Artwork by Julia Giles

Disabled children need safe homes

Having a safe place to live is hugely important for everyone, but among our clients are many families with disabled children whose need for a safe and appropriate home is even more important.

Two of our clients are disabled children whose mothers have been fighting for years to find them a suitable home.

Last month our clients’ application for judicial review against the London Borough of Islington was unsuccessful. In a judgment which has very important implications for other disabled children the court found that the council had not acted unlawfully despite having identified urgent safety risks to our clients (children with autism) who remained in unsuitable and unsafe accommodation.

Our clients want to appeal against this decision not just for their own children but because of the importance of their case for others. In order to do this they are asking for donations to fund their application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Please go to here and consider donating to help fund this important case.

Families with disabled children often face huge challenges just making sure that their children have the basic facilities and support they need. Some families face an even harder struggle to find a place to live where their children can be safe.

In the current housing crisis it is easy to overlook the fact that there are some families who have an overwhelming need for suitable accommodation.

We all know that there is an acute shortage of affordable long term accommodation. Whatever the wider solutions are, most people would expect children with serious disabilities to be given the very highest priority for the sort of accommodation that they need.

This simply isn’t happening.

Thousands of disabled children across the country live in homes where they are denied basics like a bed of their own or a safe place to play. Worse, the lives of many children are at risk because they live in homes in high rise buildings, or where their mothers cannot get them into their homes without walking along unsafe walkways or using balconies which some children repeatedly try to climb over.  

In our work with disabled families and their children we regularly hear stories like those of N, a little girl with autism who tried to climb down the waste disposal chute in her 11th floor home, or H, who thinks he is Spiderman and tries to get onto the balcony which is just outside his bedroom window. Or there is A, who has learnt how to open the door to the first floor balcony with only a low brick wall between her and the playground below.  

The M & A families are taking action not just because of the importance to their own children but because the question of how we provide safe homes for disabled children is hugely important for other families and the communities they live in.

More information about their case and their attempt to raise funds for an appeal can be found here

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