The ‘Raising Kids’ research is part of our partnership with McCain. The purpose of the research was to understand some of the differences in the challenges faced by families raising disabled and families raising non-disabled children.

In total, 2,000 families from across the UK participated in this research. This includes 1,000 families raising disabled children aged 4 to 11 years-old, and 1,000 families raising non-disabled children aged 4 to 11 years-old. 

The research was conducted during January 2022. The families raising disabled children were surveyed by Family Fund, and the families raising non-disabled children were surveyed by OnePoll.

Key findings:

  • Forty six per cent of parents without disabled children are not familiar with the challenges that wider families experience
  • Families raising disabled children spend, on average, an extra £66 per month on food for their household, and on average an extra £30 per month on household energy bills, compared to families without disabled children
  • Parents with disabled children agree mealtimes together are important (63 per cent). Half of these parents would like to eat more meals together as a family and half believe it helps with family communication, but it can be a challenge and take almost twice as long to get everyone together to eat.
  • More than a quarter of families with disabled children say they never feel able to entertain their friends for meals at their house and dining out can be challenging, compared to parents with non-disabled children, who dine out with their family twice as much
  • For families with siblings of disabled children, three in four families (74 per cent) say their non-disabled children get to spend less quality time with them and carers. Almost half of families (47 per cent) say their non-disabled children take on caring responsibilities for their siblings
  • Whilst 77 per cent of parents with disabled children believe it’s important to have holidays and breaks as a family, they are more than twice as likely to report feeling ‘overwhelmed’, ‘stressed’ and ‘emotional’ about getting away and, during a typical year, go on half the number of UK holidays as families without disabled children
  • When it comes to day trips, families with a disabled child go on three a year, while the average family goes on five
  • A large percentage of families, 80 per cent, say that having a disabled or seriously ill child has taught them a lot as an individual and four in five do all they can to ensure their youngster has the same opportunities as other kids


Read the results of the research here.