To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the finding of Scope and the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s report, The gap widens, published September 2021, that there is a £573 million funding gap in disabled children’s social care, what steps he is taking to ensure that every family with a disabled child can access the care they need.
20 October 2021
The department believes it is right for local authorities, who know their areas’ needs best, to determine what services are required locally, including early help.
In line with this, respite care services for disabled children are provided on the basis of an individual assessment of each child and family’s needs.
This year councils have access to £51.3 billion to deliver their core services, including a £1.7 billion grant for social care. The government has also given over £6 billion in unringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including children’s services.
The department will continue to work with other government departments, including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to ensure the upcoming Spending Review reflects the needs of children’s services.
In addition to statutory services, the department is providing £27.3 million to the Family Fund in financial year 2021-22 to support over 60,000 families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses. Grants can be used for a range of purposes, including family breaks.