Children & Families Act 2014 defines a Parent Carer as “a person aged 18 or over who provides or intends to provide care for a disabled child for whom the person has parental responsibility.”
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
A child or young person has Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty that means they need special educational support in order to learn at a similar rate to their peers. Disability is when a person has a physical or mental difficulty which has a significant and long-term (usually for more than 12 months) effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. This can include a long-term illness.
Children and young people who have Special Educational Needs (SEN) do not necessarily have a disability. Equally, some children and young people have a disability which does not affect their ability to learn. However, of course the two do overlap and many children have both Special Educational Needs and a Disability (SEND).
Recognizing yourself as a Parent Carer
If your child under 18 has a disability you may not recognize yourself as a ‘Parent Carer’ but it is important to do so to enable you to get the support you may need for yourself and your family.
Parenting is a difficult enough job, but if you are providing care and support over and above what might normally be expected for a child of a similar age, you may have additional practical, emotional and financial pressures and worries. This may in turn have an adverse impact on your own well-being, physical health, social connections and relationships.
Recognizing yourself as a Carer is the first step in accessing the support you need, and we can assure you there is lots of help and support out there!
Getting appropriate support
If your child has Special Educational Needs you can find more information and resources to support you with their additional learning needs from our SEN page.
If your child is now an adult (over 18) your needs as a Carer will be supported by Carers Support Merton Adult Services.