The official investigation into May’s case is over. They claim May’s one-on-one support was never approved, but they will reassess her needs. I assume that they will approve it at that time. If they don’t resolve this swiftly and in our favor, I’ve already told them we will sue for the funds.
Like in every other situation regarding this, from when they cut her funding to writing the report, we, her parents, were not consulted at all. No reference to any of our conversations, nor the nursery’s, nor May’s team, were included in the final report.
I would call the report a selective truth at best. The manager assured me they kept very accurate records on every conversation, email or letter sent, but, in fact, that doesn’t make a bit of difference if they are not included in the report.
In May’s initial application, one-on-one support was not requested, which is the only truth they have a slippery hold of. Was it never approved or was it, as we believe, that they discussed May’s condition and approved it because according to their expert opinion May did need it. And, now that the coffers are bare, May’s funding has disappeared.
This was back in February. Being new to having a brain-damaged child, I assumed the experts knew what they were talking about when they said May required it. Thankfully, besides their emails and conversations regarding it, I also have this blog as an official record of their failings.
It gets worse though.
If you live in Lambeth, like we do, and have a child with complex needs like May and are not on the books to receive funding – get ready. Just over a week ago, an email went around to all the nurseries in the borough saying that no new children would be helped financially with equipment and one-on-one support. This includes all under-5s with serious physical and mental disabilities, learning disabilities and autism.
In the end, May should get her funding, but what of all the other children?
It is an especially emotive issue for me now. A year ago, I brought May home from the hospital. After the initial elation passed, I felt terrified. How was I meant to help my disabled daughter gain independence and enjoy her life?
I can’t imagine how terrified I would have been, if on top of everything else, I didn’t have external support. If I knew that if I returned to work – and incidentally, my landlord might have something to say about that – no nursery would take my daughter because they would not have the means to support her.
The new political climate is not going to benefit families like mine. In a recession, there is an easy excuse as to why the most vulnerable children in the country will receive nothing.
Families like mine are only a few people dotted here and there across the country. We are not large, charitable organizations – nor do we have the backing of huge political or corporate entities. We are the few and we are easy to brush aside.
But, without that support, children like May will not learn the skills that will save them from being an enormous financial burden to the country for the rest of their lives.
Lambeth will save a few pounds now. But, don’t be fooled. It will cost.
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