A WOMAN unable to move her arms or legs says she has been left without "vital" care for her children after Barnet Council transferred payments to adult social services without warning.

Mother-of-two Sarah Ezekiel, from Park Road, Hendon, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in April 2000. After her husband walked out in 2003, she received care from both adult and children's social services because she was too disabled to look after her children herself.

The 43-year-old cannot use her arms and legs or talk without a computer, and relies on carers to wash, dress and eat.

However, in April this year, the council transferred all payments to adult social services and closed Ms Ezekiel's case with the children's department.

The council could not talk directly about Ms Ezekiel's case, but a spokesman confirmed it was not uncommon for officers to transfer funding to adult social care "in cases where the issue centres on an adult's illness".

The council stressed that no money was cut and that Ms Ezekiel - who lives off disability benefit, income support and children’s tax credits - could use her budget flexibly to provide whatever care she wished.

However, Ms Ezekiel says her son and daughter, aged nine and 12, have lost vital support because adult social services do not have the expertise and resources to cater for their needs.

She said: "The funding has remained the same but that is not the issue. The issue is one of support and care.

"Adult Services are wonderful, but they don’t have the knowledge that children’s services have. There is more to care than money.

"I’m terminally ill and severely disabled. There should be a support system in place for my children – there always has been."

Ms Ezekiel's son, Eric Stoch, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a chronic bowel disease, in May, and suffers from anger and depression. Both children are in therapy.

Without a children's carer, Ms Ezekiel believes their condition will deteriorate further.

"Children’s social services gave me a social worker to coordinate school meetings, therapy and summer schemes," she said.

"My children both have therapy and my son has very bad behavioural problems, and my social worker doesn’t have the knowledge or time.

"I feel that the children and I have been abandoned by children’s social services at a time of particular need. I cannot understand why they have closed our case and didn't give us an explanation.

"This is unacceptable and I’m concerned that they will do it to other children in need."

Joanna Walker, deputy headteacher of the Michael Sobell Sinai School in Brent, which Eric attends, strongly criticised the council for their lack of support for the children.

She said: "We are aware that it's not a funding issue but one of having a contact within Barnet who will champion the children's needs.

"Just having the funding to pay towards physical care for the children is all well and good, but there still needs to be an adult responsible for informing Ms Ezekiel about summer schemes, after school clubs and the extra support services that may be available within Barnet.

"Ms Ezekiel doesn't have the physical resources to find these out for herself and make any necessary applications.

"Barnet needs to take responsibility for this family in need. It is wrong that no warning was given and emotional support was withdrawn with no notice."