I write regarding your news item ‘70% of children cases lack representation’. Contact a Family has always been worried that government changes to legal aid will limit access to civil justice for some of the most vulnerable people in society. The findings of the recently published Children’s Commissioner report seems to back this concern up.
Many families with disabled children whom we speak to regularly are already at greater risk of living in poverty than families with non-disabled children. Many find themselves constantly battling the system, and for their rights as carers and the rights of their children to be upheld. Being left to navigate the legal system alone if you are a parent wanting to challenge institutions like your local authority or school will clearly end in denying many aid when they need it most.
Amanda Batten, CEO, Contact a Family, London EC1