Protecting Disabled Children

A new report by Ofsted, Protecting disabled children: thematic inspection report, has found that although disabled children are more likely to be abused than non-disabled children, they are less likely to be subject to child protection. The analysis is based on a review of child protection work for disabled children in 12 local authorities, examining 173 cases and tracing the child's journey through the system to understand how well disabled children are protected from harm.

Healthcare for disabled children and young people

(Source NCB PPI Digest)
This review presents the views and experiences of disabled children and their families as well as survey data from commissioners and acute hospitals about services provided from September 2009 to September 2010. It found that: Families felt access to and involvement in services was a challenge and that they waited too long for access to services and for initial diagnosis; Contributors felt services were not joined up and that different services did not work well together; Many disabled children and their families also reported they had not been consulted on how their care had been provided. The review found significant disparity between the experiences of disabled children and their families, which were overwhelmingly
negative compared to the data supplied by primary care trusts, which showed high levels of access and user-centred care.

Ambitious about Autism

Ambitious about Autism has launched a new campaign, Finished at School, which aims to secure more and better educational options for all young people with autism aged 16 - 25 to enable them to develop skills, gain employment, live more independently and ultimately live the life they choose. All too often, young people with autism are ‘written off' at the age of 16 when they leave school. Our research shows that fewer than 1 in 4 young people with autism continue their education after school. Many young people and their families talk of facing a "black hole" or a "cliff edge" waiting for them on the horizon as they approach the end of their time at school. Through the Finished at School campaign, Ambitious about Autism calls for:
• A clear legal right to educational support up to the age of 25 for young disabled people
• A funding system that gives young people and families more information, choice and support
• A cross-government focus on outcomes and destinations for disabled young people
• A further education workforce with the skills to support young people with autism to achieve their ambitions
Visit the website to download the report:

Raised Expectations: parental experiences of short breaks

The Every Disabled Child Matters campaign has published, a report that examines parents with disabled children's experiences of short breaks between 2007 and 2011. The report finds that, when ring fenced funding was available, short breaks services were ‘transformed'. Parents reported an increase in regular, reliable and appropriate short breaks. Additionally there is clear evidence that the positive impact of short breaks has been recognised by both Government and some local areas. Parents who have had good experiences of short breaks report feel there is no going back to the limited services provision of the past. Read more, or download the report from:

Young Disabled Leaders - Engaging the Power House

The Young Foundation (in partnership with CSV and RADAR) has published research on the Young Disabled Leaders Project. The project was created to equip young disabled people with the tools to improve their chances of becoming leaders. It aimed to increase their skills, knowledge and confidence primarily through providing learning opportunities in a safe and friendly environment with their peers. Read the report at:

Disabled children and young people missing out on vital advocacy services

Advocacy for disabled children and young people can lead to considerable improvements for them and their families, yet many are missing out on this vital support, says a new report from The Children's Society. ‘Someone on our side: Advocacy for disabled children and young people' is the outcome of a three year study exploring advocacy services for disabled children and young people in England. The research has found that disabled children and young people often face barriers in accessing advocacy, even though they have a right to express their wishes and feelings when decisions are made about their lives. Lack of awareness around the role of advocacy means many young people are missing out on this vital form of support. Other barriers include a lack of resources, specialist services and training opportunities for advocates. The report found that advocacy was often only commissioned when cases were extremely complex and had reached serious levels of concerns. In some cases professionals felt that disabled children and young people were unable to express their views, yet the charity has seen first-hand the benefits of advocacy, however complex a need the disabled child or young person may have. One disabled young person said: 'My advocate is brilliant. His is a big support for me. He's always been there for me, he listens to me.' Read more and download the report from:

Asset Building for Children with Disabilities

ResPublica's final report of the summer was launched on Thursday 21st July 2011, at a stakeholder roundtable hosted by the British Bankers' Association and attended by a number of policy experts, finance providers and financial inclusion groups. Building on a previous publication by ResPublica, Asset Building for Children, the report, produced in partnership with Scope, provides a fresh and much-needed contribution to debates on disability poverty, bringing to light new and innovative ideas as to how assets and savings can better the life chances of disabled children and make them more independent as adults. Its recommendations are aimed at improving disabled children's financial resilience, smoothing the transition into adulthood, and improving the opportunities for young disabled people to realise their potential. It calls for the financial services industry to develop products that:
• Allow flexibility - for e.g. short notice withdrawals without penalty,
• Incentivise savings with no impact on means tested benefits,
• Have businesses make gift in kind contributions - if customers spend a disproportionate amount on their services e.g. discounted utility bills,
• Incorporate robust financial management information and advice.
To download the report go to:

Childhood Disability

A study from Warwick University shows that, in the UK, the highest prevalence of childhood disability is found in the poorest families. On average, families with a child with disabilities were £50 a week worse off than those who did not. They estimated that families needed an extra £18 a week to raise a child with disabilities.

The study which is published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, identified 950,000 families as having disabled children, but the report shows this was an under-estimation by about 250,000 children. The researchers found that debt was more common in families with children with disabilities and they also missed out on basic items such as an annual holiday, a bicycle or more than one pair of shoes.

Other information and resources about children and young people with disabilities can be found here