Mumsnet's campaign for respite care for disabled children
Who else is backing our respite care campaign?
We're delighted that many key organisations are supporting our campaign to ensure that disabled children get the respite care they've been promised.
We've had messages of support from Mencap, Barnardo's, Scope, Sense, Action For Children, the National Autistic Society, the Family Fund, the Council For Disabled Children, Contact A Family, KIDS, Treehouse, The Children's Trust, the National Deaf Children's Society, Whizz-Kidz and Cerebra.
“Mencap are delighted to support Mumsnet in their campaign to ensure disabled children and their families receive the short breaks they deserve. Short breaks provide an essential service for parents and carers and enable disabled children themselves to develop their own independence. The recent case of River Vincent highlighted that families can reach breaking point if they do not get the short breaks they need.
“The government has committed a significant sum of money to short breaks but this has not been ring-fenced. Mencap will be working with ‘Mumsnet’ and Every Disabled Child Matters to guarantee this money is used as it should be. It is vital that breaks for disabled children and their families are treated as a priority. Given that this funding is available, there is no justification for cutting these services.
“All parents love and care for their disabled children and they should simply have support to continue providing on-going care for them”
"The story of Riven Vincent is sadly the tip of the iceberg. At Scope we know of many families that are pushed towards breaking point as they struggle to juggle various demands, from caring for their child, fighting to get the support they need and living in a society that still isn't fully accessible for disabled people. Access to regular short breaks from caring are frequently the key to keeping families together.
"We are backing Mumsnet's campaign for short breaks because although the Government has committed £800 million, this money has not been ring-fenced. With local authorities facing difficult budget decisions, the worry is that this vital funding will get diverted to other priorities.
"We know that it's better for parents and disabled children, and for the public purse, to help families stay together so we urge decision makers at a local and national level to ensure that every penny of central Government funding for short breaks gets to the families that need it." - Ruth Scott, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Scope
Action For Children
"We know the financial and emotional pressures on families with disabled children have always been huge. The recession is making things much worse and these families are at the hard edge of the current squeeze and many are struggling to cope.
Removal of support is a false economy as families are pushed to crisis point necessitating more expensive interventions. We know that local authorities are faced with incredibly difficult decisions, but insist that disabled children, young people and their families should not be the ones to bear the brunt of the cuts to local authority budgets,’ said Tom McLaren Webb, Head of Campaigning at Action for Children." - Tom McLaren Webb, Head of Campaigning at Action for Children
“Shorts breaks are vital to Deafblind children and their families and so Sense, the national deafblind charity, is supporting the Mumsnet and Every Disabled Child Matters campaign to find out how much money local authorities will be spending on short breaks for disabled children in the year 2011/12. Sense runs summer holidays for deafblind children and adults throughout the summer months which are hugely enjoyed by the holiday makers who benefit from new experiences and mums and carers benefit from the respite. “ - Lucy Drescher, Children's Policy Officer, Sense
Contact A Family
"Contact a Family fully supports Mumsnet and EDCM’s campaign to ensure families with disabled children get the help they have been promised.
"Families with disabled children are under enormous everyday practical, physical and emotional pressures and often have to fight tooth and nail for support. Sadly there are many families pushed to breaking point by these daily battles and a continuing lack of support.
"Families tell us that they are dreading April when the situation is likely to worsen due to cuts to local authority budgets and the services that they desperately need.” - Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of Contact a Family
Council For Disabled Children
"We are delighted that Mumsnet are working with the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign to highlight the importance of investment in short breaks.
Short breaks are a basic service for families to enable them to lead ordinary lives.
Families don't want a lot - they want to be able to take a trip to the shops, to have a bath and a night's sleep.
