The psychological trauma suffered by family carers of children and adults with autism and/or learning disabilities, has been highlighted in a survey published by the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF).
The CBF’s trauma survey highlights how the current health and care system is dramatically failing families and often adds to, or is the cause of trauma. This can be clearly seen through the Winterbourne View and Whorlton Hall scandals.
When families were asked to identify the risk factors that they thought increased the likelihood of trauma, they identified:
- Lack of services and support to meet my relative’s individual needs (81%)
- Lack of early intervention services and support (77%)
- Lack of specialist support i.e trained staff/support workers with learning disability experience (76%)
- Finding a way through the education, health and social care system (71%)
- 54% of families felt all the factors listed increased the risk of trauma
The survey highlights the need for professional bodies to ensure workforces are sufficiently trauma-informed and trauma-trained; that they understand and comply with the relevant legal frameworks e.g Mental Capacity Act; and that all frameworks and pathways include trauma risk and support.