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Carers UK welcomes funds for disabled children

21 May 2007

Today Carers UK gave its firm support for a new announcement by Treasury Minister, Ed Balls, that £340 million more would be spent on disabled children.

 

Commenting on the package, Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said, "it is right that the Government has focussed its attention on disabled children. Our recent research has shown that families with a disabled child face greater hardship than other families and this package goes some of the way to tackling it."

"This package of support strikes an excellent balance between practical services which help families lead a better life, a greater voice in helping shape the services they desperately need, helping families plan for transition when the child reaches 18 and, finally, a robust measure to improve local authorities performance."

"However, it is critical that parents of disabled children are secure in the knowledge that this funding will be sustained. It is important that they have the confidence of relying on good quality services since the future is something that they all fear."

Carers UK's research has shown that parents of disabled children face enormous barriers in accessing childcare that is more easily available to non-disabled children. Particularly difficult to find is appropriate childcare for older teenage children.

The package announced by Ministers, Ed Balls, Ivan Lewis (Minister for Care Services) and Lord Adonis, Education Minister, is made up of several elements:

* £280 million over the next three years to fund short breask for disabled children - working out at about 40,000 new breaks

* £35 million to fund a pilot project to provide accessible childcare.

* £19 million for a Transition Support Programme - as the child moves into adulthood.

* £5 million to allow parents of disabled children to get involved in shaping services at a local level

* Radical reform in the provision of wheelchairs and and equipment

* A national indicator as a part of the PSA set

Carers UK has been part of the Every Disabled Child Matters Campaign which campaigned for a better deal for disabled children and their families.

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