Disabled children miss out on basic items as poverty trap snares parents

Parents of disabled children are struggling to pay for basic items
such as bedding, according to a report published this week by
children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Still Missing Out says that many children are losing out
on the necessities needed to lead ordinary lives, casting doubts on
the government’s pledge to end child poverty within a generation.
It is based on interviews with 17 families.

It calls on the government to set a minimum income standard to help
families, to reform the benefits system to make it more accessible,
and to review its housing policy as many disabled people are placed
in houses unsuitable for wheelchairs.

Disabled children are also likely to be living in lone parent
families because of the stresses of family life, it says. This
situation increases the incidence of poverty.

Other recommendations included in the report are for a
government-funded national awareness campaign. This would aim to
increase take-up of disability benefits by using clear, accessible
information in all formats and a range of languages.

The report also says the government needs to provide suitable child
care, accessible housing and support to parents of disabled
children to find work.

Barnardo’s principal policy officer Neera Sharma said: “The
government has pledged to end child poverty within a generation.
However, there is little evidence from our report to show that
their initiatives to date are significantly improving the lives of
the UK’s 360,000 disabled children.”

She added: “Some [parents] could not work because they couldn’t
find suitable child care for their disabled child and those who did
work struggled with the cost of child care and having insufficient

“It costs three times as much to look after their children than it
does a non-disabled child.”

– Still Missing Out from 01268 520 224.

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