Retracing Our Steps - Thoughts on Winterbourne

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Thoughts on the long history of abuse against disabled people and what we might do to reduce it.

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Retracing Our Steps - Thoughts on Winterbourne

  1. 1. Retracing our Steps thoughts on Winterbourne ViewDr Simon Duffy of The Centre for Welfare Reform on 7th March 2013 for the NWTDT
  2. 2. “Goodness, who knew... ...how shocking.” ...how shocking.”
  3. 3. 1.What history teaches us2.Where we are today3.What we need to do
  4. 4. 1. What history teaches us
  5. 5. What were the conditions of moral collapse?
  6. 6. Who became the victim?
  7. 7. What were the steps that evil men took?
  8. 8. 2. Where we are today
  9. 9. The relative risk by different environments
  10. 10. A small sample from a report to be published shortly.Professional assessments of 6 provide some stark and illuminating information about patterns ofinstitutionalisation. 5 of the group are women and their ages ranged from 28 to 56. The averagelength of time spent in institutions was 19 years, with 3 of the group having spent more than halfof their lives in institutions.People entered the institutions at a very young age, ranging from 14 to 20. Institutionalisedplacements last on average just less than 2 years. On average each person had been in 10different institutional settings, including:• Residential schools (n=3)• Acute hospitals (n=3)• Residential colleges (n=1)• Low secure hospitals (n=6)• Specialist facilities (n=6)• Residential homes (n=5)All six had been victims of abuse, including:• Neglect (n=2)• Sexual abuse (n=6)• Physical abuse (n=5)• Financial abuse (n=1)
  11. 11. In 2010 there were about 11,000 people with learningdisabilities placed in out of area placements.Typical cost was about £160,000 per person, which is justunder £2 billion.In 1968 there were 65,000 people with learningdisabilities in institutions at a total cost of less £2 billion.We have failed to close the institutions - 1 person in 6 arestill living in them - but now they are private institutions.We now spend the same money as we did, but on just asixth of the same people.
  12. 12. 3. What we need to do
  13. 13. Institutions are very unsafe1. Devalued lives - self-expression and personal development threaten institutional thinking2. No freedom or control - it is very hard to be heard when you have no authority3. Impoverishment - economic power is nullified4. Sheltered, but homeless - a home is more than a roof - vital to control privacy and security5. ‘Care’ not support - ‘care’ already assumes the passivity and lower value of the person ‘in care’.6. Disconnected- it is other citizens who report abuse and it is structures of power within institutions that make that harder7. Loveless - the shift to focusing on abuse not crime is a symptom of institutional thinking
  14. 14. Citizenship is vital to safety 1.Direction - Its risky if my life lacks meaning and value 2.Freedom - Its risky if I cannot direct my life, communicate or be listened to. 3.Money - Its risky if I lack money or if I cannot control my own money. 4.Home - Its risky if I cannot control who I live with, my home and my privacy. 5.Help - Its risky if I’ve no one to help me and if I cannot control who helps me. 6.Life - Its risky if I am not a valued member of my community. 7.Love - Its risky to have no friends or family.
  15. 15. Citizenship is the right goal
  16. 16. Personalised Support
  17. 17. 1. Human rights - not just services2. Clear entitlements - not confusion3. Early support - not crisis4. Equal access - not institutional care5. Choice & control - not dependence6. Fair incomes - not insecurity7. Fair taxes - not injustice8. Sustainability - local growth

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