organised and provide my daughter with a clean and tidy environment. I have made a real home. I have used techniques that I learned through the Nurture programme which have enabled me become a better and more understanding parent.”
This event was planned by mums and dads with lived experiences to be a positive learning experience for all who take part, including those involved in supporting parents and those who make decisions about their lives and the services they use.
Aberlour will continue to support parents to lead the No Place Like Home campaign and plan more events, and will also continue to work with partners, local authorities and the Scottish Government to influence how parents and their children are supported. We know that parents with learning disabilities can be equally loving and nurturing parents, and with the right help in place we can make sure families can stay together.