Government publishes "Improving LivesThe Work, Health & Disability Green Paper"
The long-awaited Green Paper on disability employment has been launched . The Government is seeking views on what it will take to transform employment prospects for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions via a consultation [closing date 17 February 2017]
It is being reported that the Government is to end all funding for the National Forum for People with Learning Disabilities and the National Valuing Families Forum from the end of March 2017. The forums have been a key route for Government to consult with people with disabilities and their families so the decision to end funding is a cause for concern.
The following is taken from the National Forums website:
Esmée Fairbairn has launched a new £10m fund for charities working with young people leaving care, with the grantmaker taking a more targeted and “evidence-based” approach to funding. The five-year programme, Young People Leaving Care, aims to invest £2m per year in projects that support young people leaving care to make the transition to adult hood. It was informed by Esmée’s collaboration with Social Finance’s Social Impact Incubator. Esmée said it expects most support to be made in the form of grants but will consider social investments as well.
We look forward to the publication later today of the Green Paper on disability, work and health. Most people who have a disability or health condition want to work. For many this is going to need flexible support from an employer and specialist assistance from support organisations. It needs reassurance and positive support, not a punitive approach. We know that there is to be a consultation on the future of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and a review of how fit notes are working. BASE welcomes this and will be responding to the Green Paper once we see the detail.
South Gloucestershire Council has a small amount of funding available to support employment and other social inclusion activities for people who have a learning disability. Bids for the £22,800 should be submitted before 30 November.
Cumbria County Council is looking to engage with providers to finalise procurement arrangements for independent Day Services and Supported Employment for Adults. The current Framework agreement for the provision of day services expires on 31st May 2017. Two supplier engagement sessions are planned: 9th November 2016 in Kendal and 10th November 2016 in Carlisle.
BASE supports the general point made within the ERSA/WPI report, More than words-Rethinking employment support to disabled people that more resources need to be invested in providing appropriate specialist support to disabled people. The Government has set an ambitious target to halve the disability employment gap and this will require a comprehensive approach to support both the recruitment and retention of all people who have a disability and who aspire to work.