New coalition of UK charities to tackle inequality for disabled children and their families

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UK charities have formed a new coalition to fight for better health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families.

The Disabled Children’s Partnership, which involves an unprecedented 29 organisations, has formed in the wake of research by Contact a Family that found a staggering 69 per cent of families never receive support caring for their disabled child beyond their own close friends or family.

Recent research by the National Children’s Bureau estimates 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 provision.

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. 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.

Her mother said.

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 per cent 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.

Who’s involved?

Action for Children
Contact a Family
Council for Disabled Children/National Children’s Bureau
Family Fund
Royal Mencap Society
National Autistic Society
Scope
Sense
The Children’s Trust
Together for Short Lives
WellChild
Ambitious About Autism
Guide Dogs
Credo Care
KIDS
CPotential
Carers Trust
Carers UK
Child Poverty Action Group
The Communications Trust
Challengers
Family and Childcare Trust
I CAN
National Deaf Children’s Society
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity
Whizz Kidz
Working Families
CLIC Sargent
SeaShell Trust

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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