More than half of English councils have signed a charter that commits them to providing decent services for disabled children and their families by the end of 2009.
The campaign group Every Disabled Child Matters has now persuaded 77 local authorities with responsibility for children’s services to sign its Local Authority Charter.
The pledges councils sign up to in the charter include: finding out how many disabled children live in their area; ensuring staff are properly trained; involving disabled children in drawing up their disability equality scheme and monitoring how well it works; providing accurate information and advice to families; appointing keyworkers to coordinate services; and involving disabled children and their parents in planning services.
And more than a third of primary care trusts (PCTs) have signed EDCM’s Primary Care Trust Charter, with some local authorities and PCTs becoming joint signatories.
Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children and an EDCM board member, said: “It is shocking that the vast majority of families still have to fight to get the services they need.
“Many local areas are now recognising support for disabled children and their families as a priority as part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme. Signing our campaign charters is an ideal way for local authorities and PCTs to transparently demonstrate their commitment to families.”
The EDCM campaign is run by four organisations working with disabled children and their families: Contact a Family, the Council for Disabled Children, Mencap and the Special Educational Consortium.
To encourage your local authority or primary care trust to sign the charter, visit www.edcm.org.uk/la_charter