Join us in calling on government to reinstate community support that disabled adults and their families need

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, disabled people and their families have been forgotten and left without sufficient support, information and communication about services available. The support that disabled adults and their families would usually access has stopped – with many services closing overnight without warning. Day services, one to one support in the community, specialist medical support in the home and short breaks/respite were all stopped, and many families are still without this vital support with no sign of it returning.

The government has failed to give clear guidance for how services can continue to operate and offer support to the families that need it most.

Throughout the pandemic, these families have been forgotten and there is no clear plan for how services can and will restart. Many services won’t be able to operate in the same way but families still need support and this must be delivered in new and creative ways.

Through our #ForgottenFamilies campaign, we’re calling on government to reinstate flexible community support that disabled people and their families need.

Our recent survey with over 1000 families and carers found that:

  • 62% of families and carers have taken on additional caring responsibilities during the pandemic
  • 75% of disabled adults cared for at home received no information about their support and care being reduced prior to it happening
  • A third (33%) of families and carers said there has been an increase in behaviour that challenges by their disabled family member or friend due to the reduction in support
  • A third (34%) of families have not had any care or support reinstated since lockdown has been lifted

Hearing from families

Jane’s family were impacted when their usual support for their 20 year old daughter, Faith was stopped without any notice.

“The hardest thing has been watching Faith regress during this period. She’s rocking back and forth a lot more and making loud noises, behaviour that was rare before the lockdown. As a parent and carer, you just get on with it, but I’ve really struggled at times, especially with the lack of information about when Faith's support will be reinstated.”

Our open letter

Over 1000 members of the public joined with us and the #ForgottenFamilies in signing our letter calling on government to reintroduce the support for disabled adults and their families. In November, Sense campaigner and family carer, Saeed virtually handed our letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, asking him to meet with us. 

What we’re calling for

We’re calling on government to recognise that community support has been withdrawn for many families during the Coronavirus pandemic and that local services can’t operate as they used to. We want to government to outline a clear way forward and take action to deliver the support and care that disabled people and their families need.

We want to see:

  • Government taking clear action and outlining next steps for how they will reintroduce community services and other support that families and carers need
  • Government providing specific and clear information and increased communication with disabled people and their families about any changes or reinstatement of services going forward
  • Government providing necessary funding, support and resources to LAs to flexibly deliver care and support for disabled people and their families

Read our detailed policy calls on adult social care