Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Healthy relationships guidance to be developed by the Care Inspectorate and Public Health Scotland

New guidance is being produced by the Care Inspectorate and Public Health Scotland to support people with learning disabilities to have healthy relationships.

The aim of the guidance is to promote good practice by improving knowledge and helping staff in organisations to identify and respond to those who are experiencing gender-based violence.

The Care Inspectorate said that people with learning disabilities often reach adulthood without having had cognitively appropriate opportunities to learn about relationships and sexual health. Wider society routinely considers and treats people with learning disabilities as asexual.

This can then impinge on their rights to positive relationships and sexual health and leave them vulnerable to experiencing or perpetrating abuse or other adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancy.

Healthy relationships survey now open

It said: “Scots law and government policy is framed in ways designed to ensure adults with learning disabilities are supported to learn about and safely conduct fulfilling relationships including sexual relationships within the limits of their capacity to do so.

“To develop meaningful guidance, we need to understand what is already in place to support care staff across the country. We would like to see current policies, where they exist, how they are being used, any barriers experienced and what needs included, to give you the support you need.”

The short survey is open until Wednesday 12 July 2023.

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