The BBC is reporting that disabled children in England with severe behavioural and complex mental health issues are being “separated and hidden” from society.
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) says these children should not be put into institutions at an early age. Such a move costs the taxpayer dear and gives youngsters low ambitions for improving their lives, the CDC says. However, the review, commissioned by the Department of Health, acknowledged ministers had not ignored this group.
It praised government initiatives brought in after the abuse of people with learning disabilities was uncovered at Winterbourne View private hospital near Bristol.
However, the CDC concluded there was no clear vision for the treatment of children with complex needs involving challenging behaviour, mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism. It said a lack of accountability across a fragmented care system was depriving these children of their right to an education and community and family life.
CDC director Dame Christine Lenehan said: “Their diagnosis at age two or before was the indicator to the challenges they would face, and yet they followed a path which institutionalised them during their teenage years and condemned them to a life hidden from society, away from their families, at huge financial cost to the taxpayer and with very poor outcomes.”
Dame Lenehan said it was often an “act of last resort” that saw this group of disabled children sent away from their home communities into long-term placements.
“Hidden and separated from the rest of society, these children become special cases, for whom the aspirations we have for other children and young people don’t apply,” she said.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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