A social model of disability is a way of viewing the world, developed by disabled people.

Our vision is that all families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people have the same choices, quality of life, opportunities and aspirations as other families.

Disabled children, young people and their families must overcome many barriers to enjoy and take part in everyday life. Removing these barriers creates equality and offers them more independence, choice and control.

Barriers can be things like not having services or equipment that a child or young person needs, not having support at school to achieve their full potential, or assuming they can't do certain clubs or activities.


Family Fund’s social model says that children and young people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their disability, condition or illness.

Family Fund's social model

Family Fund has identified seven areas where disabled children and young people face additional obstacles and need extra support in order to have the same choices and opportunities as everyone else.

How we use our Social Model

Where we can identify a child or young person has a high level of additional support needs in three or more of our seven areas of support, they will meet our child and young person eligibility criteria.