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Project information

Helping more families with disabled children

Contact a Family is determined to make the biggest difference possible to the lives of families with disabled children in the UK. We want to reach more families this year with the best information, advice and ability to link those families to others like them.

Throughout 2015 and 2016

Charity information: Contact a Family

Contact a Family logo
  • Need


    In the UK there are 800,000 families with a disabled child. Many of them confused about how to get the support their child needs which leads to stress and isolation. This means families are under unnecessary pressure and struggling (which leads to 32% of families breaking up). Parents have to give up work to care all too often. Too many families are being pushed into poverty or are going without basics like heating and food. 83% are going without something basic on a monthly basis.


    We want to reach more families this year. Contact a Family can provide the information, advice and support they need to cope. We can provide one-to-one support to over 12,000 families each year. Our helpline alone can support over 11,000 families in crisis. We can also link families to each other to reduce isolation. Our information guides can be essential to a parent to help them get the support their child needs - we have 43 of them and we know over 87,000 families use them each year.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Families with disabled children know how to get the right support for them and their children


    » Our freephone national helpline - 0808 808 3555 - continues to provide a one stop shop for families raising disabled children.
    » Families can access information on our website using an online medical Directory and ask questions on Facebook
    » We run hundreds of workshops for families across the UK to get parents useful, practical information but also to help them meet other families

    What success will look like

    Success will be...to provide accurate, up to date and timely information to each family we reach, so they can get the support their child needs.

    Aim 2

    Enable more families to support each other (reducing isolation) by increasing access to groups


    » We link hundreds of families each to a support group near them locally through our helpline and our local groups network
    » We run 50 family days a year during school holidays where families can meet up, learn from each other and build confidence in going to new places

    What success will look like

    Success will be...families feel better able to deal with the challenges they face, feel emotionally supported and less isolated

    Aim 3

    Ensuring parents have the best information they need around education, social care, and welfare


    » Producing 43 up to date Parent Guides on all subjects relating to disability and children/young people - all accessible for free in print or online.
    » Holding monthly drop ins children's hospitals, hospices, schools to answer parents questions and to give them the guides they need at that time.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...more families are reached and given the information they need for the point on their journey with a disabled child & families rate our information as very useful.

  • Impact


    We ask parents what impact we have had on their lives after using one of our services. Our last survey showed:

    94% felt they now knew how to get the right support for them and their families
    85% felt more confident to deal with the challenges they face
    68% felt less stressed
    78% felt less isolated

    We ask parents not just what they need us to do but also how well they think we have achieved our aims.


    Risks are evaluated across all activities and strategically at Trustee level.
    We have new monitoring and evaluation processes in place and we are constantly reviewing them, looking to improve families' experiences with us - making sure we reach them early on and give them the right amount of support they to match their needs. We are refining the way parents can evaluate us so that we can see any risks to projects that need dealing with.


    We will report to donors via e-mail if possible and by written updates on Contact a Family's work. We are also ensuring our Annual Report is easily accessible and readable from our website, and we are promoting our successes as a charity through social media regularly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Information & Support To help us reach more families with disabled children with the right information for their family
      £3,000 Linking families together To ensure families can be linked to a local parent network and reduce their isolation
  • Background


    Across the UK - we are reaching out to families in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and in Wales. We manage to reach all the way from the Orkney islands to the Scilly isles as well as covering the mainland.


    Families with disabled children. We help any family - no matter what condition their child has, or what their challenge is. We offer support to families with adopted and fostered disabled children, families who have more than one child with disabilities and hard to reach groups. Children can be aged 0-25. We also offer support to friends and other relatives of disabled children - if they need help, information or emotional support, we are there.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Contact a Family is the only UK charity that helps all families, no matter what disability their child has. We work closely with families with disabled children and we know the range of challenges they face – financial pressure, stress on relationships, ensuring siblings aren’t neglected, isolation. Sometimes life seems to involve moving from one crisis point to the next. Our aim is to ensure those families get through crisis points and have all the support they need to have a good family life.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Adele Meader

    Support Groups Manager - she links families with support groups, helps to set them up, links families to other individual families.

    Anne Brook

    Director of Family support services - she oversees all of our information and family support services.

    Karin Beeler

    Information officer - she writes and updates all of our parent information guides

    All Our Parent Advisors And Family Workers

    These are the people on the ground meeting families, giving them the information and advice that is right for each family.

Contact a Family

I don't know where else I can get this kind of info that is specific to our area. It helps me feel less isolated

Mum, Tracey