Dear meeting organiser,
Thank you for your letter about the information meeting.
I hope that you will understand that I am not really interested in a pie in the sky document that no doubt took many well paid man and woman hours to produce when I can't get a therapist on the phone, I've had to cancel my daughter's one night a month respite again due to concerns about her care, and this year's school leavers from my daughter's school had not started in adult services last time I checked.
Also the meeting time clashes with my children's bedtime.
This is the email that I nearly sent last night after receiving an invitation to a briefing meeting about the draft Interim Standards for New Directions, a document produced by the Irish Health Service about standards in adult services for people with disabilities. I spent longer than I should wading through the 87 pages of jargon yesterday. It's all very worthy and PC-friendly with lots of aspirations and plans for more meetings, and information sessions and documents to be signed, as well as plans and reviews and monitoring and evaluation.
It also looked like just another tick box exercise.
Has Smiley had her behaviour support plan? Yep. Tick.
Has she been encouraged to try out new experiences? Yep. Tick.
Has her personal plan been reviewed? Yep. Tick.
Is there anywhere suitable for her? Nope. Tick.
Is there any funding available? Nope. Tick.
Oh well, she'll have to stay at home then. But everything is fine, because everyone has done their job, and all the little boxes have been ticked.
Actually no, everything is not fine in this scenario. My daughter deserves better than that.
If Smiley's service provider wants to earn my respect, they need to stop organising meetings and start improving services.
And the reason I didn't send the email? Because I'm afraid that all they'll do with it is tick the box that says "not attending"....
Note: I realise that my children are luckier than many in that they do have services. But I still have the right to complain - if I don't we could all up with nothing.
Reasons to be Cheerful: Family Fun #R2BC - Late to the party again this week! Hope Michelle can forgive me... It has been a rollercoaster week but I have had a few things that have made me smile: ...