The parents of disabled children are fighting Birmingham council cuts that could mean the closure of a vital respite care service.
KIDS West Midlands charity says its short breaks service in Sutton Coldfield could be axed after learning Birmingham City Council was not going to renew funding from April.
KIDS provides four hours of care a week for under fives with special educational needs from its family centre in Wylde Green, giving parents a vital break.
More than 1,000 people have so far signed a petition challenging the city council’s decision. The charity argues it leave parents of disabled under-fives with no suitable local respite opportunities, which parents are legally entitled to.
Councillor Alex Yip, who represents Sutton New Hall ward, where the KIDS family centre is located, was today meeting with the city’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Schools, Councillor Carl Rice, to discuss the issue, along with staff and families from KIDS.
They will use the opportunity to demand answers about the council’s plans. Said Councillor Yip:
“For the past few years the centre has been under constant threat of closure but it seems this year the threat is increasingly real.”
“KIDS provides a special and unique service for disabled children aged 0-5 and is the only service of its kind in the whole of the city.
“Children with disabilities are the most vulnerable in our community and this service gives families a break from looking after their child and gives the child new opportunities and insights. We hope the council will reconsider their decision.”
Campaign event planned
A protest gathering is also taking place on Thursday February 1 at the KIDS family centre at 249 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green.
The petition supporting the Short Breaks service is available online at change.org
A request for information and a comment has been submitted this morning to Birmingham City Council.