Think-tank wants benefits for families

Social services provision for disabled children should be scrapped
and replaced by allowances paid directly to their families, says a
centre right think-tank.

A report from the Centre for Policy Studies criticises social
services support for disabled children’s families as “extremely
poor” and too bureaucratic and ideological.

“Families would usually choose services themselves than receive
unnecessary and insufficient help from their local authorities,” it

Although families can receive direct payments, these are
conditional on social services assessments and agreed care
packages. Disabled children should undergo a single assessment and
their families receive a non means-tested allowance added to
benefits, the report says.

For families caring at home this would average £115 a day; for
others, allowances would range from £16.50 a day for
domiciliary and day care to £210 a day for residential

The report estimates that only 65 assessment teams would be needed
for England and Wales, costing £18m instead of the £40m
“wasted” on assessment and commissioning.

The report criticises the lack of residential and respite care,
with only 4.7 per cent of severely disabled children in residential
care and waiting lists for respite care in nine out of 10

– Report from

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