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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2011): Services for the disabled - UK

Child disability and the dynamics of family poverty, hardship and financial strain: evidence from the UK

S. Shahtahmasebi and others

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 40, 2011, p. 653-673

Disabled children are significantly more likely to grow up in poverty than their non-disabled peers. This study used longitudinal data from Waves 3-7 (2001-2005) of the UK Families and Children study to explore the relationship between the presence of a disabled child in the family and transitions into poverty. When compared to other families, those supporting a disabled child are more likely to be exposed to persistent or recurrent poverty, less likely to escape from an episode of poverty, and more likely to descend into poverty. However, statistically controlling for the effects of salient family characteristics either attenuates, eliminates or reverses these associations. That is, when compared to other families with similar levels of personal and social resources, families supporting a disabled child are no more likely to escape from, or descend into poverty than other families. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that lower socio-economic position increases the prevalence of child disability, and that lower socio-economic position decreases the personal or social resources of parents, which may contribute to the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Losing out on both counts: disabled women and domestic violence

R.K. Thiara and others

Disability and Society, vol. 26, 2011, p. 757-771

There is little research in the UK that documents the experiences of women with physical and sensory impairments who are also affected by domestic violence. Some recent work has exposed the barriers to help-seeking faced by abused disabled women and the inadequacy of theorising and of political movements that continue to marginalise them. By drawing on the findings from the first national study in the UK to explore these issues, this article argues that, despite recent legislation requiring public bodies to provide equal services to disabled people, a lack of resources and training is widespread in both domestic violence and disability services. These largely continue to operate in 'silos' when responding to abused disabled women. This exacerbates the situation for abused disabled women who are likely to experience greater and prolonged abuse, thus losing out on both counts.

Hidden in plain sight: inquiry into disability-related harassment

Equality and Human Rights Commission

London: The Commission, 2011

This report presents the findings of an inquiry following the death of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francesca, in Leicestershire, in 2007. The inquiry found that public authorities were guilty of 'systemic failure' to protect people with disabilities from harassment. The inquiry also highlighted that many incidents go unreported because many victims feel that nothing will be done about them. The Government has said it will respond to the recommendations made by the inquiry.

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