Special needs audit reveals gaps in services

Children with severe sensory impairments, profound learning difficulties, severe autism or severe behavioural, emotional and social difficulties are being denied access to respite care, mental health services and leisure opportunities, a government commissioned audit has revealed.

The audit, carried out by The Special Needs Consultancy, finds that local authorities generally try to provide on-going support for these children and have some level of specialist services to meet their needs.

However, barriers remain to them accessing a range of other services, including youth services, Connexions, and child and adolescent mental health services. Gaps in family support and shortbreak or respite provision are highlighted as another major problem.

National audit from www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR729.pdf

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