Contact a Family on the Queen's Speech debate
Friday 30th June 2017
Contact a Family CEO and Chair of the Disabled Children's Partnership, which represents more than 45 UK charities and launched its new campaign this week, has commented on the Queen's speech the Commons debate on social care.
Amanda Batten said:
"The lack of discussion or even consideration of the issues facing health and social services for disabled children, young people and their families in the Queen's Speech debate is sadly another example of how the issue continues to be side-lined even at the highest levels of government.
"With two year waiting lists, continual service closures and parents struggling every day to get the support they need, it is unsurprising that research reveals 90 per cent of parents of a disabled child have no faith in the ability of the care system to look after their child if they were suddenly unable to do so themselves.
"43 per cent of the public say they don't know a disabled person, so in this context we are really worried that the impact of cuts to services for disabled children are just going unnoticed
"Whilst we do welcome any form of government consultation on social care services, we find it disappointing that it is only by forming a coalition of more than forty leading disabled children's charities that the voices of disabled children and their families will be heard.
"We are pressing for urgent recognition of the problems disabled children and their families face and offer an opportunity to work with the government and others to address these problems."
About the Queen's speech
The Queen's Speech is the centrepiece of the State Opening of Parliament. Its purpose is to list the laws the government hopes to get approved by parliament over the coming year. Below is a summary of this year's speech.
Theresa May's signature policy on grammar schools went unreported, replaced by a commitment to ensure that "all schools are fairly funded." Contact a Family continues to be concerned that proposed changes to school funding, which will see some areas with largely reduced budgets, could mean that there is less money in the system for children with special educational needs (SEN).
A review of mental health legislation is planned with a commitment to ensure that it is prioritised within the NHS. This is a step in the right direction with regards to increasing the profile of mental health, and reflects the tone of a campaign launched by Contact a Family in November last year. More than 3,000 of you signed our letter to the health secretary calling for improved access to mental health support for disabled children and young people.
As the review is conducted we will need to make sure there is a focus on disabled children and young people in the growing debate about mental health support - to date, they have not been mentioned.
A topic that did not feature in the Queen's speech was Universal Credit. Contact a Family remains concerned about cuts to child disability payments under Universal Credit. More than 100,000 families with disabled children will be worse off. We are calling on the prime minister to reverse cuts to child disability payments under Universal Credit.
Join us by signing our petition today.