We knew that social care services for deaf children were bad… but a piece of research now published by the University of Manchester has confirmed just how serious the failings are. Some of its findings, just to pick a few, include:
* 60% of local authorities don’t regard deaf children as being “children in need”, even though the law clearly says any child with a disability is a child in need.
* Only a third of local authorities have designated teams that focus on the needs of deaf children. Other local authorities tend to have teams with no little or specialist expertise.
* 46% of local authorities had no specialist social workers for deaf children.
NDCS is calling on local safeguarding children’s boards to take a hard look at the research and do what they should have done years ago – review the local arrangements for making sure deaf children get the support they need. NDCS is also lobbying the Government to make sure this happens. There’s some more info on this, and the research itself, on NDCS’s website.
It’s pretty shocking reading, and it’s good to see that BBC news have covered the story. It’s also headline news on BBC breakfast news this morning and a young deaf person, Megan, appeared on the programme earlier to talk about her experiences. Hopefully, this will raise awareness of the issue.