Services, grants and welfare benefits to claim for disabled children and young people including,
social services, the NHS and voluntary organisations and charities.
Your local council can provide help if you have a disabled child, including:
- short break services
- holiday play schemes
- care at home
- some aids and adaptations
- financial help, eg money towards travel costs for hospital visits
Your council has a duty to provide these services under the Children Act 1989. Some are free of charge - the council might ask you to contribute towards others.
If you think your child may qualify, contact the social services team at your local council.
A social worker will then talk to you about the needs of your family, including:
- social care
This is called a ‘needs assessment’ - the social worker will give you advice on what to do next.
You can also ask your council about local support groups for carers and families with disabled children.
Help with costs
If your child qualifies for services from your local council, you’ll also have the option of getting direct payments.
These are paid directly to you so you can arrange services you need. They’re an alternative to social care services provided by your local council.
Grants for Disabled Children
The Family Fund
The largest provider of grants to low-income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people. We help ease the additional pressures families face. We can help with essential items such as washing machines, fridges and clothing but can also consider grants for sensory toys, computers and much needed family breaks together.
Telephone 01904 621115*
Textphone 01904 658085
Fax 01904 652625
4 Alpha Court
Monks Cross Drive
York YO32 9WN
The local social services department provides a range of services which may include:
Social workers can visit your family to give advice on bringing up a disabled child. They will tell you about the services that can help, and put you in touch with the most appropriate voluntary organisations. These will offer the opportunity to discuss difficulties and exchange ideas with other parents in your position.
Nurseries, childminders or playgroups help disabled children achieve their full potential. There may also be mother and toddler groups and projects to support parents and children, or opportunity groups. Children who normally go to school can use these facilities in the holidays. If you can afford it, there may be a small charge.
Day care can be provided, if your child is disabled or considered to be in need, or if you yourself are disabled. This could be in a nursery, with a registered childminder or for a few hours in a playgroup
Tokens for free milk can be provided for children aged 5-16 who are so mentally and physically disabled they cannot attend any school. Contact: Family Credit Helpline, Government Buildings, Cop Lane, Penwortham, Preston PR1 0SA
Temporary accommodation or respite care with a private family in a residential home to allow the rest of the family to take a break or holiday
Home care as part of a package of services.
Loans of equipment and play materials either directly or through a toy or leisure library
Contact your local authority social services department.
Toy libraries lend carefully chosen, good quality toys to families, including those with children who have special needs. Some may also lend specially adapted toys and equipment. As well as encouraging children to benefit from play, toy libraries offer a supportive service to parents and carers.
The NHS provides a full range of services for disabled children, including therapy and specialist services and specialist aids and equipment. Health visitors have a particular role in helping families with new born babies and children under 5.
It is important to identify any disabilities at an early age. If you, as a parent, have concerns you should contact your GP, health visitor, therapist, school doctor, community paediatrician, child health clinic or child development centre.
Voluntary organisations and charities
Action for Sick ChildrenTheir mission is to ensure that healthcare in the UK meets the unique needs of all children and young people and their families.
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC)
Is the umbrella body for the disabled children’s sector in England, with links to the other UK nations.
CDC works to influence national policy that impacts upon disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEN) and their families. They aim to promote the active participation of disabled children and young people, making sure their voices and success stories are heard.
They do not give advice but have resources where people can find relevant information as well as organisations which are able to give advice and support.
The Children's Trust, Tadworth
Provides care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to children with multiple disabilities, complex health needs and acquired brain injury
Their services include the UK's largest paediatric brain injury rehabilitation centre, support in the community for children and young people with acquired brain injury (ABI), The School for Profound Education for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), short breaks, transitional, palliative and long-term nursing care.
The Brain Injury Hub
An on-line support centre for families of children affected by acquired brain injury. Offering a wealth of fully-referenced information about childhood acquired brain injury, this smartphone-ready website includes practical advice and the facts about a condition that’s often misunderstood. Created by the clinicians at The Children’s Trust, the country’s largest residential rehabilitation centre for children with acquired brain injury, the new resource also includes information and classroom strategies for education professionals. Alongside this information, an open on-line forum will give families the opportunity to share their stories and experiences.
The MOVE Partnership
The MOVE Partnership is a small, UK based charity working with Local Authorities, schools and organisations to improve the well being of children and adults who have physical disabilities and/or complex needs.
The Children's Societyis one of Britains most innovative childcare charities. It has over 75 programmes and children's centres throughout England, offering care, respite, legal support and mentoring schemes that help turn lives around. A christian charity committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including safeguarding children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions to improve child protection so that young people have a better chance in life.
Contact a Family brings together families of children
with disabilities or special needs who need mutual support from others
who share their experiences. The organisation can help with setting up
local self-help groups or national ones for rare syndromes and conditions.
The team of parent advisers is an excellent first point of contact for
parents and professionals. Helpline: 0808 808 3555
https://www.climb.org.uk is a Registered charity No.283541 and was formally known as the Research Trust for Metabolic diseases in children (RTMDC). It offers:Medical information to parents, professionals and others:
- Support for families through counselling and advice>
- Visit of families at the time of diagnosis, at bereavement or on request at any time>
- Financial support as and when necessary>
- Southern support co-ordinator>
Freephone: 0800 652 3181
The Crohn's in Childhood Research Association (CICRA)
raises funds for research into ulcerative colitis, Crohn's and related disease. It supports self-help groups and information.
SnowdropSnowdrop is a consultancy in child development which specialises in providing programmes of rehabilitation for children who suffer developmental difficulties. Those difficulties may be caused by brain injury or by sociocultural sources and might express themselves in many ways, such as cerebral palsy or autism, or more specific problems such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia or specific language impairment (SLI)
Whizz-KidzWhizz-Kidz is a national charity that provides customised mobility equipment to disabled children and young people to increase their independence and improve the quality of life for them and their families. Whizz-Kidz is also dedicated to providing help and advice to the children and their families and raising awareness of mobility-related issues through national campaigning.
(see Education section)