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Cost Of Living Crisis ‘Particularly Acute’ For SEND Children/Families

A new report from the Childhood Trust has found that, while the cost of living crisis is tough for us all and many are now struggling to make ends meet in the face of price hikes and stagnant wages, the situation is particularly acute for those families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The study indicated that, on average, a family with a disabled child now has to pay £581 more per month to enjoy the same standard of living as those families who have non-SEND children. 

Furthermore, children with SEND are more likely to come from low-income households, which often have additional care costs such as medical expenses, specialist equipment, specific diets and therapies to cover.

Key findings within the report included the fact that rising energy bills have SEND children with SEND left without adequate heating and electricity, with 58 per cent of children asked saying that their family is struggling to keep the heating on, while 25 per cent are unable to keep the electricity on.

And some 69 per cent of charities have reported seeing an increase in the numbers of SEND children lacking access to sufficient and high-quality food.

Of the charities surveyed, 87 per cent said that the cost of living crisis is also having a negative impact on the mental health of children with SEND, while 46 per cent of social workers say that access to support has now become more difficult because of longer waiting lists and more rigorous diagnostic criteria.

Furthermore, 75 per cent of social workers said they believe that the problems SEND children have to face are now increasing in severity because of the crisis, with 94 per cent describing the impact of this as either somewhat or very severe.

“As the cost of living continues to worsen, the failure of the government to adequately address these issues in good time will impose generational consequences and it is up to policymakers to safeguard the futures of children, especially those children with greater levels of need,” the report concluded.

Debt help

If you are finding it hard to make ends meet at the moment, remember that you’re not alone and there are many other families and households in the same situation. Also note that there is help and support available out there, particularly if you’re facing problems with debt as a result of the crisis.

It is advisable not to ignore the problem if you are experiencing financial trouble at the moment, as this will likely only make it worse. Make sure that you get in touch with your creditors if you are finding it hard to make repayments to see what help and support they may be able to offer you. 

If you are struggling with debt at the moment because of cost of living challenges, get in touch with us today so we can provide independent, tailored advice on debt solutions for you.



Money Helper has replaced the Money Advice Service and brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.