In the first quarter of 2022, more than 1,250 people stood up for disabled children in their local area, and asked their local council’s to #CountDisabledChildrenIn. We can’t thank everyone that took part enough.
What was the #CountDisabledChildrenIn campaign?
In Spring 2022, local councils in England had to decide their budgets for 2022-23, including how much to spend on disabled children’s social care services.
As featured in The Sun, the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s (DCP) #CountDisabledChildrenIn campaign called on councillors in England to include disabled children in their plans. The campaign asked councillors to invest in the social care services that disabled children and families have a right to in order to live a good quality of life, and right years of injustice.
Parent carer forums, local charities, campaigners, and others already advocate for the rights of disabled children and their families in local areas. #CountDisabledChildrenIn aimed to add to these voices by equipping individual campaigners and local groups with additional national research and tools to do their own campaigning locally, and ultimately help amplify the voices of families with disabled children as council’s plan their budgets
#CountDisabledChildrenIn was developed with parent carers, and formed part of our wider #GiveItBack campaign highlighting the underfunding of disabled children’s services.
How did the campaign go?
Over a thousand people took action across England to email their local councils. In total:
- 1,251 sent emails to their local authorities
- We reached almost every local authority in the country
- Campaigners also emailed their ward councillors
- Many councils replied with detailed, constructive responses to campaigners – often acknowledging the fact that families deserve better support
Until local councils publish their budget data, it will be hard for us to know what impact the campaign has had. When this happens, we’ll update this page with more information.
However, everyone that took action for the campaign should be proud to have raised the profile of disabled children and families across the country, and local government. Our chair, Amanda Batten, has written a blog thanking everyone who took part.
Public support for disabled children and families
As part of the #CountDisabledChildrenIn campaign, in December 2021 the DCP commissioned Opinium to poll the public about their views on disabled children’s services. The results were featured in The Sun, alongside an interview with the mother of Sammy Alban-Stanley, tragically showing why disabled children and families urgently need more support.
The results clearly show the public think disabled children and families deserve better support, and that they currently are not getting it.
From a poll of 2,000 adults in the UK:
- Only 18% thought that disabled children and families got the right support from councils and the NHS.
- 73% said that the delays disabled children and families have experienced to health and care services in the pandemic were unacceptable.
- 64% thought local councils and health services had a responsibility to provide respite and breaks from caring to families. However, DCP data (as highlighted above) has shown many families with disabled children are not getting these breaks – meaning councils and health services are failing to meet these legal responsibilities. For more information on the legal requirements around short breaks, see this information from the charity Contact.
To support the campaign, we released localised of what are the key problems in disabled children’s services for each area in England. You can download a copy of this information here.
The Disabled Children’s Partnership will continue fighting for a fairer system of support for every family with a disabled child. We campaign alongside thousands of campaigners, including parent carers, disabled young people and allies. There is still much work to be done.