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Comment on Cerebra report on support for disabled children

Commenting on support for children with a disability, ADCS President Steve Crocker said:

“Local authorities are committed to supporting children with a disability and their families. It is important that disabled children can access a range of universal services such as leisure and play activities as well as short breaks and other specialist services. However, for this to happen local authorities must have sufficient funding in place to support disabled children. Further, we need all partners to play their part in helping to provide wrap around support to meet children and young people’s wider needs. Current legislation states that a child with a disability is also a Child in Need as defined by the Children Act, yet some families tell us that this terminology is not always helpful depending on the specific needs of the child. The Care Review seeks to address some of these issues through recommending the use of Family Help to change how disabled children and their families experience children’s social care. This provides a welcome opportunity to improve our offer of support, but we must ensure that there is a clear link here with the reforms set out in the SEND and AP Green Paper.

“Where it is in a child’s best interests, it is important that we are able to involve different areas of our workforce where we have a wealth of knowledge and expertise, but current legislation can sometimes hinder this. There is an opportunity to re-think how we utilise our workforce and we continue to engage with government on implementation of the Care Review. However, if we are serious about improving children’s experiences we must receive adequate, long-term funding to make meaningful change.”


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