Then There Was Silence…

The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP), a campaigning body that I represent Urban Saints on, recently released the results of the latest in a series of surveys of families in the UK that have children and young people with additional needs. The results are stark, the impact of the last 18-months of the COVID-19 pandemic has been harrowing, and the ongoing effect of it continues seemingly with little end in sight. The findings below tell the story…

Excerpt of the summary findings of the DCP ‘Then there was silence’ report
Excerpt of the summary findings of the DCP ‘Then there was silence’ report

Families shared awful stories of services reduced or stopped, of them seeming to become invisible to the professionals and services that they had relied on pre-pandemic.

“My child is becoming invisible… There are more times now where we as a family are broken.”

“We stopped, and it was like someone pressing ‘delete’ and we’re gone.”

“Complete lack of human contact, when I’m caring for a child with complex needs who is severely life limited, to only have support via phone and Zoom meetings sometimes seemed inhuman.”

The plight of many families with disabled children hasn’t received the media attention that it so deserves and needs if change is to happen, but one newspaper did highlight some of the issues:

Extract from The Sun, Friday 10th September 2021

It is little wonder then, in the face of these challenges, that families found themselves exhausted and struggling to cope.

Excerpt from DCP ‘Then there was silence’ report

So what can be done? What can change this desperate situation and turn it around? The Disabled Children’s Partnership is campaigning to demand that the Government uses the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to invest in the services needed to restore the unmet needs of disabled children and their families. It must be a priority as the country seeks to find a way forward out of the current crisis to support those most at need.

DCP Campaign

We must do all we can to lobby those who can bring influence to this campaign, to make a difference for disabled children and young people, and their families. Let us keep on keeping on until this bleak picture becomes a better one for families across the country.


For a copy of the summary DCP findings, click here:

And for a copy of the full DCP report, click here:

For more information about the Disabled Children’s Partnership, click here:

All images and report extracts © The Disabled Children’s Partnership 2021

See also:

Coming Out Of Lockdown: The Child Mental Health Cost And What We Can Do About It

Left Behind – Children With Additional Needs As We Emerge From The COVID-19 Pandemic

The Longest Lockdown – A Report From The Disabled Children’s Partnership

Lost In Lockdown: Left Behind

4 thoughts on “Then There Was Silence…

  1. Thank you.
    Very timely for me as i have literally just sent an email to my son’s social worker.
    I had no support during lockdown. My son is an adult and attends day centres etc. Everything closed. His behaviour changed and he regressed. So now i am having to re teach him nearly everything.
    He is now back to some activities but i have had no respite for 1.5 years.
    I am mentally and physically worn out,re teaching my son on limited capacity whilst fighting social services for respite.
    I was told recently end of July that they would get me emergency respite as i shouted. It will not happen until October?!! Also it will be unfamiliar for him,new situations etc. In his behaviour change how is this good for him?!
    So upset by it all that we have to fight on less than half power or no power. But why should we fight? It also makes me feel less than valued for all i do for my son and it breaks my heart for my son who has seriously been let down.
    I take full responsibility for my son and his needs,not expecting for others to take that off me. What i am needing though is for people to listen,hear me when things become hard. Or put things in place so it doesn’t become hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story Elizabeth, I hear you and will keep fighting for families like ours. Your thoughts echo so much of what the DCP report found, I hope that things improve for you and your son, and for all families that have struggled so much for so long. Will keep doing all I can to make a difference!


  2. This Government has an enormous amount to be made accountable for: they have FAILED the entire country, but especially those who have any kind of “need” – people with disabilities, people who are ‘migrants’ (in other words, Refugees who fled from some where worse) , anyone who was already living in poverty, etc. They’ve proved themselves self-seeking and totally without either insight or compassion. Even children who have no additional needs have been let down – and those who have have been ignored disgracefully. At the same time, so have all those who work in all the helping, caring, and healing sectors. It is truly disgraceful – Covid could have been managed far better had tehey taken advice and prepared in advance (which they could, it was known we’d have a pandemic, it was predicted scientifically. I am so, so sad to read all the pieces you’re included here, and I know as our daughter works in children’s mental health the difficulties from that end as well. Excuse the rant…! My perception is that we are ruled by people who don’t care, and who are totally ignorant of the real life most people lead, and they keep themselves conveniently, deliberately, ignorant…


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