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Carers call for break time

21st November 2006

27072006_childreading1.jpgCarers are pushing for the right to have a break from looking after their disabled children.

There are around 100,000 families in England providing substantial care to disabled children, but as many as 80 per cent are struggling through lack of support.

Now campaigners for the Every Disabled Child Matters group, which represents four charities, are calling for support from MPs for a private member's bill.

The bill calls for the NHS and local authorities to review carers and determine what level of break they should get.

At the moment some councils provide breaks but it varies from area to area, with some cutting the amount of provision.

The campaigners are calling for local authorities to provide assessments of carers to see how much support they need.

Mencap, one of the charities represented, recommends a one night break per week for families of children with multiple learning and physical disabilities. But estimates it would cost around £150m extra each year to pay for the entitlement.

The bill has already received support from 50 MPs. It now has to be presented to Parliament by either a peer or MP.



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