Caring for a disabled child Caring for a child who needs additional support can be tough, but you are not alone. Who is a carer and where to go for support? A carer is someone who looks after a family member or friend who needs extra support. This could be because of a disability or illness. You could either be a paid or unpaid carer, depending on your situation. There is lots of information and resources out there to help you and your child. Take a look at the resources below. Contact Contact are the support charity for families with disabled children. Contact help parents and carers to feel confident and informed on the challenges of raising a disabled child, by providing guidance and advice on topics such as benefits, education, health and social care services. As well as providing online advice and information, Contact run a free listening ear. The service offers one to one telephone appointments with a family support adviser for parent carers looking for a listening ear, reassurance and practical and emotional support. Carers Trust Carers Trust are the major charity that work for and support all carers in the UK. They provide services for anyone who cares for a family member of friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has a mental health condition. Online resources and advice is available on topics from how to get a respite break as a carer, how to care for someone with a specific condition and information on going through the carers assessment process. Financial support for carers If you are a carer for your child or someone else in your family, you may be entitled to additional benefits and payments, like Carer's Allowance or a premium on top of your Child Tax Credits. You can find out more about applying for Carer’s Allowance on the free Family Fund e-learning hub. Sign up to the e-learning hub to access our full course ‘Claiming Carer’s Allowance online’. Our Finances online support is a place where you can find lots of e-learning courses about managing your money online; including how to check the benefits you may be entitled to and how to apply for the additional benefits you can receive as a career. You can complete the courses at a time to suit you and we can offer step-by-step support along the way. You can also use the Government website to find up to date information on the support you can receive as a carer, including how to apply for carer’s allowance and where to get help for a disabled child. You can find your own Government website below. England Scotland Northern Ireland Wales Caring for a child who has a specific disability or has additional needs National Autistic Society The National Autistic Society are the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. They provide support, guidance and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights and services to help create a society that works for autistic people. RNIB (The Royal National Institute of Blind People) RNIB are the UK’s leading sight loss charity and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people. Their information, products and services support blind and partially sighted children and young people, their families and professionals all across the UK, including children and young people with additional disabilities and complex needs. The Sleep Charity The Sleep Charity provide advice and support to empower the nation to sleep better. They support families to get a better night’s sleep by offering workshops, clinics and written materials. Find information on children’s sleep services here. If you would like to talk to somebody about sleep, call the national sleep helpline on 03303 530 541. Sibs Sibs exists to support people who grow up with or have grown up with a disabled brother or sister. It is the only UK charity representing the needs of over half a million young siblings and over one and a half million adult siblings. Sibs provides information, support and training for adult siblings, young siblings, parents and professionals. Mencap Mencap work to improve the lives of people with learning disability and support the family members who care for an individual with a learning disability. They have online resources available from benefits and getting support with everyday living, to mental wellbeing and special educational needs. Mencap run services that can help support you from home or around your local area. You can call the Mencap learning disability helpline to get advice and information about learning disability and get help to find the right support and services in your area. Scope Scope are the disability equality charity, who campaign for a fairer society and support for those who are disabled. Scope provide practical information and emotional support on disability. Advice and information resources are available online, including guides on the benefits you may be entitled to, accessing the right health and medical care and how to navigate children’s services.