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Every Disabled Child Matters campaign - Carers UK Forum

Every Disabled Child Matters campaign

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
The Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) campaign, which Mencap is part of, is launching a new Private Members Bill (the Disabled Children (Family Support) Bill 2007) to give disabled children and their families a legal right to short break care.

We need you to email your MP and ask them to support this Bill. The Bill can only become law if it is supported by MPs.

We want disabled children and their families to have a legal right to short break care because we know that without support families can reach crisis point. Mencap’s Breaking Point survey found that 8 out of 10 carers of disabled children came close to or reached breaking point because of a lack of support.

http://www.edcm.org.uk/Page.asp?originx ... 071019328l
Done. (Mine is Patricia Hewitt)
Thanks for that Gavin.
My MP contacted to support this.
I hope CUK as an organisation is getting behind this too.
Hi Myrtle,

Yes, Carers UK is supporting the campaign.

Just a few points to clarify:

Not every MP is allowed to sign an Early Day Motion. If you are a Government Minister, you cannot. Early Day Motions are there to bring up policy issues that raise concerns about, or aim to tackle, government policy. Ministers cannot stay in their job and criticise themselves, so they cannot sign EDMs.

Just thought you'd like to know in case you felt that it means that Government Ministers aren't interested. They may well not be, but the lack of a signature on an EDM is NOT evidence of this.
Every disabled child does matter but surely the bill should be for every disabled person wether child or adult
Hi Tony,

It is because the law relating to children is different to that for adults. Minimum levels of breaks will be one of the issues we will be debating at our Carers Summit on Thursday.

Parents launch respite care campaign

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/ ... y.children

Campaigners for parents of disabled children have this week launched a two-pronged drive to secure their right to claim respite care.

Lawyers say legal reform is needed, even though new research suggests a "strong argument" that an enforceable right to short breaks for families with disabled children already exists in English law.

The Every Disabled Child Matters campaign (EDCM) is to contact supporters to find parents willing to bring legal cases to test this opinion in the courts.

At the same time, EDCM is urging MPs to adopt a new bill that would give families a clear right to the breaks many need to sustain their caring responsibilities.

"Legal opinion suggests that thousands of families with disabled children have been denied services which may have been theirs by right," said Christine Lenehan, the director of the Council for Disabled Children and an EDCM board member.

"However, what families really need is a clear and unequivocal right in legislation."

Community care lawyers Paul Bowen and Luke Clements said the right to respite care may already exist, either as a residential short break care (under the Children Act 1989) or short break care at home (Children Act 1989 taken together with the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person's Act 1970).

The opinion was published on the day that EDCM launched its proposed disabled children (family support) bill 2007, the campaign's second attempt to change the law through a private member's bill.

The EDCM campaign hopes to persuade MPs to commit to taking up the bill if they are drawn high in tomorrow's ballot for private members' bills.

The government has already pledged £280m to improve respite care for families of disabled children and Gordon Brown has announced a review of services and support for these families.

But both lawyers support EDCM's call for new legislation to give clear rights to support.

Bowen and Clements said: "The extraordinary complexity of the current legislative regime and the extreme difficulties some families face in accessing vital support services cannot in our opinion be a substitute for effective law reform: reform that clarifies, simplifies and underpins the rights
of disabled children and their family carers."

They said the current interpretation of clauses in the Children Act 1989 to create a target rather than a specific duty to provide short break care for disabled children may be open to challenge under
the Human Rights Act 1998
Luke Clements is very knowledgeable on carers' legal issues. I went on one of CUK's training courses with him earlier this year and it was fascinating to listen to him.