Cuts to services
Why we're campaigning
Disabled children's services are under intense pressure. Cuts to local authority and health budgets over the last few years are chipping away at vital services. Services such as short breaks and transport schemes mean families with disabled children can take part in everyday activities, keep working and stay well.
Families tell us:
- they are waiting longer for appointments and assessments; this hampers child development and progress
- it's harder to get services after assessment; what they do get is being reduced or stopped, sometimes without proper consultation, and families are having to use lawyers and the courts to challenge decisions
- they are increasingly being charged for services and equipment
- accessing support and diagnosis from CAMHS continues to be almost impossible; this is causing long term damage and costly support later on.
This affects family resilience and independence and increases isolation. Sadly this can push families to breaking point, leading to high costs for family life, local authorities and the NHS.
What we want
- Central government to ensure local authorties have sufficient funding to meet their duties to provide children's disability services.
- Local authorities to stop cutting services for disabled children and their families and to proritise their needs.
- A joined up legal framework across child's health and social care services that offers parents and practitioners clarity over funding, rights and responsibilites.
- Better and early access to parent friendly advice and information from key professionals, such as GPs.
- Families to be at the heart of planning, decisions and commissioning of services.
What you can do
What we're doing
As part of our cuts watch, we are:
- publishing evidence as part of Family Support Census - read Short Breaks in 2015: An uncertain future [PDF].
- offering parents, groups and forums advice on how to challenge cuts to services; parents can download this short breaks legal resource [PDF] and this childcare legal resource [PDF]
- sharing a template press release to help raise awareness of cuts in your local press; find it in our group action pack [PDF]
- helping parent carers to have a bigger say in influencing how local councils & health services are run and deliver local services; find out more on our parent carer participation web pages
- sharing some tips to help parent carer forums influence health services [PDF]
- gathering evidence on the impact of cuts to CAMHS, see our feedback from parents on CAMHS [PDF].