Young disabled lack the basic necessities

Families coping with disability also face poverty and isolation, Children's Commissioner warns

The Children's Commissioner for England has called on the Government to urgently review the adequacy of support provided to families with disabled children. Research published today shows that some struggling with low incomes are not able to properly heat their homes, while other disabled young people cannot provide enough food or clothing for themselves.

It found that some families in Britain cannot afford the basic necessities a disabled child is entitled to in order to live a dignified life. For many disabled children and their families, the impact of low incomes on this inability to meet basic needs was compounded by inadequate access to services, personal support and helpful information. "Although families with disabled children often have rights to welfare payments and practical support, the incomes of many do not cover the additional costs of raising and caring for a disabled child," the Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) said.

The OCC report examined various aspects of the lives of families with disabled children, including money, benefits and social support, family life and alternative care, education, health, mobility and work. A steering group of 11 disabled children and young people helped to lead the research. It highlights that despite examples of good practice from local authorities many still faced patchy provision and support. Both young people and parents raised concerns over benefits not covering their costs, while parents spoke of difficulty re-entering the job market due to a lack of suitable childcare. They also said they were worried about future changes to the benefits system.

Some children spoke of isolation and bullying in their education, while a number of young adults felt their independence was compromised by a lack of support for living on their own, lack of transport provision and inadequate activities provided by local authorities and health services. Parents also said that a lack of short-break provision, or respite care, put a strain on emotional well-being, while having a low income often put such services out of reach.

The OCC is calling on government departments to demonstrate greater awareness of disabled children's rights and to publish clear advice about services offered. Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England said: "[This report] paints a disturbing picture of the lives of many disabled children living in low-income families. Whilst most feel loved and supported, some cannot afford the basic necessities to live in dignity. This is simply not good enough and breaches their rights. Disabled young people are already some of the most vulnerable members of our society and being raised in poverty makes this even more acute. This is why we undertook this work and why we are seeking an urgent review of the adequacy of support provided for every disabled child in England."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine