We have received several queries relating to the current #4000families campaign led by Carers Wales, Contact a Family Cymru and Learning Disability Wales, which asks the Welsh Government to reconsider changes to the funding of Family Fund, and is related to a debate this Wednesday (8 March) in the Welsh Assembly on the impact these changes have had on families with disabled children.

In response, we wish to confirm the following:

In 2015/16 we were able to support 5,429 families in Wales, more than in any other year. This was made possible with grant funding of £2.5 million. The Welsh Government continue to support our work, however, in 2016/17 (with £900,000 – consisting of £500,000 grant funding, plus a one-off payment of £400,000 to support transition) we will have been unable to support the number of families we have previously.

We estimate that around 1,500 families in Wales will receive our help this financial year. Next year (2017/18), with £499,000 of grant funding, our level of support will reduce to an estimated 875 families.

In line with our new funding agreement in Wales, our programme prioritises short breaks for families. The additional funding is supporting this change for families, but there is a reduction in support for everyday essential items for families, such as white goods, clothing and bedding, alongside the frequency of when support can be provided. We have had to make significant changes to the way we provide support, including reducing our resources on the ground in Wales. We want to make sure as much money is going to families as possible.

We are aware of the campaign run by Carers Wales, Contact a Family Cymru and Learning Disability Wales to ask Assembly Members to support this Wednesday’s motion to ask the Welsh Government to review its decision. We are grateful to those organisations for making the case for more financial support for families with disabled children, and specifically our grants and services. In their day-to-day work with parents and carers these organisations are seeing and hearing where support is becoming limited. We remain committed to do all we can and make the very most of the every penny of funding available.