Press Release 08/03/2016

Matthew Garnett and his family deserve better

  1. Matthew Garnett a young boy with autism kept on a psychiatric unit for 6 months
  2. The Ann Craft Trust (ACT) is a national charity dedicated to safeguarding disabled children and adults at risk of abuse.
  3. ACT Disabled Children’s Manager, Sarah Goff  “(Matthew) should not be in receipt of adult provision where he won’t receive the child-centred help that he needs”
  4. The shortage of mental health beds and services for children and young people needs to be addressed
  5. This practice could lead to further harm for children and young people.

The Ann Craft Trust (ACT) is greatly concerned to hear about the treatment of a 15 year old Autistic boy who has been living in a psychiatric unit for the past six months.
The news that Matthew Garnett believes that he is ‘in prison’ and that his family has been campaigning for a more appropriate service to meet his complex needs raises huge safeguarding concerns.
Our Disabled Children’s Manager, Sarah Goff said “Matthew and his family have a right to better services. A child should not be in receipt of adult provision where he won’t receive the child-centred help that he needs. “
At ACT we view the Garnett’s experience as undermining to the public’s confidence in the good work being carried out in the UK (across statutory and third sector services).
Sarah said “We need a real focus on the development of mental health facilities for young people like Matthew. It’s crucial that services, both at crisis point and prevention, understand autism and mental health and how this can shape a young person’s view of their world”
The Garnett’s fight over the last six months highlights an alarming lack of resources available to young people with learning disabilities and their families.
Finally our Disabled Children’s Manager, Sarah Goff said “With the training and knowledge available today it’s very worrying indeed that the individual needs of a young person with learning disabilities have been ignored”.


For more information on this press release please contact Matt Parr, Media & Development Officer for the Ann Craft Trust

Email:  Tel: 0115 951 5400

At ACT we believe that every disabled child and every adult at risk deserves to be treated with the same respect and dignity as everyone else in society.

We are a leading provider of safeguarding training, consultations and serious case reviews working closely with organisations and individuals across the UK to raise awareness and improve practice. For over 21 years our independent research has tackled the biggest issues facing safeguarding, disabled children and adults at risk.

    1. The Ann Craft Trust works with staff in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors to protect disabled children and vulnerable adults who may be at risk from abuse.  We also provide training in all aspects of safeguarding.
    2. We provide training and support the development of professionals via consultancy at both single and multi-agency levels at front line and management levels. We believe that training which is not afraid to address the complex areas within safeguarding will support the development of strong individual and multi-agency practice.
    3. ACT’s Disabled Children’s Manager Sarah Goff has over 30 years’ experience within Children’s Services. Within her role at ACT Sarah works with local authorities and the third sector to develop best practice in safeguarding and social care. Her profile can be found here
    4. The original story can be found here