Dudley Disability Service
Dudley Disability Service was formed in spring 2018 and officially launched in July 2018. The fully joined up service provides support to children, young people and adults with special educational needs, autism and disabilities, as well as their families and carers. The aim is to enable and support people to live lives that are as independent, happy and fulfilling as possible.
A range of care and support services is on offer as well as signposting. The service works in partnership with each person it supports to ensure it meets their needs, desires and aspirations. The focus is on supporting each person in the way they want so they can achieve the goals and lifestyle that they choose.
We want simple well-coordinated services without duplication.
We want a quicker and more flexible response.
We want to be able to ‘tell our story once’.
We want quality and safe services.
We want services that are close to home, and least invasive.
We want early help.
In response to a great deal of engagement work and partnership work with people and groups, working with and listening to people of all ages with disabilities, their parents, family members and carers the council developed the new service.
The vision for the new service, again agreed with all parties is to ‘Support children, young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities in Dudley to achieve a full and happy life, in which they have independence, gain skills and knowledge, and have confidence and a sociable life'.
Even the name of the service was consulted upon with all parties, so it is meaningful to everyone - Dudley Disability Service or DDS.
Dudley Disability Service is for people of all ages with a disability or special educational needs, from birth to end of life, or when they no longer need it. It provides a seamless service to people of all ages who access its services, and takes a consistent approach to providing care and support.
A new customer pathway into the Disability Service has been formed, to provide a simple route to services. It puts the customer at the heart of the service, and is working to improve customer satisfaction as a result of the care and support provided by the service. Processes and pathways are also being streamlined to reduce duplication and bureaucracy.
A key working system for young people in transition (from age 14 to 18 years) has been put into place in which they have their own named social worker. This approach has been nationally recognised as providing better outcomes for young people. Dudley Council has been invited to take part in the national Social Care Institute for Excellence Steering Group, which is developing best practice for working with young people in transition.
As a result of the DDS, the DDS team has been invited to take part in a Birmingham University research project on providing personalised support services.
Early help is really being focused on and the service is developing ways in which it can provide effective early help, such as through the provision of short breaks for children with disabilities.
To track progress performance information across all areas of the disability service is being pulled together. This will mean that next year we will be able to demonstrate how performance and customer outcomes have improved since the development of the service.
There is still a lot more to be done to develop the Dudley Disability Service so that it is able to truly fulfil people’ s wishes and our vision for the service but a good start has been made.
We have been able to make an amazing impact on parents and carers in the area and their children and have been involved in all new initiatives regarding SEND and the new Dudley Disability Service.
Case Study - Julie
Julie has a diagnosis of a learning disability, mild cerebral palsy and mild diplegia. She needs support to manage her personal care needs, prepare her meals, look after her home, ensure it is safe, and look after her health. She also needs support to join activities in the community, and be aware of ‘stranger danger’ and road safety. Julie’s mum provides support for her needs at home, but cannot provide it socially and in the community.
The DDS provided four hours of direct payments per week, and a personal assistant to support her with her community and social needs.
As a result, she has obtained two voluntary jobs in the local community. These meet her social needs as she is a part of her local community. One of her roles is at a retired greyhound service, where she is learning to walk the dogs and road safety at the same time. Julie is now approaching people herself without prompting and has started to form relationships with other people.
She no longer requires the four hours of direct payments, or personal assistant support and is now fully independent in this area of her life.
Case Study - Victor
Victor had weak muscle tone and low levels of energy. This meant that he could not move a lot or take part in much activity. He also did not understand english very well and found it difficult to communicate.
The DDS worked jointly with health services to provide weekly exercises and activities to build his muscle tone. We created opportunities for social interaction in groups and individually, which helped him to learn english. We also supported him to learn Makaton signing and helped him to improve his diet.
As a result Victor is able to join in a range of activities, which he would previously have found difficult. He can control a paintbrush and paint for long periods of time, which is his new found passion. The increase in energy and muscle tone has enabled him to communicate and express his needs, likes and choices; he does this through using Makaton signs, a detailed communication passport and recognising gestures