Disabled children’s social care law to be reviewed

2 mins read

Monday 6 November 2023

A review of the law on disabled children’s social care in England has been commenced by the Law Commission on request of the Department for Education, a move that Contact and the Disabled Children’s Partnership have been campaigning for over the last five years.

What’s the aim of the review?

Currently, a patchwork of legislation governs disabled children’s social care law, some of which dates back more than five decades. This has contributed to a variation in the amount and quality of support local authorities provide. It’s also unnecessarily complicated the routes to accessing support for parents with disabled children.

The overarching aim of the review will be to simplify and strengthen the law, ensuring that the system is fair and works for children, parents and local authorities.

Jesslyn Parkes, senior parent adviser at Contact, says:

“Social care is consistently the third most common inquiry to our helpline. Families struggle to understand what support they’re eligible for.  For example, we hear from parents whose child the local authority refused a needs assessment or who faced delays getting support. Too often support only arrives when families hit crisis point. Parents also tell us they felt humiliated and blamed when they sought help from social care services.

“That why we welcome the review by the Law Commission into the legal framework for disabled children’s social care. This is long overdue and creates an opportunity to improve the system for families with disabled children.”

How can I get involved?

The Law Commission has started preliminary work, with the aim of publishing a consultation in Spring 2024. To inform this process, in the coming months the Commission is engaging with a range of individuals and charities, like Contact, with experience of social care for disabled children

In particular the Commission hopes to engage with parent carers through a combination of online discussion sessions and surveys to better understand the current barriers to accessing social care.

What is the Law Commission?

The Law Commission is a statutory, independent body.

Find out more about the Commission. Or read more about the review, including the terms of reference.