All children and young people, including those who are disabled or who have impairments or additional needs, deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential and to be protected from harm so that they can flourish.
Research on the protection of children/young people who are disabled indicates that they are more at risk of abuse than children/young people who are not disabled. This can be for a variety of reasons including speech and language difficulties, learning difficulties or cognitive impairments, isolation or a lack of confidence to talk about difficult issues or other vulnerabilities.
Local Safeguarding Children Boards are aware that there are additional challenges facing children/young people who are disabled and their parents/carers in terms of keeping them safe from harm and abuse and the LSCB works with its range of partners to ensure that effective support is provided to them and to give support to ensure that the voices of children, young people and their families are heard and responded to.
Disabled children/young people are usually involved with a wide range of specialist services and can be more dependent on their parents and carers for their day to day personal; care, for help with accessing services to ensure that their and other needs are met and for ensuring that they are living in a safe environment. They may attend mainstream or specialist schools and colleges.
All children and young people have a right to express their wishes and feelings about their care, the support they receive and any worries they may have about this and staff from education, health, social care and other agencies should be actively opening up these lines of communication.
Parents, carers and wider families play a key role in protecting them from harm, developing their understanding of areas of potential abuse and helping them to prepare for life in the adult world.
Both local authorities offer a wide range of support services and set these out in their LOCAL OFFER
The LOCAL OFFER for families living in Poole can be accessed via this link:
The LOCAL OFFER for families living in Bournemouth can be accessed via this link: