Monday, 22 October 2012

Keep us Close- Support families

Some days life feels like it might have dealt you a rough deal, and then you get home, and your child smiles at you, and in an instant you know it's going to be ok.

This weekend I got to spend quality time with my family. We decided on Friday evening that Mr J would take Squeaks with him to Nana Windows whilst he carries on decorating. I got to spend time with the boys, enjoying their company.

On Sunday morning we swapped, Squeaks and I made a Halloween tutu, and then we all went out for lunch.

There was little planning involved, and no need to think further than our own family unit in the choices we made.

Currently families of disabled children have to travel long distances to recieve important services such as schools and healthcare. This means that these families struggle to spend quality time together with long periods spent i the car driving to and from appointments. This places undue strain on the children, their parents and grandparents as well as the wider family.

There are more than half a million families in the UK with a disabled child.  

And for those parents it's a daily challenge to give them the support they need.  But the current lack of services near their home makes it much harder than it needs to be. More than six in ten parents can't get the services they need in their local area and are fighting tough long battles to find them elsewhere.

SCOPE is currently running a campaign about the Children and Families Bill that the English Government is currently putting through Parliament, as well as the Welsh SEN Bill. The Bills provides a unique chance to get good local services for disabled children, and provide the essential support that families need.

Not having access to suitable services near home is taking a massive toll on families with disabled children.  The vast majority of parents have told us they are suffering from anxiety and stress.  Half are missing out on important family time together that the rest of us just take for granted like celebrating birthdays, playing together or going swimming.  

The current situation is straining relationships between parents and relationships with their children.  Some parents are finding it difficult to hold down jobs and struggle financially because of the battles to get the right services for their children.

Daily life puts it's pressures on all families, sometimes it's about sharing the load.

SCOPE recognises that this is the time to ensure governments to include a "Provide Local Principle" in the Bills – to ensure that local authorities provide quality services for families with disabled children close to where they live.  

"Provide Local Principle" would:

a. Ensure services in a local area are inclusive and accessible; 
b. Put a duty on local agencies to introduce new inclusive and accessible services if they don't exist in a local area.

Please get involved
SCOPE would appreciate your support, the easiest thing you can do is consider emailing your MP or AM.
If you're a blogger, consider writing a post to spread the word.
If you use twitter, please raise awareness using the hashtag: #KeepUsClose

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