Extra grants funding for post-16 children

The government has earmarked nearly £100m for disabled children as part of its Children’s Plan, published this week. The children’s secretary, Ed Balls, told delegates at an End Child Poverty campaign event that an additional £90m would be available for short break services. This adds to the £340m allocated earlier this year in the Aiming High for Disabled Children review.

Balls also increased the grant for the Family Fund by £8.4m, adding to an annual £23m funding package from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The increased funds will mean that young people with severe disabilities aged 16 and 17 from low-income families will now have access to the grants. Previously money from the Family Fund was only available for children aged under-16.

Marion Lowe, chief executive of the Family Fund, said the extra funding will enable it to prevent families from “falling into the debt-poverty trap”. The government hopes the money will transform services for disabled children and their families by 2011.

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