Families of disabled children, backed by the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) are asking the Government to give back the £434 million shortfall in funding for social care for disabled children and their families as part of a new campaign called ‘Give It Back‘.

DCP research published last year revealed a £434 million funding gap for social care for disabled children and their families. DCP asked parents how this lack of support affecting their lives. More than 3,400 parents completed the survey. The results reveal the full impact that inadequate and insufficient services have on families with disabled children:

  • Only 4% of parent carers say they receive the right support to care for their disabled children safely.
  • A third of parents say their disabled child has suffered unnecessary pain because the right equipment, doctor or health service hasn’t been available
  • More than a third of parents say their disabled child has missed school or college because staff or services aren’t available
  • More than half of parents with disabled children have been treated by a GP for depression, anxiety or stress
  • More than half (53%) of parents with disabled children have been forced to give up a paid job to care for their disabled child.
  • 64% of separated parent carers those say a lack of support had a major impact on the breakdown of a relationship.

Parent carer, Vickey has written to the Chancellor asking him to Give it Back, laying out how the impact of the reduction in services has affected her son, Oliver.

Oliver, who is seven, has an ultra-rare genetic disorder which means any muscle in his body, from his arms, to his heart, can become paralysed for anything between minutes to weeks.

Vickey writes: “Ollie needs constant supervision and can never be left alone. He can stop breathing at any time, day or night. We put him to bed and pray that tonight won’t be the night that he stops breathing and doesn’t start again.

“Ollie used to be able to walk and eat orally, but now he uses a wheelchair and gets virtually all of his nutrition through his feeding tube.

“Like so many others, we get no support to help us care for Ollie.

"Support would mean that we can simply be mum and dad to Ollie and (his sister) Lisi rather than having to constantly think about what medications are needed or when the next feed is due or when he last had a wee. In the holidays it would mean that Lisi can play and have her childhood back. 

"I know that our story is not unique, that’s why we’re asking the Chancellor to give back the funding rightfully owed to our family and thousands of others like us.”

The DCP, a coalition of more than 60 leading disabled children’s charities, including Family Fund, is calling on the public to also sign Vickey’s letter, which asks for funding to be returned and for disabled children to be seen as a priority for government.

Amanda Batten, Chair of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, says: “Services for disabled children have never been perfect. But cuts to budgets combined with a 33% increase in the number of disabled children over the last decade means we have reached a critical point – one where we need to decide what kind of country we want to be. We’re talking about some of the most vulnerable children in society.

“And that’s why we’ve launched our Give It Back campaign, calling on the Chancellor to give back the £434 million missing from vital services that help families care safely for their disabled child.

“This isn’t just about doing the right thing, there is also an economic case here too. Without putting back funding into disabled children’s services, we can guarantee that the tax payer will be faced with a bigger bill in the long-term. That’s because when families break down, expensive crisis interventions are needed from local councils or the NHS.”

Click here to sign the petition.