Parents rate local authority Disabilities service at 59%

When I was at school, a score of 59% definitely meant 'could do better', if not 'should do better'. But that's the score received by 10 local authorities in England for their disability services.

The survey, completed by the British Market Research Bureau on behalf of the government was intended to measure parental experience of services for disabled children. The survey and indicator have been developed as part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme.

It is the first ever national survey of parents’ views of services for disabled children. Parents completed a questionnaire asking for their views of health, social care and education services for their disabled child as experienced in the past year.

Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of Contact a Family said, “The views of parents should drive local authorities and primary care trusts to ensure that the right services are available to meet the needs of disabled children and their families. This new data is vital in emphasising the key part that parents and families have to play in improving services for disabled children. We know that these services work best when parents are involved in their design and delivery, and I hope that local areas will be able to use the results to continue the good work that many of them are already doing to engage with parents and develop services together.”

The fact that they are measuring this to determine a baseline for future improvements is great, but 59%? Just over half? That's a lot of people who are dissatisfied with the care and education their disabled children are receiving.  It is clear that this kind of rating of services is long overdue and that many local authorities need to try harder to provide a satisfactory service to vulnerable children who need the greatest help.

Tania Tirraoro

One comment

  1. “I hope that local areas will be able to use the results to continue the good work that many of them are already doing to engage with parents and develop services together.”

    What a political response. I interpret this statement to mean that parents need to keep pushing their local areas to do better?

    It is a good start, however, to have such a survey. My family was in San Francisco when our son was dx’d with autism. The preschool services were pretty good, but we were faced with a dismal school system after that. We were extremely fortunate that my husband’s CEO gave us the opportunity to move anywhere that we needed to move to get better services.

    Then came the problem of finding somewhere to move. No where is there a comprehensive list, even by state, of services, funding, school achievements, or satisfaction with special needs programs. We were fortunate that we wanted to move back home, to an area known for excellent autism programs. If we hadn’t focused on this area, though, I don’t know if we’d have been able to do the research to find out that this area would be excellent for us.

    If we had surveys such as the one done in England, perhaps parents would be able to form more powerful lobbies.

    If parents have information about specific areas that they love or hate for services, I’d appreciate if you could share that information on our special needs talk forum:

    I hope that the survey in England is a good start toward improving services.

We LOVE to hear what you think... please take a minute to add your views here, so your comment is seen by all!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.