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Disabled Children in the UK: Characteristics and household circumstances

Janet Read, School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick
Co-author(s): Clare Blackburn, Professor Nick Spencer


In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the limitations of the quantitative data that is available on disabled children and their households in the UK (see for example, Gordon et al 2000; Blackburn et al 2007). There has also been widespread acknowledgement of the need to have up-to-date and robust data to aid planning and development of services and other arrangements to assist them. The ESRC-funded project Can We Count Them? Disabled Children and their Households, at the University of Warwick, England, evaluated currently-available data sources on disabled children and their households and undertook secondary analysis on two important sources: the Family Resources Survey (FRS) and the Families and Children's Study (FACS) (Read et al 2007). This paper presents key findings from the analysis of the FRS, currently regarded as the Government's key data source on disability. These include prevalence estimates, characteristics of the children, household hcomposition, housing circumstances, income, poverty, deprivation and debt. This evidence indicates that many disabled children remain some of the 'poorest of the poor' and that they and their families live in materially deprived circumstances which contribute to their continuing social exclusion.

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