it makes you want to shake politicians and tell them that the real heroes in this country are the parents who have daily struggles to get their children up, fed, clothed, accepted at school, resourced, included in their community (all of it) and then do all the other things expected of them – work, home, family, be a daughter, sister, wife [and] mother to all their children”. [Caregiver, CPAG, page 4]

Any parent of a child with a disability knows first hand about the rewards, challenges, and costs associated with supporting a child with extra needs. The journey is hard enough for well supported, middle-income families but what if your income is insufficient to cover basic expenses let alone cover the extra needs of children with a disability? A new report from the Child Poverty Action Group It shouldn’t be this hard : children, poverty and disability  sheds light on the impact of poverty on children with disabilities living in low income households.

The report finds the payment of the Child Disability Allowances fell from 11,000 in 2008 to 6,500 by 2013, despite an increase in the number of children with disabilities (up from 92,000 in 2001 to 95,000 in 2013). This is an insightful report that makes recommendations to improve services for children with disabilities, including a review of support payments for parents to ensure the needs of their disabled children are prioritised over the parents’ job-seeking and work preparation.