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‘This is My Life’ report from Disabled Children’s Partnership

Four-fifths of disabled young people feel that their views are not taken into account by health and social care workers, reveals shocking new survey. 

‘Mum has to beg for things I need or want and it’s up to the team leaders at the local authority to decide [if I get them,’ says one the respondents to a new survey carried out by the Disabled Children’s Partnership. ‘I am never asked my opinion about anything.’ 

Cover of This is My Life report from Disabled Children's Partnership, showing a disabled young person with a carer

Image courtesy of DCP

‘I feel isolated, lonely and get jealous that my friends are having a “normal” teen experience,’ says another. ‘I feel invisible and cannot get the help or support to have the same opportunities.’ 

The Disabled Children’s Partnership is a coalition of 120 organisations that campaigns for improved health and social care provision for disabled children, young people and their families. It is supported by thousands of parent carers and allies – but now it’s giving voice to young disabled people themselves. 

Between December 2023 and January 2024, it conducted an online survey with 640 disabled young people aged between 11 and 25. The results show the harrowing state of services on which these young people and their families rely: 

Just one-fifth of respondents felt they had the right amount of support to achieve the things they want line. Again, just one-fifth felt their views were taken into account and opinions listened to by health and social care workers. Just one in 10 thought their parents received the right amount of support from social care. 

The report blames reductions in government spending and local authority budgets for the increasing strain seen in the social care system. 

Notably, the report is peppered with comments from the young people themselves, providing them with a voice to articulate their frustrations. Several young disabled people also featured on an episode of weekly news programme FYI to discuss the report and highlight their experiences.  

‘It is particularly heart breaking to see this spelled out so clearly from the perspective of young people themselves,’ concludes the DCP report. The organisation has published a manifesto setting out the steps that the next government – whichever party takes power – should make to improve services and the lives of these young people and their families. This includes making disabled children a political priority, clarifying and enforcing rights in law, and addressing shortfalls in funding. 

In related news:

How are the Lib Dems pledging to help social care?

RCN demands end to exploitation of social care workers 

Half a million parents are facing delayed child benefit support

Simon Guerrier
Writer and journalist for Social Care Today, Infotec and Air Quality News

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