Date published: 03 June 2019 by Anna Jackson
A major new campaign is calling on the Chancellor to plug a £434 million gap in funding for social care for disabled and seriously ill children.
Launched today, in partnership with The Sun newspaper, the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s high profile ‘Give It Back’ campaign builds on a survey of more than 3,400 parents in April.
The shocking survey findings reveal the full impact that a lack of support has on families with disabled or seriously ill children:
- Only 4% of parents say they receive the right support to care for their disabled children safely.
- 53% of parents have been forced to give up a paid job to care for their child.
- More than a third (37%) of parent carers say their disabled or seriously ill child has missed school or college because the staff or services are not available to support them.
- A third (33%) of parents/ carers say their disabled or seriously ill child has been in unnecessary extra pain because the right equipment, doctor or health service hasn’t been available.
Zillah Bingley, Chief Executive of Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, said: “We are proud to be part of such an important campaign. Families with disabled and seriously ill children have been ignored for too long, at immense cost to their physical and mental health.
Families supported by Rainbow Trust frequently tell us that accessing local services and respite care, or simply getting the equipment that their child needs, can be difficult and stressful. This powerful new campaign tells the stark story behind the cuts to social care in recent years.
For Rainbow Trust as a charity, the cuts mean that we now need to fundraise more than 97% of our income, with no central government funding, and yet we know that the number of families needing our support is increasing year on year.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The Chancellor has the perfect opportunity to give back the funding that is needed in the forthcoming government spending review, and we urge our supporters to join the campaign to put pressure on him to act.”
One of the families featured in the campaign is Vickey and her son Ollie. Vickey receives no support caring for her son, even though he has an extremely 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 £434 million owed to disabled children and their families.
The campaign includes a powerful new film that highlights the harsh reality for families when they do not have the right support in place.
The Disabled Children’s Partnership is a coalition of more than 60 organisations, including Rainbow Trust. It is calling for better health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families in England. Together we are highlighting that there is an unacceptable contrast between the quality of life and opportunities available to disabled children, including those with life-threatening or terminal illnesses, compared to those without disabilities.
To back the campaign, you can sign her open letter here.