See, what sometimes happens is the government makes cuts. Local authority services can’t (or sometimes won’t) provide the support these children and their families need – so the children get shipped to places like St Andrews. These places are often hundreds of miles away from family and friends. At a cost of £10,000 per week! Ostensibly it’s for treatment, but if the child is difficult – or has complex needs in the official jargon – they get locked up. In isolation. Sometimes for years. All because the care package broke down – aka the council refused to make up for the shortfall in a statutory care plan. Or health and social care professionals refused to consider the input of the child’s family – thinking they know better.
Of course the sane and rational among us think – how is spending £10,000 per week more cost effective than say £200 a month? And how is depriving someone of their liberty and pumping them with inappropriate medication treatment? It isn’t. But nobody gives a fuck because chances are these children are disabled.
Until they are in crisis they are seen as nothing more than an entry in a spreadsheet. An expense that can be cut. Until it can’t be cut anymore – so we use and accounting sleight of hand and shift it onto the NHS budget.
A family broken up, a child locked away, at massive expense – usually because of a tiny sum. Penny wise and pound foolish.
Pennywise. Just like the child eating clown in Stephen King’s It.