Skip to navigation

Fact sheet

Whole family support

Many Community Care packages for adults fail to take account of the client’s needs as a parent. Some Community Care packages have an unwritten reliance on the caring role of a young person. If your adult client has children, ensure that you take into account their needs when assessing the family for services. Failure to do so could result in the young carer becoming a “child in need” or even a “child at risk” under the Children Act.

It is essential that services for children and services for adults work together to ensure that a whole-family approach is taken to supporting disabled parents and young carers. Working with your local Young Carers Project can be a way of meeting the needs of the whole family.

Many parents are afraid that if they seek help they will be seen as inadequate parents and will risk losing their children. Remember that parents with disabilities, illnesses and substance misuse problems show the same range of parenting skills as others. Often they do not need support with being a good parent, they need support that allows to exercise the parenting skills they already have. This might mean:

  • Ensuring that parents have adequate support, so that their children do not have to take on inappropriate caring roles
  • Tackling access and mobility issues that stop parents from participating fully in their children’s upbringing – are your services for parents accessible to all?
  • Tackling the isolation that affects many parents who have care needs. Many parents have numerous support systems including partners, family, friends, an income and professionals. But parents who have care needs often lose these sources of support just when they need them most.