The council has confirmed it will be extending funding for organisations providing support and care for people in Croydon with autism and other special educational needs.
Money will now be available for a further year, during which time the current arrangements will be reshaped in partnership with the providers and services users.
In the longer term the council is seeking to develop a more inclusive set of options, where all children can access mainstream provision and parents and carers can use their personal budgets to secure the tailored support that is right for their individual child.
The council’s planned approach will address financial pressures and growing demand at the same time as continuing to deliver essential support.
“Having listened to those people who both use and deliver these services and having also reviewed the situation carefully we understand more time is needed to ensure new arrangements are put in place. We’re therefore happy to be able to confirm that, despite deep financial cuts from central government, our funding will be extended for a further year. This underlines the council’s commitment to protecting vulnerable members of society. I’d like to thank Cllr Rendle for being such a strong advocate for people with autism and their families.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
Councillor Andrew Rendle, Croydon’s autism champion, said “I’m pleased this decision has been made as it addresses the immediate concerns felt by parents, carers and staff about the proposed changes. At a time when more and more people have need of these services we now have crucial extra time to work with service users to find how we best support children and adults with autism. The council has recently established an all age disability service and I’m confident that this whole-life approach will help us develop the right solutions.”