We find ourselves in shock and dismay at the decision by Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services to decommission Morley House run by Break.
We are concerned this may happen in other areas across Norfolk in time as Little Acorns in Fakenham was closed last year.
Representatives from Norfolk County Council met with the families affected by the closure of the respite facility at Morley House last week. The meeting was extremely frustrating for the families who attended, as they were left with the feeling that NCC did not understand their children or their needs. Not all Morley families received an invite to this meeting and not all that were invited could attend due to the timing being too near the end of the school day.
It quickly became clear that no alternative provision to Morley House has been planned, even though the respite centre will close in August 2018. Parents were dismayed to find out the closure had been announced before any alternatives have been put in place.
Parents were also dismayed that their children will go through yet another assessment process to prove need and that these assessments are in March leaving very little preparation time. This processing is feeling very unfair, as Morley users alone have been singled out for this rush to panel and it seems the decision to cease using Morley has been made on a purely financial not need basis.
Parents have been told at least three separate reasons why Morley House is to be closed, and as a result there has been a complete breakdown of trust between parents and NCC.
There is now the very real prospect that the Morley House contract will end without an alternative being offered. We believe this is unacceptable as it will cause unnecessary harm to families, leaving them with no support and at an increased risk of spiralling into crisis.
We are asking NCC to reverse their decision to end the Morley House contract as there is currently no viable alternative in place that would offer like-for-like provision.