Disability: Children

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th July 2019.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to co-ordinate cross-government policy on disabled children.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance leads on policy for children and families within DWP. To fulfil this role, the DWP works with a range of other departments to ensure the policy we deliver for children and families is effective. This role does not extend to coordinating children and families’ policy across government.

On Tuesday 25 June, the Government launched a new cross-government approach on disability. This is guided by a vision where disabled people can participate fully in society and that recognises the contributions that disabled people make.

To drive forward this approach, government will establish a new cross-departmental disability team in the Cabinet Office, and the Office for Disability Issues will be incorporated into the team. This move recognises that disabled people face barriers across a wide range of aspects of their lives and across the whole of the life course, including throughout childhood, and that coordinated cross-government action is therefore vital.

The new Cabinet Office disability team will sit in the new Equalities Hub alongside the Government Equalities Office and the Race Disparity Unit. Together they will be better equipped to understand that people are often affected by multiple discriminations and disadvantages and to drive meaningful progress on equality.

The team will work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to take forward this new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy.

In addition, part of the role of the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work is to work across government to encourage the development of policies to tackle the barriers disabled people face to realising their full participation in society. Whilst disability policy is the responsibility of all Departments, by working together we can improve disabled peoples’ participation, for which we are jointly responsible.

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