Challenging cuts to short break services - legal resource for parent carers
Short breaks are a fundamental support service to families with disabled children, helping them to lead ordinary lives.
However, after successive years of cuts to local authority budgets the 2015/16 financial year is likely to see significant cuts to children's services generally and short break services for disabled children in particular.
We have put together a legal resource for parent carers of disabled children with input from Alex Rook, partner at Irwin Mitchell solicitors, and Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. This resource will help you challenge cuts to short break services in your area.
What information does this resource contain?
This resource is intended to:
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Right from the start
Last week EDCM launched our new report calling on the next Government to consider the needs of families with disabled children right from the start. Send our report to your local candidates.
Online campaign guides
Check out our interactive guides to find out all you need to know to run an effective local campaign. Includes video case studies, step-by-step guides and other resources.
1. Promote awareness of the 'short breaks duty' and what short break provision families with disabled children should expect to be available in their area
2. Explain the legal framework around the provision of short break services highlighting opportunities for families with disabled children to challenge cuts to these services
3. Provide template letters to families with disabled children to help challenge decisions by local authorities that result in cuts to the provision of short break services
4. Signpost families to sources of legal support
Local authorities are consulting on their budgets for the year 2015/16 now and must finalise their budget in February 2015.
There is still (just) time to lobby Councillors, in particular the Lead Member for Children's Services, if they are proposing cuts to short break services. This guide and the template letters it contains can assist with this.
If you are not sure what is happening in your area but want to get involved, we recommend getting in touch with your local Parent Carer Forum.
Debbie, Peter, Vicky
Every Disabled Child Matters is the campaign fighting for rights and justice for every disabled child. Please sign up to support the campaign now, and ask everyone you know to do the same.
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