Campaigners call for advocacy rights for disabled children

The Every Disabled Child Matters campaign plans to lobby MPs to give those disabled children who are housed out of the local authority area the right to advocacy.

Speaking at a fringe event at yesterday’s National Children and Adult Services conference in Bournemouth, Steve Broach, EDCM campaign manager said he was most concerned about this group of children.   

Broach called for the right to advocacy to be incorporated into the expected children and young people’s bill.

This decision to lobby MPs follows the announcement in the government’s comprehensive spending review that £280m would be allocated for short break services for children with disabilities in 2008-11.

The government is currently seeking to fund 20 short-break pathfinder areas and has written to local authorities and primary care trusts to invite them to express interest by 19 October.

Jo Williams, chief executive of Mencap, backed up the need for advocacy and said: “We always want the programme around respite to be based around the child and the family.” 

The government also allocated #19m for the Transition Support Programme in the CSR.   

Williams added: “Ed Balls [children’s secretary] is in the right place. But now he is in charge of translating policies into reality on the ground. The question is now if children with disabilities matter, how much do they matter?”

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.