Are you a parent carer?

A child with a disability or additional needs will often require extra care and support from their parents and those around them.

A parent carer with is son

Parents sometimes don’t recognise they are a carer as they are ‘just doing what a parent would do’ but if a parent needs to give more care and support to their child than would usually be expected, they have a care role.  

A child does not need to have a diagnosis for the parent to be a parent carer.

Other adults who are primary carers for a disabled child can use the support offered to parent carers, for example, a grandparent who has their disabled grandchild in their care because the child’s parents are unable to care for them.

Carers Support Centre can provide information and advice regarding issues relating to your care role.

For parent carers of children up to the age of 18 and living in Bristol, we have a dedicated Parent Carer Support Officer who can provide individually tailored support where needed.

We can help with things such as:

  • Finding ways to have a break from caring
  • Information about support or accessible activities for your child
  • Referrals, or help with filling in forms
  • Understanding processes, such as how to request a Parent Carer Needs Assessment
  • Linking with parent carer networks
  • Knowing about other services that can provide support

Contact our friendly CarersLine staff.

CarersLine can help with general enquiries and will refer you to our Parent Carer Support Officer if more support is needed.  

CarersLine is open:

Monday to Friday: 10 am – 1 pm
Monday to Thursday: 2 pm – 4 pm
(Closed on Bank Holidays)

0117 965 2200

An answerphone operates outside of these hours and your call will be returned when the helpline next opens.

Alternatively, use our contact form to receive a personal reply the same or the next working day.

Carers Assessments look at how caring affects your life, and whether support is needed to manage your caring role and well-being.

The Children and Families Act 2014, says Parent Carers have a right to a parent carer’s needs assessment. 

A Carer’s Assessment focuses on you as a parent and your needs, your wellbeing, health and safety issues and important commitments such as relationships, education and employment.  

Parent Carer Assessments are carried out by the local authority.  In Bristol and South Gloucestershire, they are conducted alongside your child’s social care needs assessment. 

If you are a parent carer of a child under 18 in Bristol you can request a social care needs assessment for your disabled child, and a parent carer needs assessment for yourself by phoning First Response on:

0117 903 6444.

First Response is the gateway to children’s social care services including the Disabled Children’s Service. 

If you are a parent carer of a child under 18 in South Glos you can request a social care needs assessment for your child and a parent carer’s needs assessment for yourself by phoning the Access and Response Team on:

For further information regarding parent carer’s needs assessments please refer to the Contact website:

Parent carers in Bristol can apply for a Carer’s Wellbeing Grant. 

This grant is for parent carers of disabled children up to 18 living within the Bristol Local Authority. It is a one-off payment of up to £300 to enable carers to purchase something that will benefit their wellbeing either by giving them a break or easing the pressure of the care role. It can be applied for once every 12 months. 

Autism Central

A national, centralised support for parents and carers of autistic children and adults with local hubs.

Each region also now has an Autism Central hub, and Bristol Autism Support is the Southwest regional hub.

Bristol Parent Carers

A non-profit organisation based in Bristol, consisting of volunteer parent carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

As a pan-disability charity, they provide information and support to all families, regardless of their child’s type of need or diagnosis status.

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

A registered charity (number 327691) operating in England. IPSEA offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

South Glos Parent Carers

A local parent carer forum working to give a voice to parent carers of children (aged 0-25) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Disability Grants

Are you a carer of a disabled child?

If so, you can use the Disability Grants website to save time finding grants towards disability equipment, holidays, housing, days out & more.

Discover what’s available nationally and in your local area.

Contact, the charity for families with disabled children

Contact support families, bring families together and help families take action for others.

Use their free Grants Search tool to find the financial support your disabled child needs to live their best life. Specialist equipment, homeware, therapies, laptops, adaptations and even holidays with your little one –

Page last updated 22.02.24