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Child Centred Collaboration: Putting Children First

newlife team at kidz exhibitions

The needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness are at the heart of everything we do here at Newlife. Every child is unique, and as such we are proud to work with local health and social care professionals involved in a child’s care to ensure they access the support and equipment they are legally entitled to.

Carrick Brown, Senior Manager of Newlife’s Care Services explains: “A large amount of applications we receive from families is for essential equipment that the local health or social care services are legally obligated to provide.

“In many of these cases our Care Services team works closely with the families and health and social care professionals to ensure the assessments, support and equipment are actually provided through the statutory route.

“This is really important, because every time a charity funds a piece of equipment or provides support that is the legal responsibility of the local services, we’re masking the true level of need.

Over the last five years we’ve leveraged over £3 million funding from statutory services for equipment that they were legally obligated to provide. Thus enabling us to spend that money on providing more disabled children and their families with equipment they are otherwise unable to get.

Jordan is 18 months old and has an undiagnosed, neurodegenerative condition. Jordan lives with his foster family and needs 24 hour care and postural support.

His foster mum and occupational therapist applied to Newlife for a specialist car seat costing £530.00. His OT has been told by her manager that the local authority do not provide specialist car seats for disabled children and that it was the family’s responsibility to purchase this equipment. We used the Children Act (1989) to challenge the council over this decision and within 2 weeks full funding had been agreed and the car seat ordered. We hope this will clear the way for other families fostering children with disabilities.

Based on Newlife’s success (over 98% resulted in the local health or social care services funding a piece of equipment) the charity commissioned a Barrister’s report which provides legal clarity on the pathways and obligations for equipment provision. Carrick Brown, Senior Care Services Manager for Newlife will be providing an overview of what’s in the report at 10.30am in Hall 3 and the charity will be available on their stand V16 in the Village.

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