Hi everyone below is some useful information and links taken from the last Contact news letter as well as some additional information and links from the NNPCF.
Covid-19 has changed the way we all live, but for many families caring for a child with additional needs the impact has intensified the usual daily challenges – and added layers of new ones. We know that so many of you will have great advice to share with families like yours during this challenging time. At the same time you might also have a lot of concerns, questions and queries of your own.
The latest coronavirus updates for families with disabled children
You’ll find all the latest updated information, support and advice about Coronavirus and its impact on families with disabled children on our Covid-19 (coronavirus) webpages
Keeping connected during lockdown – join our new closed Facebook page especially for families with disabled children
We’ve created a brand new closed (private) Facebook Group for parent carers to ask questions, express any fears you might have and share your tips and experiences with other families at a time when we know many of you are facing extra-ordinary challenges. Just register to become member and you’ll be set to go.
Online food shopping for families with disabled children
Our helpline is getting lots of calls from you about the difficulty of getting online food deliveries. While shelves inside the supermarkets are now well stocked, it is proving difficult for families with disabled children, even those who are supposed to be shielding, to secure delivery slots. We’ve put together all the information and advice we have about this which we’ll update when we hear more.
Listen to our new podcast on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opened to applications by employers last week. Listen to our latest podcast from our Family Finances Adviser, Derek Sinclair, to find out more.
Tell the government: Don’t leave disabled people behind
Contact, as part of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), has launched a campaign calling on the Government to immediately extend the emergency increase of £20 to the benefits that millions of disabled people rely on, like Employment and Support Allowance. Sign our petition today to tell the Government to #IncreaseDisabilityBenefits
It’s not too late to take part in our fun 14 Day Challenge!
We’re half way through our 14 Day Family Challenge and we’d like to say thank you to all of you who have joined us so far by posting your videos and photos of you completing the challenges we’ve set. If you’d like to have a go at some of the family fun filled challenges we’ve set it’s still not too late to join us! Just check our Facebook page where you’ll find a daily challenge for you to complete with the kids.
Our Fledglings shop
For children with siblings, we have some fun sensory toys children can play with together! See our April highlights.
Have you got your digital copy of the Helpful Guide for Families with Disabled Children yet?
The Helpful Guide for Families with Disabled Children, our all-in-one book with all the information and help you need to enjoy family life, is now available in digital format. You can still order a hard copy to keep. Simply complete this form.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to our other email newsletters so you are kept up-to-date with all the latest disability news, updates about Contact’s work and activities, and opportunities for you to get involved in what we do.
And don’t forget, the Contact website provides advice and information about any concern you might have about raising a child with additional needs or a disability. We have: A Common Questions Tool to help you find what you’re looking for quickly and easily; a benefits calculator and grants finder; a Live Chat service so you can ask us about your rights to services and support; and an online shop full of practical products for your child and family.
If you can’t find what you need on our website you can call Contact’s free helpline on 0808 808 3555 between 9.30am-5pm Monday to Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coronavirus Act SEND Easements
May 1, 2020
The Department for Education and the Secretary of State have invoked the easements to the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 contained in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
This means that some aspects of the law for children and young people with SEND are modified for a period of time to give local authorities and health commissioners more flexibility during the Covid 19 crisis.
You can find the guidance issued here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus
The NNPCF have been working with the Department for Education and other stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the changes protect the key principles of the Children and Families Act. Most notably:
- Coproduction with individual families and with parent carer forums at a strategic level remains of paramount importance
- Any changes to provision must be explained to families and options discussed with families
- Clear records of the decision kept and why it was made with a clear requirement to reinstate the provision as soon as possible
Any dilution of the rights of families is a concern and we will continue to work with the Department for Education to review these easements and we will be seeking for them to be lifted as soon as possible.