The Welsh Government has announced that it is making a £500 one-off payment to carers who currently get Carer’s Allowance.
The payment, which will be administered by Welsh local authorities, is a lump sum that will be made to anyone in Wales who is in receipt of Carer’s Allowance on 31 March 2022.
It forms part of a £29m investment in unpaid carers from the Welsh Government to recognise the financial and emotional hardship many have experienced.
The Welsh Government estimates that 57,000 carers will qualify for this payment.
Carers will have to submit a claim for a payment to their local authority later this year. Further details on how and when to do this will be made available by the Welsh government shortly.
For more information, see Unpaid carers in Wales to receive a £500 payment as part of £29m investment from gov.wales.
Over a third (38%) of Welsh councils do not have enough childcare for disabled children, a cross-party Senedd Committee report has found this week.
And childcare provision for disabled children has decreased further in the last year as face-to-face services have shut down.
The report, by the Senedd’s Equalities and Social Justice Committee, recommends the Welsh Government increase funding available to improve provision for children with disabilities and/or additional or complex needs.
The report echoes what you told us in our Counting the Costs survey. Over half (57%) of 169 Welsh families said that caring responsibilities mean they or their partner has given up paid work. On average, this resulted in a loss of £22,414 from their family income.
In addition to more funding for disabled children’s childcare, we are calling on the UK and Welsh governments to invest in specialist independent advice services to help families with disabled children claim what they are entitled to.
Take action and send our template letter to your MP.
Need advice about childcare?
Visit our page on finding childcare for information about what service are out there.
Our page on paying for childcare explains help towards childcare costs, including free childcare schemes.
A new system of support for children with additional learning needs (ALN) in Wales, called the ALN framework, was introduced on 1 September 2021 to replace the existing special educational needs (SEN) system.
This old system is being phased out from now until Summer 2024. This means that the support your child receives might come under the old or the new system, depending on where they are in the transfer process.
We’re putting on a webinar with guests speakers from Irwin Mitchell legal firm to help you understand more about the ALN reforms and what they mean for you and your child.
Thursday 18 November 2021
10:00 – 11:00 GMT
Join now via Eventbrite
You can also read more about education in Wales or talk to other parents on our Contact Cymru Facebook page.
From today, 1 September 2021, a new system of support for children with additional learning needs (ALN), called the ALN framework, is in effect to replace the existing special educational needs (SEN) system. There is new statutory guidance: the Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales 2021.
The new system will be gradually phased in until Summer 2024, with a timetable in place for transfer of children and young people currently received support through the SEN system.
This means that the support your child receives might come under the old or the new system, depending on where they are in the transfer process.
Support under the ALN framework
If your child starts to receive support in education for the first time after 1 September 2021, their support will come under the ALN framework.
Under the ALN framework, children and young people with ALN receive extra help through an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
Support under the SEN system
If your child was receiving support in education before 1 September 2021, that support comes under the SEN system and under the SEN code of practice.
If they are receiving support through School Action/Action Plus, this will end in January 2022. After that, they’ll start to receive support under the ALN framework.
If your child has a statement of SEN, this will continue to be in place until it is replaced by an IDP.
More about the new system
The Welsh Government has FAQs about the new system:
The additional learning needs transformation programme: frequently asked questions
You can also read the new statutory guidance: Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales 2021.
Last Saturday, families in North Wales got together to enjoy Contact’s first live event since the pandemic hit.
The child-led forest school session at the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire included a mud kitchen, minibeast hunt, hammocks, cooking campfire snacks (marshmallows & popcorn) and den building.
While the children had fun with session leaders in the Woodland Classroom, parents were able to chat over challenges with Kate Wyke from Contact Cymru, who provided a friendly face, information, support and advice.
One of the parents commented:
“Thank you so much for this opportunity. My son, who is 9 and has ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition), began by telling everyone how much he prefers staying at home and playing computer games, but after half an hour, he was totally in a different mindset – enjoying every minute of it! Now he wants to do regular forest school!”
This was also the first live event of Contact’s new Better Together programme, and we welcomed representatives from the North Wales province of the Freemasons, who are giving £150,000 over three years to fund the project. They really enjoyed their visit, saying:
“It was an honour to represent North Wales Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. We were blown away by the very obvious enjoyment of the children and their families. If we could bottle your enthusiasm, we’d make a fortune!!!”
Find out more about our Better Together events and the other family workshops and events Contact offers.
Our exciting new programme of Better Together family events kicks off this April to provide fun and new friendships for disabled children and their siblings, plus advice for parent carers from our amazing Family Support Consultants.
We have three events coming up in April and May. Each of these activities will take place over Zoom and are open to families in North Wales and the West Midlands:
Better Together is a three-year project, funded by local Freemason lodges. When Covid allows, activities will be live and local in areas of North Wales and the West Midlands, but we want to begin the fun now!
Each of the workshops for children will be followed by an overview of Contact’s services for parent carers – an opportunity to chat, share stories and get advice.
Take a look at our family workshops and events webpage for all of our events coming up wherever you live. Keep checking as we update these pages regularly.
The Welsh Government has announced a new £500 payment for bereaved parents to be introduced from April 2021.
Under this new scheme, families in Wales who register the death of a child under the age of 18 will receive £500 as a contribution towards their child’s funeral costs.
Parents will not need to make a claim for this benefit. Instead, it will be offered by the Registrar at the point when the death is registered.
For more information, see £500 support for bereaved parents in Wales from gov.wales.