Disabled to choose carers

18th February 2000 at 00:00
DISABLED teenagers will soon be able to choose their own care services, rather than having to accept those offered by councils.

A new Private Member's Bill, which looks set to become law, will mean 16- and 17-year-olds who receive care services from their local authority could instead be given money to buy those services for themselves.

A major aim of the Bill is to make life easier for those who want to leave home to go into further and higher education.

The Carers and Disabled Children Bill has Government backing and is before Parliament. It would also give the right to choose services to 16- and 17-year-olds who care for relatives, and to parents of disabled children. If any of these groups are unhappy with their authority's services, they will be able to buy them elsewhere.

There are 5.7 million carers in Britain - one household in six - and 1.7 million of them devote more than 20 hours to caring.

Under the Bill, councils will also be able to offer services directly to carers, instead of to the person in their care. That, for example, would allow a carer to be given proper training in how to lift a disabled person.

Local authorities would also be allowed to give vouchers to parents of disabled children to enable them to take a break from caring.

The Bill is second on the list of Private Members' Bills. This, and the lack of opposition, makes it almost certain to reach the statute book. It is expected to go before a Commons committee in March.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today