A new report from Contact has highlighted that many families raising disabled children are going without essential therapies and equipment owing to the costs involved.

Counting the Costs 2018 surveyed 2,772 parents and carers raising disabled children about how the extra costs of raising their children were affecting them. The report found:

  • 33 per cent of families have extra disability and care related costs of £300+ per month.
  • 40 per cent of disabled children are going without birthday and Christmas presents.
  • 26 per cent are going without essential therapies.
  • 26 per cent of parents said their child's condition has worsened due to going without basics (up 4 per cent since 2014).
  • 33 per cent have taken out a loan to pay for food (compared to only 4 per cent a decade ago).
  • 36 per cent said that changes to the benefits system in the past two years have left their family worse off.

The report states “The survey findings presented in this report bring to life the consequences of all this for some of the most disabled children and their families in this country. It is truly distressing to hear sick and disabled children are going without essential therapies and equipment and are unable to make vital visits to the GP and hospital.”

One parent carer said “It is a constant pressure. As my son’s health deteriorates I worry about needing time off work as I can’t afford to do this. Bills need to be paid.”

In response to the findings, Contact is calling for the Government to increase the support available to meet disabled children’s extra costs; to set up a disabled children’s fund to plug the gap in funding for disabled children’s services; and for employers to offer more flexible working arrangements to parent carers to help them manage caring for their children.

Click here to read the full report on Contact’s website.