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Improving life for children impacted by disability

Measures to improve life for children and families impacted by disability will be discussed by Swansea councillors next week.

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A review of the council's child disability services has been looking at how services meet people's needs and what changes could ensure the right future support is delivered at the right time and in the right place.

A range of options has emerged from discussions with parent representatives, staff, partner departments and other organisations.

These include giving better opportunities for play provision, home care and other support, as well as giving parents a stronger voice in decision-making.

If Swansea Council's Cabinet agrees next week, these options will go out to consultation so as many people as possible of all ages can have their say on which measures they feel best meet their needs.

Cllr Christine Richards, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Services for Children and Young People, said: "All too often services and resources get tied up in responding to families in crisis. This can result in higher, more costly, more disruptive levels of care.

"What this review confirms is a drive and expertise within the council and among its partners to prevent that happening in the first place and to give children and families impacted by disability a better quality of life. 

"Our options give us an opportunity to tackle shortages in preventative support, improve what's on offer overall and give young people the best possible journey through care."

Around six per cent of children and young people in Swansea have a disability or impairment that limits their day-to-day activities.  

They and their families are potentially vulnerable, have complex needs and are at higher risk of social isolation and economic disadvantage.  

The new options include developing a grant scheme to give money or vouchers to eligible families for use to help their disabled child access leisure activities or a community short break.

The aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of children by allowing them to enjoy their right to play, to socialise, to exercise and have fun.

The Council is also looking at ways parents and carers can get information, advice and support and can have a say on how services are developed.

Options are also being put forward to redesign the home support to help more families.

Further service improvement options which will benefit these children and their families will come out of other reviews and projects under discussion. 

The review into child disability is part of the Sustainable Swansea programme, which aims to modernise the council to provide the services residents of all ages need not just today, but in the future too.


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