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New campaign challenges Welsh politicians to make disabled children matter, 25/09/07 [W]

Ministers urged to ringfence £21 million for disabled children in Wales

A new campaign aimed at getting rights and justice for every disabled child in Wales is launching at the National Assembly for Wales Senedd Building today (25th September). The campaign’s first target is to get Ministers to confirm that an additional £21 million coming to Wales as a result of the Westminster government’s Aiming High for Disabled Children review is allocated to disabled children.

Disabled Children Matter Wales (DCMW) is needed because initiatives such as the Children’s National Service Framework designed to benefit all children have had little impact on the lives of disabled children and their families. The campaign aims to make sure that families with disabled children have the right to the services and support they need to lead ordinary lives.

Keith Bowen, Manager of Disabled Children Matter Wales comments: ‘Disabled children have been left out for too long and families face a constant battle to get the support they need. This is confirmed in a new Welsh Assembly Government report on children’s services (see Notes to Editors), which reveals that services for disabled children are consistently the weakest area of service delivery across Wales. This has to change.’

‘That is why DCMW is pressing the Welsh Assembly Government to deliver on its promises to improve services for disabled children by securing the significant additional resources that are coming to Wales as part of this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review to improve services for disabled children and their families.’

Aiming High for Disabled Children resulted in additional funding of £340 million for disabled children’s services in England during the period 2008-11. As a consequence, under the devolution ‘Barnett formula’, the Welsh Assembly Government will receive an additional £21 million from HM Treasury during the same period. However, this money is unrestricted and Welsh Ministers have total freedom in how it is used. DCMW is urging Ministers to show that disabled children in Wales matter as much as in England by making a public commitment that this new money will be spent on disabled children in Wales.

DCMW is urging everyone who cares about disabled children to show their support by signing up to the campaign at http://www.dcmw.org.uk and find out about other ways to get involved.

 

For further information or to arrange interviews with campaign spokespeople and family case studies, please contact:

Keith Bowen, Manager, Contact a Family Wales

T: 01792 390203, M: 07788 533062, E: keith.bowen@cafamily.org.uk

Disabled Children Matter Wales (DCMW) is a campaign led by four organisations working with disabled children and their families in Wales: Learning Disability Wales, Children In Wales, Mencap Cymru and Contact a Family Wales.

DCMW wants disabled children and their families to have:

  • The right information at the right time
  • A real choice of quality education
  • The health services they need to lead an ordinary life
  • Full access to play and leisure activities
  • A real say in planning the services they receive
  • Full access to community facilities
  • Enough money to live on

DCMW is all about disabled children and young people coming together, with their families and friends to put pressure on the people who make the decisions in Wales. Through the campaign website: http://www.dcmw.org.uk, disabled young people and their parents will be able to sign up to the campaign and email their local AM and local lead councillor for children.

The Children’s National Service Framework (NSF), launched in 2005, sets out the quality of services that children, young people and their families have a right to expect and receive in Wales. The NSF 06/07 Self Assessment Audit Tool Report shows that Disabled Children and Young People are consistently the weakest area of service delivery across Wales. 

Further information can be found at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/home.cfm?OrgID=441

DCMW is working closely with Every Disabled Child Matter, a UK-wide campaign focusing on Whitehall and Westminster which worked on the Aiming High for Disabled Children review. For more information, see www.edcm.org.uk/aiminghigh