In May, the Disabled Children's Partnership (DCP) reached out to over 4,000 families of disabled children to ask how they had been impacted by the lockdown. A report has now published with what they were told by the families which overwhelmingly shows that they felt locked out and abandoned by Government and by society, and are fearful for their own physical and mental health.
They told DCP that in 76% of cases, the vital care and support they relied on had stopped altogether, leaving parents and young siblings taking on all care responsibilities around the clock.
The top 3 concerns expressed are: the impact on children's behaviour and mental health; impact of children's friendships and managing home schooling; and what will happen if parents contract Covid-19.
Key headlines include:
86% of parents say that lockdown has had a negative impact on their disabled children's learning and communication.
44% say that because of lockdown they have not sought necessary medical health for their disabled children, and nearly half (45%) say their children's physical health has declined.
70% of parents whose children were eligible for a school place had not taken them up as a result of these concerns.
Half of families receiving crucial therapies have seen this stop.
One in five say they will go into debt as a result of the lockdown.
70% - 80% report worsening emotional and mental health for both their children and themselves.
Recommendations of the report include: the need of a plan for re-establishing and expanding care support such as short breaks; and for the Care review to include a focus on social care support for disabled children - to support the SEND Review and to address the wider changes needed.
Have you and your family been locked out and abandoned? You can share stories by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Full report here