The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) – a coalition of 60 charities, including the National Autistic Society – has published economic research showing a £1.5 billion funding gap for services needed by disabled children. 

This funding gap and its consequences will be highlighted on BBC1’s Panorama programme at 8.30pm tonight. You can join in the discussion on Twitter by following @DCPcampaign, @autism and the hashtags #SecretLifeofUs and #BBCPanorama.

The funding gap is £1.5bn per year
There are over one million disabled children in the UK, 33% more than a decade ago. Yet fewer disabled children than ever before are currently getting support. The DCP’s research shows there is a funding gap in disabled children’s services which means tens of thousands are missing out on vital help that enables them to do things other children take for granted like eat, talk, leave the house, have fun and attend school.

Tonight’s Panorama will highlight the consequences of this – families at their wits end having to go to court to fight for vital support and dealing with a system with limited and dwindling resources. That’s why the DCP are urgently calling on the government to plug the £1.5 billion gap – just 0.2% of total government spending – to ensure disabled children and their families have a decent quality of life.

DCP’s research carried out by Development Economics, found that there is a £1.1 billion shortfall in funding for health services for disabled children and £433 million extra needed for social care.

Although none of the children featured in the episode are autistic, we know that many parents and carers of children on the autism spectrum face similar battles trying to get the right health and social care support. We frequently raise this issue in the media and with Government as the National Autistic Society and under the banner of the DCP. Just last week we published this blog about the importance of bringing down waiting times for autism assessments and improving health and care services for autistic people. 

You can read the DCP research paper here

Find out more about the DCP and sign up for updates at:

We have lots of autism-specific information about health and social care and run our own services too.