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1 Trends in services for disabled children Carol Robinson SWALD.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Trends in services for disabled children Carol Robinson SWALD."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Trends in services for disabled children Carol Robinson SWALD

2 2 The plan of my talk Three main sections: 1.Policy developments 2.What we know about the population of disabled children 3.What is happening in practice- messages from research

3 3 Legal Developments Disabled children had the right to education from 1974 Since 1989 disabled children have been covered by the same laws as other children

4 4 Other legal changes There have been new laws which are good news for disabled children such as the Disability Discrimination Act and the Health Act 1999

5 5 Other relevant policy initiatives Quality protects – 5 year programme that aimed to improve life chances for children looked after by the state and children in need of support or protection – ended March 2004 Carers’ Strategy and laws that recognise the rights of carers of both disabled children and adults like the Carers and Disabled Children Act, 2000.

6 6 Children’s Bill This is currently going through Parliament and says: There should be a children’s commissioner for England and one in each council area This person will be in charge of all children’s services and should promote the rights and welfare of all children

7 7 Children Bill continued Education, Social Services and Health must work together and share information and all children will be on a shared database Extended schools will become the focus of health and social care Disabled children are not given much attention

8 8 The Children’s National Service Framework Will be out by Summer 2004 Had a special working group for disabled children Sets out standards for health care Identifies the importance of early intervention Families having a key worker for their disabled child Need to improve transition to adulthood

9 9 Some themes running through government policy Importance of inclusion and ‘mainstreaming’ Partnerships between services and parents and between the different agencies working with families Offering more choice about how people get the support they need, for example through direct payments.

10 10 Numbers of disabled children Approximately 360,000 children under 16 years About 110, 000 have severe impairments 80% of them reported to have a learning disability

11 11 What we know from regional research Typically 18% of children were thought to have ASD (10-23%) And 24% to have a severe learning disability

12 12 Other changes in the population of disabled children Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of children with profound impairments and autistic spectrum disorders. Services have yet to adequately meet the needs of many of these young people.

13 13 What do councils spend? Typically 14% of the overall children’s budget goes on disabled children but this is variable: ranging between 5% and 28% Councils also vary hugely in what they spend per capita (average of about 9000 euros)

14 14 Use of the independent sector All councils were commissioning services in the voluntary sector Average spend was £320K in 2001-02 (475K Euros) this has increased to 416K (617K euros) by 2003 They buy a wide range of family support services

15 15 What is happening on the ground? There are lots of children for whom it is difficult to find a good service locally and they get sent to specialist services, away from home

16 16 Rising costs Numbers out of area placements per authority have increased from an average of 10 to 16 per council in the South West The costs of these placements are going up: an average placement cost 113K Euros in 2002 & 126K Euros in 2003

17 17 More inclusive services The good news is that there is more inclusive use of play and leisure services for disabled children More ways that families can get a break from their child and vice versa without the child going into a residential home

18 18 More advocacy services There is a small but growing trend towards the development of advocacy services for young disabled people Also, the beginning of a more child centred approach to planning

19 19 Direct payments In 2001-02 only 3 councils were making direct payments to family carers 6/10 councils were doing so in 2003 1 council with direct payments to young people- same in 2003 Typical payments were low but rates had generally gone up considerably since last year.

20 20 The Main Points Government policy is towards inclusion, rights and choices More children in the population have profound impairments Services are slowly beginning to offer children and families different ways to get support

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