Being a carer

Looking after a child with a disability

Of course all parents look after their children, but if you're a parent or guardian who looks after a child with disabilities, a long-term health condition or learning difficulties, there are ways to get support for you and your family.

In Sutton there is a register of children with disability called ICount. This gives children who meet the criteria access to a range of activities both nationally and locally.

Common Assessment Framework (CAFs) are used to access short breaks for disabled children with permanent and substantial disabilities.  These can be completed by a professional who knows your child well, such as a school SENCO, and can be used alongside a Request For Service to access breaks from the Disabled Children’s service.

The Disabled Children’s Service AccessPoint can help with more information either by telephone: 020 8770 4690 or by email:

Under the Children and Families Act 2014  the local authority has to make a local offer of services for young people with special needs and disabilities, information on how this is done in Sutton can be found on our Local Offer.

In most cases, you will not need to have a separate carer's assessment if you and your family have had a Children and Families assessment as your needs are considered as part of the assessment, however if you would like a carer's assessment then you can request this from AccessPoint.

Assessment under the Children Act
Should there be other causes of concern, such as safeguarding, child protection or a need for increased support then the Children with Disabilities team can offer a child and family assessment under the Children Act 1989.

Families can either request these themselves or a request can be made from a professional that may know the family. Referrals for an assessment and a carers assessment must be made by contacting the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.

The assessment should consider all the help that the disabled child needs, the needs of any other children in the family and the help that you may need to care for the disabled child.

The assessment will allow the Council to make decisions about the support they can provide for you and your family.

Other information and advice
There are also organisations in your area who will be able to provide independent advice and support for you, the child you are looking after and your family. These organisations will be able to:
  • explain how assessments work
  • check if you are entitled to any welfare benefits
  • give you information on employment rights
  • put you in contact with other local organisations who can provide you with ongoing support
  • support you in ensuring your rights as a carer are respected
Sutton Carers Centre

Sutton Volunteer Centre provides more information on getting help if you have a disabled child.

Carers UK provides advice on caring for your disabled child.

NHS Choices provides advice on caring for your disabled child.

Family Fund can also help some families with low income by the provision of grants.