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School children - School children

Family Fund publish new report

'The end of lockdown? The last six months in the lives of families raising disabled children' was released in September.

This report, released in September 2020, highlights the particular challenges facing families raising disabled or seriously ill children following the first five months of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The aim of the report is to understand how the outbreak is affecting families raising disabled or seriously ill children in the UK and to understand their resulting concerns and needs. The report is based on research undertaken by Family Fund across three phases of online surveys, as well as in-depth interviews with a sample of families. In total, more than 7,000 families raising 9,000 disabled or seriously ill children have participated in the research.

Key findings include:

Half of families have lost income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and more than three quarters are experiencing increased household costs.

Two in five families have seen their savings reduce, leaving seven in 10 families with no money to fall back on and increasing levels of debt.

Just three in 10 disabled or seriously ill children attended their nursery, school or college prior to the summer break, although the vast majority continued to receive some form of support.

More than three in five families have seen the levels of formal and informal support decrease since the coronavirus outbreak, with many still going without vital forms of support.

The mental health and wellbeing of the majority of disabled or seriously ill children, as well as their siblings and parent carers, has been negatively impacted, and shows little sign of recovery.

Addressing these health and wellbeing needs, as well as their growing financial and support needs are the most pressing priorities put forward by families.

One respondent said: “We do not have enough income to live on. After bills, debt payments and groceries we have £20 a week to live on. Unsurprisingly, we fall further into debt every month - we cover the shortfall with credit cards. Neither me nor my husband work as we spend all our time caring for our severely disabled son who needs 24-hour care. We have both tried working part time but our severely disrupted and deprived sleep patterns due to our sons care needs make it unsustainable in the long term. It is hard to see a way out of our situation.”

Read the report here.

Source: Family Fund