Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Access to what, exactly?

News that a forthcoming report on services for disabled children will call for more key workers to help families access services is likely to provoke hollow laughter from many parents and children.
Labour MPs Tom Clarke and Joan Humble are drawing up the report at the request of Treasury minister Ed Balls. It will be sent to the Treasury in the autumn and will feed into the next comprehensive spending review.

Humble told Children Now that the report would highlight the need for key workers. She said that too many families with disabled children were struggling to get provision from a range of providers.
In the last fortnight alone, we have heard about one family whose respite care has been slashed because of local authority ‘budget restrictions’ and another whose request for 2 days’ respite a year for their autistic son has been turned down. We have heard about a child getting blisters from her outgrown wheelchair (no replacement chair in sight at the moment) and a mother who has done her back in while bathing her disabled 9-year-old: they don’t have a bath aid at the moment because of - guess what? Yup, budget restrictions.

People aren't just struggling to 'get provision from a range of providers'. Some are struggling to get provision at all. While having someone who can co-ordinate access to services is undoubtedly a good idea, ensuring services are available in the first place seems like an even better one.


At Wednesday, August 16, 2006 9:45:00 PM, Blogger Carlotta said...

Though your suggestion would mean that someone might actually have to do some hard work though, which is never a real vote grabber.


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