Large majority of families with disabled children receive no services


Nearly three-quarters of families with disabled children are not receiving any care and support services, according to an analysis of new government figures.

The figures come from reports on the levels of satisfaction with disabled children’s services in 30 local authority areas.

The reports – published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families as part of its Aiming High for Disabled Children programme – are based on surveys of parents of disabled children.

The Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) campaign, which analysed the reports, said they show clearly that care and family support were rated more poorly than health and education services.

When asked what services – such as short breaks, childcare and home adaptations – parents had received in the last 12 months, the EDCM analysis indicates that over 70 per cent answered: “None”.

And when asked if they had received all the services they needed in the last 12 months, about a third said they had received “little” or “none” of what they required.

In one area, the London borough of Lewisham, more than half those surveyed said they had received little or none of the services they needed.

Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children and an EDCM board member, said: “We are concerned that such a high proportion of parents of disabled children say they do not receive any care or family support services, with one third reporting that their needs are not being met.

“If we want disabled children and their families to be independent and resilient members of society, appropriate, local care and support services need to be in place.

“The Aiming High for Disabled Children programme is approaching its mid-point in delivery. Whilst these figures provide baseline findings, I would hope to see real improvement over the next year.”

19 August 2009