The Government has invested significant funding in short breaks over the next four years, but as this funding not ‘ring fenced’ there is a risk that it will be diverted if local council leaders feel there are more pressing concerns. As the Government develops new health, social care and education frameworks, they must ensure that they make it crystal clear who bears the responsibility within the system for ensuring disabled children get the support they need to lead ordinary lives." - Christine Lenehan, Director, Council For Disabled Children
"As one of the largest providers of short breaks in England, KIDS is acutely aware of the measurable difference they make to the lives of families with disabled children.
Short breaks have many benefits for all the family; parents, disabled children and siblings. As well as providing much-needed, flexible support, they also keep families together and improve a family's general wellbeing.
KIDS welcomed the recent announcement of £800 million extra funding as evidence that the Government recognised the importance of short break provision for disabled children and their families. KIDS is very concerned however that as this much-needed funding is not ring-fenced, it could be diverted away from the families for whom it was intended.
While KIDS is aware that local authorities face pressures in the current climate, we urge them to keep this funding for the purpose for which it was intended. We wholeheartedly support Every Disabled Child Matters and Mumsnet in the campaign to ensure families with disabled children get the support they have been promised." - Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of KIDS charity
National Autistic Society
"Short break services are not a luxury; they are a necessity for children with autism and their parents and carers. That's why the National Autistic Society is working with EDCM and Mumsnet to make sure that local authorities invest the additional funding they have been allocated in short break services. Without the vital lifeline that short break services provide, many more families, who are already struggling to cope with the domino effect of cuts across a whole range of crucial services and benefits, will reach crisis point. Please support our campaign and take action today." - Amanda Batten, Director of External Affairs, National Autistic Society
The Children's Trust
“I am very concerned that we are going to hear many more stories about families driven to their wit’s end because of cuts in short breaks and other services for disabled children. Local authorities have a statutory duty to offer short breaks and the Government has provided them with £800 million over the next four years to provide these services. Because this money is not ring-fenced there is a real danger that a lack of transparency and accountability will allow some of this money to be diverted to other needs. Mumsnet and EDCM are absolutely right to demand that disabled children are not short-changed in this climate of austerity.” – Andrew Ross, Chief Executive of The Children's Trust
The Family Fund
“The Family Fund is very aware that families caring for a disabled child need the opportunity for a short break . Whilst we welcome the funding announcement of £800 million for short breaks, without this money being specifically protected for the needs of disabled children, there is grave danger of this funding being diverted to other services. From our work with families, we know that short break provision is already stretched. Ringfencing these crucial services will ensure that families will reliably receive the support they so desperately need.” - Derek Walpole, Chief Executive, The Family Fund
“Short breaks are an absolutely vital service for families with children with autism. Parents often tell us that short breaks – even just a few hours of support a week - have brought their family back from the brink. We fully support the Mumsnet and EDCM campaign to ensure the money for short breaks is protected.” - Kate Williams, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Ambitious about Autism
"Whizz-Kidz welcomes the announcement by Sarah Teather of funds of £800m over the next four years for short break services for disabled children and their families in England. There are an estimated 800,000 disabled children and young people in England; only 105,000 benefited from a short break in 2009/10. Without these new funds being ring fenced there will be no guarantees that more children and families will have access to these vital services.
At Whizz-Kidz Ambassador Clubs, disabled children and young people have a chance to get together regularly, make friends as well as taking part in fun activities and sports while gaining essential life skills. For many of the young people we work with attending a Whizz-Kidz event can sometimes be the only time they get to be independent of family and carers – and they too benefit from a short break as a result. Whizz-Kidz fully supports Mumsnet and EDCM in their campaign to keep short breaks as an essential service." - Mark Lovell, Head of Young People’s Services, Whizz-Kidz
National Deaf Children Society
"Parents of deaf children, particularly those with additional disabilities, do a fantastic job of caring for them and supporting them to reach their potential, but parents can only continue to do so with the right support.
"Respite care and short term breaks are a crucial part of the support needed by many parents of deaf children, particularly those with additional needs, and the National Deaf Children’s Society welcomes measures to ensure that those with high levels of need continue to receive this vital support." - Brian Gale, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the National Deaf Childrens Society