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Families of disabled people need more support

15 May 2007

Families of disabled people need more support say CCS

Today is UN International Day of the Family and the theme is People with Disabilities and their Families. With this and the passing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last month, the recognition of disabled people around the world is being highlighted say CCS.

The UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, quoted from the UN Convention, stating priority must be given to disabled children to stay connected with their families. If this is not possible, then they have a right to be with a family in the community.

"Most of the support received by disabled people is from family members. And in these days of bureaucracy, the best arrangement in any person’s life is still to be closely connected to people who genuinely love and care for them. For most of us, that's our family," said Viv Maidaborn, CCS CEO.

Families usually don't contact support systems until they are stressed and overburdened. Families require a lot more assistance from these support systems to stay more resilient and remain connected to their disabled family members, she said.

CCS acknowledges the moves Child, Youth and Family has made in the last year to work with communities and families to ensure disabled children live in a family.

Since 2005, CCS has led a collaborative effort with government, and community organisations, to support all families with disabled children earlier than they do currently. It also hopes to build on family strength, aspiration, and resilience.

However, two years after the Government signed off and acknowledged an early support framework, CCS and other disability organisations are still waiting for substantive change.

"We will be very disappointed if another budget goes by without action. Let's get in early for disabled kids," says Viv Maidaborn.

“We look forward to the Budget on May 17, to see if this government makes disabled people and their families a priority and living in a community a right they can look forward to.”

CCS Background Information

CCS works in partnership with disabled people, their families and whanau to ensure equality of opportunity, quality of life and an environment that enhances full community integration and participation.

CCS exists to make a difference for disabled people, their families and whanau by removing barriers to inclusion and by offering support to disabled people to access all ordinary opportunities in their communities. Our community is made up of disabled people and their families and whanau, who live in Aotearoa New Zealand. We include all people who face barriers to inclusion on the basis of disability and who want to access the disability support services we provide.

Reflecting the commitment in the New Zealand Disability Strategy – Making A World of Difference Whakanui Oranga [Minister for Disability Issues April 2001], a key expectation of CCS work is that the New Zealand community grows its capacity to ensure that disabled people have the same rights, choices, opportunities and safeguards as other citizens.

CCS operates with a National Office and regional management structure, providing services nationally from 16 incorporated societies. We deliver regular services to over 6,000 people with disabilities making us one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand. CCS works closely with other disability agencies to ensure we make best use of shared knowledge and resources, helping us to adopt best practice across the sector.


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