Give It Back


The Disabled Children's Partnership (DCP), in partnership with the Sun newspaper, is calling on the Government to give back the £434 million of support owed to disabled children and their families.

Parent carer Vickey has written to the Chancellor asking him to Give it Back. Add you name to her letter and help us get 20,000 signatures: https://secure.mencap.org.uk/en-gb/give-it-back

We have produce a powerful film that highlights harsh reality for families when they don't have the right support in place.

Please watch the film.


The DCP, formed by Contact, asked parents how this lack of support affecting their lives. More than 3,400 parents completed the survey. The shocking results reveal the full impact that a lack of services have on families with disabled children:

  • Only 4 per cent of parent carers feel they get the right support to safely care for their disabled children.
  • A third (33 per cent) of parent carers say their disabled child has been in unnecessary extra pain because the right equipment, doctor or health service hasn't been available.
  • More than a third (37 per cent) of parent carers say their disabled child has missed school or college because the staff or services are not available to support them.
  • More than half (54 per cent) of parent carers have been treated by a GP for depression, anxiety or stress (including suicidal thoughts).
  • 53 per cent of parent carers have been forced to give up a paid job to care for their disabled child.
  • 40 per cent of parent carers have experienced relationship breakdown with a partner since diagnosis. 64% of those say a lack of support had a major impact on the breakdown of a relationship.

Vickey receives no support caring for her son, Ollie, even though he has an ultra-rare condition that means he needs constant supervision and can never be left alone.

She has written a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking him to give back the £434million owed to disabled children and their families in social care support and provision. You can help by adding your name to her letter: https://secure.mencap.org.uk/en-gb/give-it-back

More about the DCP

Our CEO Amanda Batten formed and now chairs the Disabled Children's Partnership (DCP), a growing coalition of more than 70 charities. In 2017, we launched the Secret Life of Us campaign to raise awareness of the challenges families with disabled children face that most people of simply unaware of.

which sets out how the government must act to addressing the growing crisis in health and social care for disabled children and their families.

What we want 

Pillar 1: Make disabled children and their families a priority 

The government should appoint a Minister for Disabled Children to champion disabled children's rights and policy across all  departments. With the role comes clear responsibility and accountability to make sure support and funding is in place. This arrangement should also be mirrored in local areas.

Pillar 2: Clarify rights and review the law

The government must work with parents to improve guidance on the current system of support for disabled children - so that it is easier for them to know their rights - and introduce reforms to make the system simpler, and rights and responsibilities clearer across health, social care and education.

Improve health and social care services for disabled children by providing an early intervention and family resilience fund.

Pillar 3: Address funding shortfalls and create an innovation fund

The government must plug the £1.5 billion funding gap across health and social care support for disabled children and introduce a new innovation fund. The fund would encourage and support new approaches to joining-up services and budgets with a clear focus on early intervention for the whole family.

How you can help

Add you name to Vickey's letter to the Chancellor asking him to give back the £434 million of support owed to disabled children https://secure.mencap.org.uk/en-gb/give-it-back 

Thank you to the 20,000 supporters that have already signed the letter. 

Please get in touch your local short break (respite) service is at risk to due funding cuts.  Email una.summerson@contact.org.uk

About the Secret Life of US campaign

We know that 43 per cent of the British public don't know anyone who is disabled. 97 per cent of parents with a disabled children do not believe the public understands the challenges they face every day.

Our campaign, the Secret Life of Us, aims to change this.

Watch our film on Toby's and Millie's Secret Life.

Read about the Secret Life of Rishi.

By doing this, we hope to open the eyes of the public to the difficulties faced by families on a day-to-day basis, removing the barriers to people being able to relate to the lives of disabled children.

Through this, we can create greater understanding, affinity and empathy for affected families.

Because without awareness and understanding, we cannot achieve real change.

But, with increased awareness and public support we can make a real difference.


Who's in the DCP?

Members Steering Group

  • Action for Children
  • Contact (Chair)
  • Royal Mencap Society (Secretariat)
  • National Autistic Society
  • National Children's Bureau
  • Sense
  • Scope
  • The Children's Trust
  • The Family Fund
  • Together for Short Lives
  • Well Child

Supporters include:

  • British Healthcare Trades Association
  • Carers UK
  • Whizz Kids

For the full list, visit the Disabled Children's Partnership website.