The NDCS has issued a statement following an outcry on social media to the news that the charity will no longer offer tailored one-day and residential youth events for deaf children with additional complex needs.
A letter was sent out to parents last week, which stated that the charity’s youth events would now be targeted “at the many deaf children and young people who aren’t eligible for local authority social care.”
Deaf children with complex needs are eligible for social care services under the Children’s Act (1989) and the charity’s letter stated that those children would no longer be able to attend one day and residential youth events.
This news sparked a series of concerned responses online, with one parent posting on the NDCS Facebook page with this comment:
In line with other parents and families on here, the letter regarding withdrawal of services to children with needs additional to deafness arrived in my inbox. While appreciating the need for all services to reduce expenditures, the NDCS appears to have very unrealistic expectations of what local authorities actually provide for children with disabilities, whether with or without complex needs. As has been said already, this decision only serves to isolate further an already isolated and excluded group of children and families.
The charity has now responded saying that the change is due to new requirements from Ofsted. In a statement, Susan Daniels, Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society said:
“The introduction of regulations for residential holiday schemes for disabled children require NDCS and similar organisations to comply with Ofsted requirements (and equivalent regulatory bodies across the UK).
“Unfortunately, to ensure regulatory compliance, we have reluctantly concluded that we are unable to meet the support requirements of a small number of deaf children with additional complex needs at our residential events.We recognise the value of these events for families, and that this news will be distressing for affected parents.
“Other NDCS support for these children is unaffected, and we will continue to provide them with our range of services, including our network of expert family officers.
“NDCS is committed to supporting deaf children in the way which best meets the needs of that particular child, where we have the skills and expertise to do so.
“NDCS will consult with affected parents over the coming year to understand how we can best support those children who face little or no alternative or statutory provision. In the meantime any questions should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.“
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