Disabled Children’s Partnership launches three pillars campaign

The DCP has created a new campaign to focus the government on delivering better support and care for children with disabilities and their families.

Three pillars have been identified by the DCP to create a solid base for the government to build upon to improve services and support for children with disabilities and their families. The new campaign follows the Give It Back campaign with The Sun that launched in June this year and the report published by the Commons Education Committee in July. The report highlighted that SEND support in schools is inadequate and financially unsustainable. The three pillars aim to prioritise children with disabilities and their families, clarify their rights and entitlements and close the growing funding gap. The DCP explains below:   Pillar one Make disabled children a priority Disabled children to be made a priority across government, at both national and local level; and the Government to appoint a Minister for Disabled Children At both national and local level, responsibility for the support that disabled children and their families need sits with a range of organisations.  All too often, the needs of disabled children and their families are not the priority within those services; and no-one sees it as their responsibility to ensure that services join-up and meet the needs of families.  This needs to change: the government should appoint a Minister for Disabled Children with clear responsibility, accountability and power across departments to make sure that the right support from health, social care, education and other services is in place for families.  This arrangement should also be mirrored in local areas. Pillar two Clarify rights and review the law The government to work with parents to clarify the existing rights and entitlements; and to undertake a review of the legal framework to strengthen and simplify it. The existing law related to disabled children and their families stems from over 10 different Acts of Parliament, regulations and guidance which have developed over the past 50 years.  It is difficult for parents to navigate; and it leads to different services and agencies shifting responsibility between themselves, and with families falling between the gaps.  The government must work with parents to improve guidance on the current system - so that it is easier for them to know their rights – and introduce reforms to make the system simpler, and rights and responsibilities clearer. Pillar three Address funding shortfalls and create a dedicated fund  The government to increase funding for health and social care for disabled children to meet the current funding gap; and to introduce a new innovation fund to support joined-up working and early intervention. There is currently a £1.5 billion funding gap across health and social care support for disabled children and their families.  The government must fill this funding gap as a matter of urgency. To support longer term sustainability, we are also calling on the government to set up an Early Intervention and Family Resilience Innovation Fund. This would support projects that transform disabled children’s health and social care by fixing problems at the earliest point of identified need and by focusing on the family as a whole. The Fund would initially support a vanguard of innovative service providers but with the infrastructure to upscale successful projects, leading to cashable savings, as well as long-term economic and social return. Projects would be robustly evaluated and learning would be shared to ensure that what works is promoted and has a sustained impact on the lives of disabled children and their families. Campaign manager at the DCP, Stephen Kingdom, has written a blog about the thee pillars. Read more about the Give It Back campaign and get involved.          
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