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Supporting the Families of Young Disabled Children, 02/02/09

A new programme improving the support provided to the families of young children with disabilities is to be implemented across Wales.

The Early Support Programme was developed in England to improve the quality, consistency and coordination of services for disabled children under the age of five and their families. It was designed to ensure that all services provided for these families are well co-ordinated and responsive to their needs. 

The Welsh Assembly Government has now agreed to implement Early Support across all 22 local authorities in Wales. This will mean that Welsh local authorities and health authorities will adopt a package of Early Support materials and training to enable them provide the right support for families.

The Children’s umbrella organisation, Children in Wales is leading the partnership to develop the Early Support information and training for Wales. 

Lynne Hill, Policy Director at Children in Wales said: “I am delighted that we have been awarded this contract, which will enable us, with our partners to develop the Early Support programme in Wales. We are confident that young disabled children and their families, and the practitioners that support them will see real benefits from the programme.”

1.      Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. www.childreninwales.org.uk . Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities, and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.

2.      Children in Wales is organising s a series of Information Days to raise awareness of the Early Support Programme.  These will take place in Llandrindod Wells on 23 March 2009 and in South West Wales, and Wrexham on the 10 and 12 June 2009 respectively.   A national launch will take place in September 2009.

For further information regarding this press release contact Lynne Hill : Children in Wales, 25 Windsor Place, Cardiff, Tel: 029 2034 2434, E-mail: Lynne.Hill@childreninwales.org.uk