To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to address the £434 million funding gap for disabled children's social care identified in the research published by the Disabled Children's Partnership; and what plans they have to establish a disabled children's fund to improve early intervention services such as short breaks for disabled children.
5 November 2019
All children should have access to the support they need to keep them safe, provide them with a stable and nurturing home, and overcome challenges to achieve their potential. We do not recognise the figures provided in the Disabled Children’s Partnership report, however, in the Spending Round 2019, the government confirmed an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care in 2020-21. This is in addition to the continuation of all existing social care grants.
Local authorities’ core spending power is expected to rise from £46.2 billion to £49.1 billion in 2020-21. This is an estimated 4.3% increase in real terms.
Local authorities have the flexibility to make decisions based around their local needs. The statutory guidance, 'Working Together to Safeguard Children', sets out how local authorities should provide effective, evidence-based services to protect and promote the welfare of children, including disabled children. The guidance was updated on 4 July 2018 and states that it is better to provide services addressing needs early, rather than reacting later. The statutory duty to provide short breaks, introduced in 2011, falls on local authorities. The guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children--2, and is attached.