Children’s charities unite to fight inequality for disabled children and their families

Posted on the 17th March 2017

The UK’s leading children’s charities, including WellChild,  will fight for better health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families under the newly-formed Disabled Children’s Partnership.

The new coalition, which comprises of 28 charities, has formed as new research reveals a staggering 69% of families never receive support caring for their disabled child beyond their own close friends or family.

Recent figures estimate that £3.2bn was cut from a range of children’s early social care and welfare services between 2010 and 2015, leaving service and provision severely lacking across the UK.

The gap in health and social care services means that British families face enormous difficulties in accessing even the most basic support.

The Disabled Children’s Partnership will launch a major new campaign in England in the summer of 2017 to tackle this challenge.

With nearly half of the British public claiming not to know anyone with a disability, the campaign will bring the realities of the challenges that disabled children, young people and their families face closer to the public and decision-makers. The Disabled Children’s Partnership will call on the Government to urgently address the current gap in provisions.

Jane is a mum of twins – Jemima and Jessica, aged 19. Jemima is severely autistic and according to her special school, ‘the most complex young person at the school’. Her autism, along with her other health needs, make life very difficult and at times incredibly painful.

“Throughout her life, Jemima has had no support from anyone other than myself, her sister, Jessica, and our immediate family, ” said Jane.

“I’ve never spent a night away from Jemima. Help is not something I knew I could ask for and not something that was ever offered outside school and Challengers.”

Amanda Batten, Chair of the Disabled Children’s Partnership and Chief Executive of Contact a Family, said: “It is shocking that in this country 69% of disabled children never receive support outside their close friends or family. Yet, disabled children and their families still remain a glaring absence from the Prime Minister’s social reform agenda.

“This must be urgently addressed if the Government truly aspire to deliver a Britain that works for everyone.

“That is why the Disabled Children’s Partnership will be campaigning to ensure that the services and support disabled children and their families deserve are there when they need them, are easily accessible and more consistently provided.”

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