The first children in the UK to receive a Child Trust Fund will be 18 on the 1st September 2020. Coupled with the impact Covid-19 is having on the Court of Protection this is set to cause a ‘perfect storm’ of issues for thousands of young adults with disabilities.
The UK Government introduced the Child Trust Fund in 2005 with the aim of ensuring every child has savings at the age of 18. However, the planning was not properly thought through for children who are disabled and vulnerable, not least because these children may not have the mental capacity to be able to access and manage this money at the age of 18.
If they do not have the mental capacity, then their families/carers will need to apply to the Court of Protection to act as the child’s deputy. This process can cost in excess of £365, a sum which may exceed the amount held in the Child Trust Fund in the first place.
It can also be a lengthy and time consuming process, putting unnecessary pressure and hurdles on families who already live with many challenges.
Sign the Petition
To help raise awareness of this issue at a Government level, please sign the petition using the link on the right or by clicking here.
The survey, conducted by Renaissance Legal, shows 87% of families believe that their disabled child won’t be able to access money held within their Child Trust Fund once they reach the age of 18. This means that families with disabled children, who are already dealing with complex and challenging lives, will need to spend their own money to access the fund.
The results of the survey, where the majority of parents were concerned or unclear about their child’s ability to access the money, is a clear indication that thousands more disabled children in the UK may be disadvantaged.
Additionally, 90% didn’t know how to access the money on behalf of their child in the event that they do not have the mental capacity to do so themselves.
One respondent commented:
If I had known when she was a baby that my daughter had autism and a severe learning disability, I would never have paid more money into the account. We have a lot of worry and stress to contend with and the possibility of having to apply for court of protection is an added complication. I am angry that we will have to spend a lot of money to ensure that our daughter’s money is safe for her.
Keeping up to date
You can keep up to date with the progress of this campaign using the form on the right-hand side of this page, simply add your name, e-mail and submit your details and we’ll keep you up to date with any news relating to the #ChildTrustFundAccess campaign. You can also keep up to date using the hashtag on Twitter #ChildTrustFundAccess and via our blog. If you have any thoughts you would like to share concerning this campaign please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org