Laura Sharman 25 August 2016

Local authorities ‘not doing enough’ to support parents of disabled children

Local authorities ‘not doing enough’ to support parents of disabled children image

Councils should take a more flexible approach to childcare, charity says after it was revealed four out of five parents of children with complex needs struggled to access services over the summer holidays.

A survey from learning disability charity Mencap has shown 80% of parents who have a child with a learning disability struggled to access support services during the school summer holidays, and only 21% of local authorities reported having sufficient childcare for disabled children.

The majority (93%) of respondents said it was easier finding care for non-disabled children than it was for disabled children.

More than half (56%) of the carers who took part in the survey struggle to access short breaks and respite services and 7% highlighted a lack of access to portage, a home visiting educational service for pre-school children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Parents of disadvantaged children aged 2 and of all 3 and 4 years old are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare a week. However, just 40% of parents of children with a learning disability say their child is able to access the full amount.

‘For many parents of children with a learning disability this means nonstop care, 24 hours a day 7 days a week,’ Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, said.

‘Having to care for their child who may have complex needs whilst juggling their work and other demands can push many families to breaking point.’

‘Having accessible and suitable childcare on offer can be a lifeline for many families,’ he continued.

‘But, due to a lack of sufficient provision from local authorities and inflexible provision of the services that are available, we are seeing many families are unable to access services and are often left to struggle alone.

‘It is unacceptable that, despite obligations, yet again local authorities are still not doing enough to help families who are being pushed into moments of crisis.’

‘This needs to change. We need to invest in these vital services and ensure equal access to them for children with a learning disability as they can be the difference between families reaching breaking point or not,’ he added.

Prepare for the 5G revolution image

Prepare for the 5G revolution

Local authorities are aware 5G is imminent and could have a dramatic effect on their frontline services according to a survey by The MJ and BT as Michael Burton reports.
Launch of LocalGov Patterns image

Launch of LocalGov Patterns

Alessandra Canella explains how a new project will help build a shared service pattern library for local government.
Highways jobs

Air Quality Monitoring Project Manager

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
Seeking a skilled and dedicated individual with a background in environmental protection and air quality to... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
The ideal candidate will have a detailed knowledge /understanding of the Housing Act 2004, and other legislation that... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Corporate Director Business & Environmental Services

North Yorkshire County Council
circa £137k plus relation support      
Looking to appoint to the pivotal position of Corporate Director who will lead our Business and... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Communications Manager - (North London Waste Authority)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 Dependent on experience
Exciting opportunity available for a Communications Manager to manage our North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP) communications. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Solicitor, Regulatory and Enforcement

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band G, £33,799 - £37,849
Our friendly, entrepreneurial and Lexcel accredited Legal Services Team is looking for a Senior Solicitor with a litigation specialism Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine