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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2008): Services for the disabled - UK

Disability and impairment: working with children and families

P. Burke

London: J. Kingsley, 2008

The book explores the implications of disability theory and policy for social workers working with families of children with disabilities. It shows how social attitudes shape the world of the 'disabled family' either positively or negatively and the effects of stigma. It demonstrates the normality of disability - that children are children whatever their label - and the need for a sensitive professional understanding of the impact of both physical and learning disabilities on family members, in order to improve their quality of life. The book covers the whole spectrum of disability issues, and offers information and advice for professionals working with families and disability, explaining the value of family support, how to validate the feelings of siblings with disabled brothers and sisters, tackling social exclusion and understanding the role of lifelong professional help.

Disabled children and housing needs

A. Jarvis

Housing, Care and Support, vol.11, Aug. 2008, p. 9-12

The importance of suitable housing for families with disabled children is not recognised and therefore provision is inadequate. Additional disadvantages are experienced by black and minority ethnic families with disabled children.

Family-based short breaks (respite) for disabled children: results from the fourth national survey

H. Cramer and J. Carlin

British Journal of Social Work, vol.38, 2008, p. 1060-1075

Family-based short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children to spend time away from their primary carer. Short breaks also give families of disabled children a rest from caring. A postal survey of short break services showed that family-based short breaks are rapidly changing and diversifying. The number of schemes with contract carers has gone up, while the number of schemes with additional sitting and befriending services has gone down. The survey identified a number of key challenges facing short break services:

  1. reducing waiting lists
  2. the continued need to recruit new carers
  3. the impact of the National Minimum Standards
  4. the impact of other policies relating to children's services.

Quality is the core target

C. Lenehan

Community Care, Oct. 9th 2008, p. 20

In 2007 the government launched the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme to radically transform and improve services. The programme targets three areas for improvement in the next three years: access and empowerment; responsive services and timely support; and improving quality and capacity.

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