Most councils failing deaf children

Two-thirds of local authorities in England are failing deaf children, according to research from the University of Manchester.

According to the study, published today, most English local authorities do not regard deaf children as in need, despite the law defining them as such. The study said deaf children are twice as likely to experience abuse and 40% will experience mental health problems.

“It is vital that local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) take heed of this research and improve their child protection arrangements for deaf children before it is too late,” said Brian Gale, director of policy and campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society, which sponsored the research.

“The government urgently needs to hold LSCBs to account in the implementation of its recommendations for the protection of deaf children.”

In 2005, the Department of Health recognised the vulnerability of deaf children to abuse and recommended all LSCBs to review their child protection arrangements for deaf children.

There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK, according to the NDCS.

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