Article sponsored by NewzEngine.com
MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – New Report – ‘It shouldn’t be this hard’: children, poverty and disability 19 March 2015
- Important References:
- CPAG Report: It shouldn’t be this hard’: children, poverty and disability (pdf) Disabled children are more likely to live in poverty than other children, increasing the barriers they face to participation and inclusion in society, says Child Poverty Action Group.
- That the government collect and disseminate better quality, disaggregated, publicly available data on the number, location and socioeconomic and other (including cultural) status of disabled children, their educational and health outcomes, and indicators to assess whether their outcomes are improving over time.
- That the government acknowledge the role of Special Education Needs Coordinators in schools and accordingly fund a staffing entitlement directly through school budgets.
- That the funding and allocation of services for disabled children be reviewed in partnership with the disability sector to identify shortfalls and find ways to improve service delivery in ways that are child-focused.
- That the Office of Disability Issues or other appropriate body investigate ways to ensure that government agencies and staff recognise and take account of the ongoing needs of disabled children and their families when engaging with them.
- That eligibility criteria for the Supported Living Payment be revised for parents with disabled children, or that some other provision be made so that the needs of their children prevail over parents’ job-seeking and work preparation obligations unless parents request otherwise.
- That the Ministry of Social Development:
- Investigates why there has been a sharp reduction in the number of Child Disability Allowance (CDAs) granted;
- analyses census data to ascertain if there is a socioeconomic, geographical or ethnic variance in respect of the number and proportions of CDAs granted and declined;
- works with the sector to assess the role of Regional Health Advisors and determine whether they are overriding medical professionals’ advice;
- works with the sector to identify barriers to the granting of CDA where eligibility criteria appear to be met, and considers strategies to minimise these;
- undertakes a similar process with respect to the Disability Allowance.
- That an individualised funding model be further investigated to provide, where appropriate, tailored programmes and services, including housing, to disabled children and their families. One model that could be trialled is a key worker and advocate for families.
- That an independent fully-funded Commissioner and advocacy service for disabled persons, children and their parents be established that would work with the sector and help parents to deal with state and other agencies, and provide support and advice for families.