Have your say to make safeguarding work for disabled children

2 mins read

Monday 10 July 2023

Tags: social care, safeguarding, working together to safeguard children, child protection, social services, needs assessment

Has your family asked for help from social care only for them to refuse it?

Or worse, have you been put through an unwarranted child safeguarding process?

If so, we want to hear from you. 

The government in England is currently consulting on changes to its statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children.

We are preparing a response to the consultation. And we want to make sure we fully include the views and experiences of parents of disabled children.

What is Working Together?

Working Together is guidance that organisations in England must follow to promote and protect the wellbeing of children. It covers both the regular support disabled children get from social care services, as well as safeguarding and child protection processes.

The government is updating the guidance as part of its overarching long-term strategy for children’s social care in England, Stable Homes, Built on Love. The draft guidance says it “wants a stronger focus on support and protection for disabled children”. It proposes changes to “reshape and improve the way children’s services support disabled children and their families”.

What are the issues?

Social care is consistently the third most common inquiry to our helpline. Often we hear from parents whose child is refused a needs assessment or is assessed and then face delays getting support.

Research by the charity Cerebra in 2021 found parents of disabled children often felt humiliated and blamed when they sought help from social care services. More rarely, disabled children may be subjected to care orders when the crisis could have been averted with much earlier social care support for the family.

Alongside disabled children’s social care experts, we are concerned that proposed changes do not address these challenges families are facing with the assessment process.

In his blog, Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law at Leeds University, describes issues with the draft guidance

Share your views

If you want to contribute you views on supporting and safeguarding disabled children to our consultation response, please email amanda.elliot@contact.org.uk

Visit our social care webpages to find get advice on how to go about getting social care support for your disabled child.