Parents of children living with a disability have told us what a battle it feels to get even the most basic help or support. The system is difficult and overwhelming to navigate and it can be a lonely and isolating experience. People do not always feel treated with respect. The voices of children with a disability are not heard well enough. The pandemic has worsened this with many families being left with no support for months. There is no proper support into adulthood and families describe a ‘cliff edge’ of support as their child approaches 18.
Take seriously our responsibility to ensure children living with a special educational need or disability thrive
Always communicate with children and their families with compassion and respect
Meet with children and family carer groups at least four times a year to listen to their experiences and agree how to overcome problems and barriers they are facing
Conduct an independent review of short breaks for children and young people with disabilities and review the policy in genuine partnership with children & their families
Make grants available to organisations and businesses for “Changing Places” toilets in places that families want to visit, with the aim of at least 10 more ‘Changing Places’ toilets within the first year
Listen to the experiences of children and their families and improve accessibility to our coastline, the Broads and Norfolk Trails – not just physical access but also taking account of neurodiversity needs
Ensure that Education Health and Care Plans and annual reviews are completed on time and are of a high quality and genuinely involve children and their families. We will work in partnership with our voluntary sector colleagues to ensure that parents have access to advice and advocacy to support them through the process and understand their child’s rights.
Put a focus on Post-16 and Preparing for Adult Life services to avoid a cliff-edge into adult services and ensure young adults with disabilities have access to properly thought-out opportunities for further education, employment and independent living or ongoing care. We will secure ‘innovation’ funding to pilot specialist transition services from late teenage years in to early adulthood.
Ensure that parent carers are able to access the full range of support services available to unpaid carers
Quickly acknowledge when we get something wrong, apologise and work together to put things right