21 Feb 2008

New Website Launched to Help Professionals Working With Disabled Children

21 February 2008

A ground-breaking new website has been developed by The Children's Society to help professionals working with disabled children and young people. The Disability Toolkit website, is designed as a one-stop information hub, providing essential resources, information and support that are needed by professionals supporting disabled children in decision-making and participation activities.

The Disability Toolkit website is to be officially launched on 21 February 2008 at the King’s Fund in London to an invited audience including those working in the frontline with disabled children and young people. Bob Reitemeier, the Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, is to open the event, and the audience will then receive an exclusive demonstration of the Disability Toolkit website, and be given free copies of a new range of learning guides for disabled children and young people also developed by The Children’s Society.

This new online resource has been developed by The Children’s Society’s Disability Advocacy Project, to help professionals improve their working practice with disabled children and young people, and to provide solutions to barriers they encounter when trying to help disabled children and young people express their opinions and feelings.

The website is fully interactive and encourages users to share their resources, practice and ideas using the upload facility. This distinctive feature ensures that content is constantly updated with the latest practice and resources.

The website includes:

  • An online database of resources, including toolkits, DVDs, training and computer software, which provide information to support disabled children and young people’s involvement and participation.
  • Case studies from disabled children and practice examples from frontline professionals on how to involve disabled children and young people.
  • Information on policy and research to help users keep up to date with the latest information and policy developments.

Chris Osborne, Disability Policy Adviser at The Children’s Society, comments: “It is vital that the feelings, wishes and opinions of disabled children and young people are heard by the professionals working with them. The Children’s Society works across England helping disabled children and young people to participate and make decisions. We therefore understand what a challenge this can be. This is why it is so essential that professionals have access to this new website, where they can easily find many fantastic resources and receive practical advice and support.”

The Disability Toolkit is jointly funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and The Children’s Society. The website was created following the All Decisions research, launched in February 2007, which highlighted the need among professionals for such a resource.

Hannah Mitchell, the Disability Toolkit Coordinator, comments: “We know how hard it is for busy professionals to keep up-to-date with new resources, practice examples, research and policy, especially when the information is scattered across a large number of websites and organisations. That is why The Children’s Society has brought together everything that is needed by professionals in an interactive, easy-to-use resource.”

The Disability Toolkit website is available online from 21 February at www.thegoodchildhood.com/disabilitytoolkit

Notes to Editors:

  • Spokespeople from The Children’s Society are available for interview on request: to arrange interviews and for any other media enquiries please contact Rachael Bruce, Media Officer, on 020 7841 4422/ 4427.
  • The launch of the Disability Toolkit website is to be held between 9.30am and 12.30am on 21 February 2008 at the King’s Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN. To reserve a place at the event, please RSVP to rdb@childsoc.org.uk.
  • The Children's Society is a national charity driven by the belief that every child deserves a good childhood. To that end it provides vital help and understanding for those children who face the greatest danger, discrimination or disadvantage; children who are unable to find the support they need anywhere else.