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Disabled children in the U.K. are more likely to grow up in economically disadvantaged families. “Households with disabled children have caring responsibilities that makes them far less able to seek employment and far less able to have any career progression for those who are able to also to take up job,” researcher Clare Blackburn says. (Credit: iStockphoto)

U. WARWICK (UK)—Families of disabled children in the U.K. are more likely to live with low incomes, debt, and poor housing.

Clare Blackburn from the University of Warwick studied data from the 2004-05 national Family Resources Survey (FRS) and found that disabled children in the U.K. continue to experience income inequality and both material and social disadvantages. Details of the study appear in the journal BMC Pediatrics.

“The FRS has data on 16,012 children aged 0-18 years. We found that 7.3 percent of these were reported as being disabled, almost two percentage points (250,000 children) more than published estimates for 2003-04. The highest prevalence of childhood disability was found among those with the poorest income.”

“Households with disabled children have caring responsibilities that makes them far less able to seek employment and far less able to have any career progression for those who are able to also to take up job,” Blackburn says.

“With this reduced ability to earn an income comes the significant additional financial costs associated with caring for a disabled child. Given the relationship between positive health, social, and education outcomes and poverty and material deprivation, improving the circumstances of disabled children is likely to be crucial.”

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