Mark Whitehead 24 July 2019

Charity calls for ‘strong leadership’ to integrate support for disabled children

Strong leadership is needed to streamline and integrate support for disabled children, according to campaigners.

The Council for Disabled Children, supported by the True Colours Trust, says the system remains fragmented despite Government initiatives to improve how care for children with special needs and disabilities is coordinated.

‘It takes leaders to break down siloes’ is based on interviews with more than 70 staff from education, health and social care teams, as well as parents and carers.

It sets out a series of recommendations including a call for an urgent review of Government funding for services for children and young people with special needs and disabilities.

Researchers found that strong local leaders had the power to set strategy, influence organisational culture and support initiatives to enable integration.

Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, said: 'While the urgent need for better integration has long been recognised, in reality families are often faced with a wall of paperwork to get their child’s needs met.

‘The cruel irony is that initiatives designed to improve joined-up working have themselves failed to align with other programmes with the same aims from different parts of the system.'

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