This weekend is officially a catch up weekend. Beyond boring but necessary. I started this afternoon with a mountain of paperwork and a canny system of ‘bin it’, ‘deal with it’, ‘park it’. The ‘deal with it’ pile had the carers assessment form on the top. Oh dear. Regular readers will know that this (mythical???) assessment has been dragging on for years. The form in front of me was different to the version I failed to fill in before (because it was beyond inadequate). I sat at the kitchen table, determined to fill it in.
So ‘caring’ is divided into ‘practical tasks’, ‘personal tasks’, ‘mobility’, ‘getting around’, ‘health’, ‘communication’ and ‘other issues’ (including mood swings, anxiety, aggression and so on). Each section includes a list of things to tick (‘communication’ has support with socialising, advocating, and interpreting) and a section for ‘carer’s views’. I ticked all the relevant boxes (most of em) but wasn’t sure where to start with my views. What does it mean?
“I’d hoped LB would be able to go out and about by himself but now, but suspect he ain’t gonna be able to do that for the forseeable future.”
“I find it pretty rubbish supervising an 18 year old boy in the bath.”
“It’s all pretty fucking shit really but it could be so much better if I knew that adult services wasn’t a big hole of crap-all.”
Anyway, I left the ‘carer’s views’ sections and got to the end of the form. Only to find this little beauty:
This form is the first part of a Carer’s Needs Assessment. Would you like a full carer’s assessment to be undertaken? Yes? No?
Now I don’t know who is coming up with this crap, and I don’t know what the intention is behind it. It’s obstructive, ill thought out, insensitive, meaningless and time consuming. I don’t know how many meetings I’ve attended thinking I’m ‘doing’ a carers assessment. Or having a carers assessment done to me.
When I started sorting through paperwork today, I was struck by how LB had his own folder of paperwork bursting at the seams. No one else in the family has a file really. Just general stuff. Why is there so much paperwork around certain children/adults when the outcome is less than acceptable? A ‘special needs industry’ exists in the UK with a wasteful, usually ineffectual and pointless focus. But embedded within that industry is a level of tyranny. That these are hoops that parents, carers and disabled people have to jump through. Regardless of outcome.
Over 15 years into this gig now, I’m going to say now, I seriously hate it.
Can we have transparency, honesty and realism about what is what? And what is likely to be what in the future?