Caring More Than Most
A quarter of UK parents of disabled children provide an unimaginable 100 plus hours of care every week.
This is the equivalent of working three full-time jobs simultaneously and without any of the usual benefits like regular or sick pay, holidays or a pension.
These are the findings of our Caring More Than Most report [PDF] (download the executive summary [PDF]), which shows disabled children and their families are at a significant disadvantage in many key aspects of life including their economic situation, health, employment and housing.
Caring More Than Most, conducted with the University of Leeds, finds that:
When compared to non-disabled children, disabled children are:
- Twice as likely to live in a home where there is no parent in paid work (34% compared to 17%)
- More likely to live in a lone parent household
- More likely to live in a household without a car, in a home without central heating and in overcrowded accommodation
When compared to other carers, parent carers are:
- Twice as likely to care for 100+ hours a week (24% compared with 12%)
- More likely to have financial difficulties (36% compared 21%)
- More likely to report problems with their own health.
Caring More Than Most highlights a marked and unacceptable difference between the quality of life and opportunities available to disabled children and their families compared to those without disabilities.
What we want
Health and social care services provide a vital lifeline to families, helping them stay together and stay healthy. These services include short breaks, a range of therapies, personal care, home help, and the provision of equipment and adaptations.
We want to see an end to funding cuts and reductions to already inadequate health and social care services - cuts that mean too often parents with disabled children are left caring more than most.
What we're doing
Together with the Disabled Children's Partnership a growing coalition of more than 50 charities and families, we have launched the Secret Life of Us campaign.
The Secret Life of Us campaign is calling on the government to follow our five step plan to address this growing crisis in health and social care for disabled children.
Step 1: Make disabled children a priority
Step 2: Review current funding
Step 3: Clarify existing rights
Step 4: Create a fund
Step 5: Change the system
What you can do
- We are a charity, and our work to tackle the inequality faced by families with disabled children depends on donations from our generous supporters. Help us stop this never-ending cycle of disadvantage. Make a donation to Contact.
- Sign our petition calling for a review of current funding for short breaks and help us take the first step to address this growing crisis in health and social care for disabled children.
Find out more about the Caring More Than Most report on our research page.