Every Disabled Child Matters!

November 14, 2007 5:23 PM
Every Disabled Child Matters

Mark and a group of Cross-Party MPs supporting the launch of the new Bill

Local MP for the Cheadle Constituency, Mark Hunter is calling for the Government to do more to ensure disabled children are included in their every child matters programme.

"Every Disabled Child Matters" is a campaign started by four leading organisations working with disabled children and their families: 'Contact a Family', 'Council for Disabled Children', 'Mencap' and 'Special Educational Consortium'. The campaign seeks to challenge the Government to make good on their promise that 'every child matters'. Currently disabled children are at 7 times more likely to be excluded from school, only 6% of their families get support from social services and 80% of their families say that they are at breaking point.

The "Every Disabled Child Matters" campaign is working to ensure that disabled children and their families aren't left out of the system, and that both the children and their families have access to the services and support they need to live ordinary lives.

To achieve this Mr Hunter is supporting the tabling of the Disabled Children (Family Support) Bill 2007, which would introduce a specific duty on local authorities to provide appropriate short break for families with disabled children who require a high level of care.

Speaking after the launch of the Bill, Mr Hunter said: "The Government promised that every child would matter, yet its current policy towards disabled children and their families proves that this still isn't the case. Disabled children and their families aren't getting the services and support they need and deserve to allow them to live the lives they have a right to.

That 80% of families who care for disabled children feel they are at breaking point only serves to highlight the failure of the Government on this issue. The Disabled Children (Family Support) Bill would allow these families short breaks so that for the rest of the time they can continue to provide the best care possible for their disabled child or children. These really are essential; parents often need to spend time with their other children, or simply to recharge their bodies and minds. Without these breaks many parents will find that they may become unable to care properly for their children.

Disabled Children and their families are often overlooked, and we need to ensure that this does not continue to happen, this Bill would go some way to remedying this."

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