Parents in Birmingham have launched a campaign to protect a care home for disabled children from council cuts.
Around 30 parents gathered at a meeting at Charles House in West Heath, which is one of five residential homes for children in the city which could be affected by cash-saving plans.
Charles House cares for children range of disabilities including Down’s Syndrome, autism and behavioural problems.
Birmingham City Council must save £212 million this year, and last week announced cost-cutting proposals which could include reducing the number of children in care placements, while increasing numbers of foster parents and expanding work with the private sector instead.
The other under-threat homes are believed to be Camborne House, in Aston, Chamberlain Road, in Kings Heath, Fountain Road, in Edgbaston and Millmead Road, in Woodgate.
A council spokesman insisted “no final decisions had been made” and said it encouraged people to get involved with the consultation.
Among those who went to the parents’ meeting was Sarah Harris, from Selly Oak.
The mum-of-three said she and 11-year-old son Riley, who has severe autism and learning difficulties, relied on Charles House.
She said: “Riley comes for a four-day stay every seven weeks and that means so much to us as a family.
“Riley needs care 24/7 to keep him safe, and he doesn’t sleep at night, but I can get some rest knowing when he stays here that the staff will be there through the night with him.
“The staff are amazing, special people and it has been a privilege to have them in our lives that I can’t bear to think we wouldn’t have Charles House.”
Parents have set up a petition and scheduled another meeting for November 2, where they will inviting representatives from the council to speak alongside families.
Linda Walker, from Northfield, whose 16-year-old daughter Rachel spends two weeks in seven at Charles House, said: “I’m a widow and Rachel has autism, severe learning difficulties and frontal lobe epilepsy and she gets easily stressed so she feels safe here.
“Closing somewhere like this will have a ripple effect – not just on the children who come here, but their parents, siblings and all family relationships.”
Birmingham City Council has 20 children’s homes plus another six for children with disabilities.
Other services which could be affected by cuts include the Contact and Escort children’s service, which chaperones children during visits to parents when they cannot be left alone.
A city council spokesman said: “All areas of council business are currently under review as part of the authority’s effort to reduce expenditure in light of the financial deficit nationally.
“No final decisions have yet been taken on any proposals.”