The PIP Process Is Affecting Parent Carers Too

We’ve just spotted this post on Facebook. It was written by a parent carer who we’re keeping anonymous, so we are deliberately not linking back to the original post. This is how the PIP assessment process is affecting parent carers, as well as claimants. actually been feeling suicidal today(wishing me and my two autistic […]

via The PIP Process Is Affecting Parent Carers Too — Same Difference

UK has ‘stark inequalities in child health’, report says

Child health in the UK is falling behind that of many other European countries, a major report says.

It raises particular concerns over rates of obesity, mental health issues and mortality among the young.

The in-depth report, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, emphasised that poverty was at the root of many child health problems.

UK health ministers said money was being invested in services to help tackle health inequalities.

The report looked at 25 health indicators, including asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, as well as obesity, breastfeeding and mortality, to provide a snapshot of children’s health and wellbeing.

It said there had been huge improvements in child health in the UK in the past 100 years, but since the mid-1990s “there has been a slowing of progress”. This has left the UK falling behind other European nations in a number of league tables.

For example, in 2014 the UK had a higher infant mortality rate (of 3.9 per 1,000 live births) than nearly all comparable Western European countries.

Infant mortality ranges from 3.6 in Scotland to 3.9 in England and Wales, and 4.8 in Northern Ireland.

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Fears after government abolishes civil service’s child poverty unit

MPs and charities say political focus on reducing level of child poverty in UK has been lost as team is merged into Department for Work and Pensions

inisters have abolished the civil service’s once high-profile child poverty unit, prompting warnings from MPs and charities that political focus on the issue has been abandoned by Theresa May.

The admission came in answers to parliamentary questions, which revealed that the team set up under Tony Blair’s government has been subsumed into the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), after seeing its staffing halved in three years.

Dan Jarvis, the Labour MP whose questioning uncovered the closure, said the decision ran contrary to the May’s pledge to govern on the basis of social justice and equal life chances.

“When the prime minister stood on the steps of Downing Street, she promised to fight the burning injustice of being born poor and lead a government that worked for everyone,” he said. “Having a country that works for everyone requires a government prepared to both help those who fall behind and stop people being disadvantaged from the outset. Theresa May has no unit, no target and no intention of eliminating child poverty.”

There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2014-15, according to DWP figures quoted by the Child Poverty Action Group, amounting to 28% of all children in the UK.

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Experts warn austerity could create a ‘lost generation’ of children with unmet support needs : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.

Pupils with additional support needs are being left behind as funding cuts hit staff numbers. Stuart Jacob from Falkland House School. Scotland faces having a “lost generation” of children with additional support needs if funding cuts continue, experts have warned. The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition said more than a fifth of school pupils were recorded […]

via Experts warn austerity could create a ‘lost generation’ of children with unmet support needs : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.

Victory! Boy with half a heart has decision to take away benefits on his birthday overturned

A tribunal ruled the DWP decision was incorrect and now Ben Gamble’s family will receive their proper benefits again

A boy born with half a heart, who had benefits used to provide him with 24-hour care taken away on his birthday, has won a court appeal against the decision.

Eight-year-old Ben Gamble was born without a left ventricle meaning his heart only has one pump instead of two – making it difficult for blood to be pumped around his body.

The Whitley Primary School pupil has undergone five heart operations, has been resuscitated twice, and will need a transplant if he is to reach adulthood. Ben, who refers to his chest scars as his ‘zip’, also faces his next operation around Christmas time.

On Ben’s eighth birthday government officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took away a large part of his disability allowance after concluding that the fact he can walk 50 metres at a normal pace means his incurable condition is not as severe as previously assessed.

The callous nature of the benefits cut was compounded by the fact the letter arrived on Ben’s birthday and referred to him as “James”.

The decision to withdraw the disability allowance had a knock on effect on other support payments, including some from Coventry City Council, leaving the family facing a monthly income shortfall of more than £700.

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“The system makes us depressed”: The impacts of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ on children and their education

Research from the Manchester Institute of Education shows the dangerous conswquences for children in the households affected by the Bedroom Tax.

……..We conducted a small scale exploratory project, interviewing staff at 20 schools, housing associations and community organisations, and 14 parents impacted by the ‘bedroom tax’. In the interviews we asked about what people thought the impacts of the policy on children and their education were, if any.

Our analysis indicates that children are perceived to be impacted by the ‘bedroom tax’ in a number of ways. Some of these impacts relate to basic needs. For example having less food in the house and the heating being on less often.

One mum told us “I mean a loaf of bread isn’t going to keep me dry or keep me warm, or keep them warm or keep them dry. So you’ve got to pick that and that’s the hard bit”.

Parents we talked to also told us about the difficulties of children of significantly different ages (e.g. 6 and 15) sharing one bedroom, and the problems this raised for getting homework done. They also reported an increase in their own mental health problems, which they suggested impacted negatively on their children. Children were reported to worry about the possibility of moving.

Beyond the impacts which were seen within the house, participants also reflected on the impact of the policy on local communities and the feelings of particular groups of society being persecuted.

Representatives from schools also told us that hungry children were struggling to settle with their work, which may potentially means impacts for children beyond those in households directly impacted by the policy.

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Almost half of children living in poverty in some parts of the UK

Campaigners are calling on the UK Government to end a four-year freeze to working-age benefits and reverse cuts to Universal Credit

………. Child poverty is the highest in parts of London, Manchester and Birmingham. The local authorities with the highest proportion of children in poverty are Tower Hamlets (43.5%), Manchester (40%), Westminster (37.7%), Islington (37.7%), Newham (37.5%) and Birmingham (37%).

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