1. Overview

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:

  • health
  • social care
  • education

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.

You may also be eligible for extra Child Tax Credit for each disabled child you’re responsible for or Disability Living Allowance for children.

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