person with learning disability doing voluntary work.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
My son's Social Worker has suggested voluntary work for my son with Downs syndrome, as he will be getting direct payments now.. She is going a bit fast for me, and today has said that she will need to contact the Benfits agency , "when", he starts volunteeering. I am anxious about this, in case it leads to difficulties with my son's benefits. He is also quite likely to do this for a couple of weeks and then say he doesn't like it. (He wants to work, but his idea of work is to wait for Alex Ferguson to retire, and then he will take over Man Utd;he doesn't live in the real world, when it comes to work).

I have said that we need to leave it for a while, as the manager from the agency we would use has just left;their second in less than six months, so we are carrying on as we are for the moment, to see how it goes, in case we need to change agency.

Anyone got any experience in this area, (good or bad). I would really appreciate it. I don't know about insurance either, if he would have to take any out for himself, and what happens if he is ill. I have no time left in my life for extra phone calls or written communication.
Hello Lazydaisy

My son uses his direct payments to employ (through an agency) skilled support workers. These workers enable him to work as a full time volunteer. My son is on Incapacity Benefit plus DLA (for care and mobility). Volunteer work has no impact on these benefits at all since he is not in receipt of wages. ( And since he cannot work without full support, the chances of employment are, erm, slim!) In fact, I question the right of your social worker to contact the benefits agencies, unless it is on your behalf to answer your questions!

Insurance: the support workers are insured through the agency but I also have personal liablity cover for my son, as he can be a bit of a handful!

When my son falls ill, as a volunteer, he does not lose his 'employment' and his support workers are used to support him at home while ill, if needed.

My son thoroughly enjoys his volunteer work as he is doing valued and productive work.

Hope this helps

Potty
Hi Daisy have you any contact with your local community centre?
They're always looking for some volunteers to lend a hand and it's usually an 'as and when you can' shot so if he does get bored with things it won't be an ussue!

Just a thought, as a lot of people, who aren't 'working' for whatever reason - Carers, young mums and people with disabilities, give a few spare hours here and there and it seems to be ok with their benefits etc.

marie x
Thanks very much.This is really useful information. I have to be honest, one of the things I wasn't keen on was her getting in touch with the Benefits agency;it seems like Social Workers can get involved anywhere they want. (If we have to do it, I would prefer to do so myself).
hi potty, what kind of voluntary work does your son do?
I'm glad he's enjoying it!

marie x
Thanks very much.This is really useful information. I have to be honest, one of the things I wasn't keen on was her getting in touch with the Benefits agency;it seems like Social Workers can get involved anywhere they want. (If we have to do it, I would prefer to do so myself).
Social workers are subject to the same rules as anyone else over benefits - they can't contact the DWP without your permission, but if they hold enough information they can show "implied" consent - but neither should count in this case. It would be straightforward enough to ask a general question about the benefits situation without names. Even so, I would get the information direct from either the DWP or from a welfare rights project, carers centre or similar.
Thank you Charles. I will phone on Monday for some general advice.
Hi Daisy, dont do anything untill your son's ready. A few years ago my daughter tried voluntary work with view to paid employment working with children Image , my concern's were what happened if she got volitile towards the children in the past she has targeted her sisters and has hit them. My views were not taken on board, my girl is not really struck on children they get on her nerves Image .....well it all fell on deaf ears, and it broke down, now again wanting to go down the work rd, ive told the advisors to stop and i will inform them when i think my girl is ready, shes had a lot of change in routines and starting day centres i feel as if its too much stess and she cannot cope very well. Its ok people saying do this/that but social workers are not there picking up the pieces at the end of the day...Stand by your guns and do whats right for your son and go at his pace and things will be much happier and will fall into place......best wishes mand Image