Neglect fear over disabled children

 

Some disabled children are at risk of not being properly protected from neglect and abuse, inspectors warned today.

An Ofsted report has found that some youngsters with disabilities have needs that are not being met.

It suggests that social services, schools and health professionals must do more to ensure that these children do not slip through the net.

Disabled children are more dependent on their parents and carers than other youngsters for daily help, the report says.

This includes help to access health services and to make sure they are living in a safe environment.

While most disabled youngsters are living with parents and carers who look after them, in some cases inspectors found that children were so poorly cared for that it amounted to neglect.

For example, children were missing appointments or school, were not living in decent conditions or eating properly, the report says.

In some cases this was because the parent did not know what support they needed to get to help their child.

The study cites one case in which a child with sight and hearing impairments was facing problems because their parents were reluctant to help them use hearing aids and glasses. There were also concerns that the child was not eating properly and missing health appointments.

A teacher put together an action plan with help from other school staff, a health visitor and social worker to tackle the concerns and to work with the parents.

As a result the child started attending a pre-school regularly, using hearing aids and glasses and making good progress.

Ofsted says that local services need to do more monitor whether disabled children are getting the help they need, and make sure they are not slipping through the gap.

Those that are not getting the right support should be the subject of child protection plans.

The watchdog said that in one case, a parent said that having their child on a child protection plan, following concerns about neglect, helped her see the seriousness of the situation. A social worker helped her organise appointments, and how to rearrange them.

The mother said that one of the problems had been that she had not asked for help, and that she needed to accept this support.

The report, which is based on a survey of 12 local councils, did say that when a child did become subject to a child protection plan, action was taken to improve parenting and reduce risks to the youngster.

Ofsted deputy chief inspector, John Goldup said: "Research suggests that disabled children, sadly, are more likely to be abused than children without disabilities. Yet they are less likely than other children to be subject to child protection.

"This report examines in depth, through the experiences of individual children, some of the reasons for that discrepancy.

"Inspectors saw some fantastic examples of good early multi-agency support for children and their families. But in some cases the focus on support for parents and their children seemed to obscure the child's need for protection.

"The report highlights the need for greater awareness among all agencies of the potential child protection needs of disabled children, for better and more coordinated assessments, and for more effective monitoring by local safeguarding children's boards.

"We cannot accept a lower standard of care and protection for disabled children than we expect for all our children."

Councillor David Simmonds, chairman of the Local Government Association's children and young people board, said: "The report highlights some of the excellent work taking place to support disabled children and their families early on. It is also encouraging that the study found that when child protection concerns did arise they were investigated promptly and steps were taken to ensure the child was safe.

"Of course, no child should remain in an unsafe environment. However, in cases where the situation is not clear cut social workers face incredibly tough decisions. Clearly there is more work to be done to make sure there is common understanding and effective communication between local partners so that all children are kept safe from harm."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Call Handler

£14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a Sales Ca...

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

£14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique pers...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor