Councils urged to remember disabled children in spring budget planning as part of new DCP campaign
3 mins read
Monday 17 January 2022
The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) has today launched a new campaign calling on England’s local authorities to use extra money in their budgets to invest in vital services for disabled children – #CountDisabledChildrenIn.
DCP, of which Contact is a lead member, carried out an Opinium poll which shows public opinion is on the side of disabled children and their families.
The poll of public attitudes of 2,000 adults in the UK found that:
- Only 18% thought that disabled children and families got the right support from councils and the NHS.
- 73% said that the delays disabled children and families have experienced to health and care services in the pandemic were unacceptable.
- 64% thought local councils and health services had a responsibility to provide respite and breaks from caring to families.
Amanda Batten, Chair of DCP and CEO of Contact, said: “Disabled children and their families will be heartened to hear that public opinion is on their side. We are urging local councils to listen. They need to ensure that extra funding allocated in the Budget goes to respite, therapies and other services vital to disabled children.
“And we are calling on parents to lobby their local councils to use the funding available to them to invest in disabled children’s health and care and #CountDisabledChildrenIn.”
Services have been decimated
Up until April 2022, local councils in England will be deciding their budgets for 2022-23, including how much to spend on disabled children’s social care services. DCP’s research throughout the pandemic highlighted how services vital to disabled children and their families have been decimated. This is taking a terrible toll with families reporting that their children’s progress has regressed and some are living with more pain.
At Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Autumn Budget, no dedicated health and care support for disabled children and families was announced. However, a total of £4.8 billion in additional government funding for local councils was released. As councils plan their budgets, we at the DCP are asking them to use some of this money to invest in disabled children’s health and care, correct years of underfunding, and give every family the support they are entitled to.
Amanda Batten added: “We know budgets are tight, but we are also clear there is an urgent moral and economic argument for councils to act.”