The mother of a severely disabled child condemned Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday for breaking an election promise that may force her to putting her daughter into care.
Exhausted Riven and Mark Williams struggle to cope with the pressure of looking after their six-year-old daughter Celyn – Welsh for Holly – with just six hours ‘respite care’ assistance a week.
Holly, who suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and life threatening epilepsy, requires 24-hour-a-day care.
Cameron visited mother-of-four Riven in the run up to the election and vowed to get more help for parents struggling to cope with the pressure of bringing up disabled children.
But Riven yesterday claimed she had reached ”breaking point” and had little choice but to put Holly into care following the coalition Government’s ”pathetic” cuts.
The family get just six hours a week respite with a carer visiting their home for three hours on a Saturday and Sunday morningand social services refuse to increase her care allowance.
Riven, of Bristol, said: ”The care at the moment costs £15 per hour which is only £90 per week but they’re not going to increase it for us.
”If we have to have Celyn put into a residential home it will cost £2,000 – £3,000 per week – so it’s crazy that they won’t increase our allowance.”
Riven, who has three teenage children and suffers from multiple scoliosis herself, has to sleep in the same room as Celyn each night just in case the wheelchair-bound little girl has a seizure.
Devoted Riven said: ”For someone who needs care 24 hours a day, we find it pathetic – she’s up most of the night.
”I sleep with her every night but because of my MS a lot of the responsibility is shifted onto my husband who has a full-time job himself.
”Cameron said to me that if he became Prime Minister he wouldn’t do anything that would hurt disabled children
”Clearly he’s gone against his word and it’s affecting vulnerable families across the country.
”He says he understands more than most but not everyone is a millionaire politician who can afford two nannies. Cameron has an understanding first hand.
”He should make sure the most vulnerable people in society are protected from budget cuts as we didn’t cause the deficit.
”With the scrapping of the independent living fund, I’m beginning to feel that disabled people have been unfairly targeted.
”Just because the disabled are the easiest targets, it doesn’t mean you have to target all your guns at them.”
The Williams’ plight was highlighted following a desperate message on the popular parenting website Mumsnet.
After revealing social services had refused her help, thousands of users logged on to the site to pledge their support to the struggling mother.
Riven said: ”I’m overwhelmed by the reaction on Mumsnet, it’s great to have so much support from them. I had no idea it would go off like this.”
David Cameron visited Riven after she badgered the then leader of the opposition for failing to answer her question about restrictions on the numbers of nappies given to disabled children.
A Downing Street spokesman said: ”The Prime Minister has been made aware of her situation and is incredibly sorry to hear about this.
”It is down to her local authority to make sure she gets the support she needs but Mr Cameron is in the process of writing to her.
”He has asked to get all the details of her case and has spoken to her local MP to see what has happened to her since he last saw her.
”In the short term we are committed to improving respite care for carers of disabled children.
”We provide over £800million of funding for short breaks for carers of disabled children.”
**Unethical treatment of the disabled and their loving families is not simply archaic, but also unconstitutional! While society has become generally more accepting of integration of individuals with disability, legislation to protect very basic human rights has failed to keep pace!
I agree. I was annoyed when a spokesman carelessly dismissed it saying it was a ‘local’ issue. It certainly is not local its national. Why couldnt the spokesman or woman see that?
Please, I urge the writer of the article to take notice of “Samantha’s Law”, which stems from my daughter’s life. Samantha Martin born with a rare chromosome disorder which resulted in significant developmental delay. Where no legislation presently exists, the Courts may borrow from other locales which have established protocol.
Samantha’s Law is a Canadian child protection law. Velvet Martin’s persistence resulted in the establishment of “Samantha’s Law.” The Amendment to the Alberta Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, became effective retroactive to December 2006. Section 2-3, Manual Amendments: Policy and Procedures in Family Centred Supports and Services: “The Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program to have separate legislation from that of child protection services.”