Emma calls for a disabled children’s register to improve social care

January 24, 2014

130709 - Emma Lerwell Buck MP 01 smallLast week Emma called on Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb to require councils to register disabled children, during a debate on the Government’s Care Bill.

As a member of the Public Bill Committee considering the Bill, Emma has been closely looking at the Government’s proposals.  She said that the Government’s plans overlooked the needs of disabled children and those who care for them.

Although local authorities are already required to keep registers of disabled children, one in five do not have a register, while six out of ten authorities have registers which cover barely a tenth of disabled children in their area.

Emma argued that a register would not only make it easier for children and their families to access support, but would help local authorities to plan services and ease the transition from children’s to adult social care.

Emma said: The Bill, rightly, acknowledges the important role that registers play to ensure that disabled people have access and are guided to appropriate support. However, I believe that there currently is a loophole that makes it more difficult for disabled children and their families to access support, which undermines the Bill’s efforts to join up child and adult social care in a better way. I hope that the Minister will consider my arguments and look to include a requirement for a disabled children’s register in the Bill.

The Minister replied that as the duty already existed, there was no need to include it as part of the Bill, but acknowledged that many councils were not fulfilling their obligations.

Speaking after the debate, Emma said:

“I was pleased to be able to raise this issue in the Care Bill Committee. Registers are a very important tool for helping disabled children get the support they need, but too many councils simply aren’t living up to what is expected of them.  That is short-sighted, because registers help councils too be letting them plan their services better, and allow them to save money when children transition to adult social care.

“I am disappointed that, although the Minister recognised the problem, he did not accept that the Government can do more to promote this duty on councils.  I think there is a strong case to be made for including this duty in the Care Bill, and hope to be able to raise this issue again.”

Latest News