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Four in five disabled children say their views are not listened to by health and social care staff

A new manifesto from the Disabled Children’s Partnership calls on the next government to make disabled children’s lives a priority.

11/06/24

Four in five disabled children say their views are not listened to by health and social care staff

A new report reveals that inadequate support services for disabled young people across England are denying them the right to a happy and fulfilling life and threatening the future they deserve.

The report findings come from a survey hearing directly from disabled young people aged 11-25, conducted by the charity Disabled Children’s Partnership, a coalition of 120 organisations that campaigns for improved health and social care provision for disabled children.

The results paint a concerning picture, showing that only one in five (20%) children feel that they have the right amount of formal support to achieve the things that they want in life. Satisfaction with levels of support appears to decline as children get older with only 17% of 19-25 year olds happy with support levels, compared to 29% in 11-15 year olds.

When it comes to having their voices heard, just one in five (20%) disabled young people feel that their views and opinions are taken into account by health and social care workers and a further 90% feel their parents are not getting the right amount of support from the social care system – with only one in ten claiming to be satisfied with the assistance they receive.

“Mum has to beg for things I need or want and it’s up to the team leaders at the local authority to decide,” one young person said, adding: “I am never asked my opinion about anything.”

Responses also showed that support services across England are failing disabled young people with only one in five (20%) saying that they have the right amount of formal support to achieve the things that they want in life.

Furthermore, six in ten (60%) disabled young people who responded said they are not getting the right support from their school or college.

The Partnership says the reason for the inadequate services is due to reductions in government spending and local authority budgets, resulting on greater strain on the social care system.

“Despite an increased policy focus in recent years (including the SEND Green Paper and Improvement Plan and the Independent Social Care Review and subsequent Implementation Plan), the situation for disabled children and their families, day to day, is getting worse,” the report concludes.

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