Home News & eventsNews New film launched to support parents of disabled children

New film launched to support parents of disabled children

Published: 18 Aug 2017

Over half of UK parents of a disabled child are struggling to combine work with caring for their child, according to a study by the UK’s work life balance charity Working Families and childcare provider Bright Horizons.

Statistics from the 2017 Modern Families Index – unveiled to mark the launch of Working Families’ brand-new video and survey aimed at parents of disabled children that work or want to work – found that for more than half (54%) of parents of a disabled child, their caring responsibilities have had an impact on their ability to work.

Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said:

“For too many parents of disabled children, their caring responsibilities often lead to taking on lower paid work, working fewer hours than they would like or leaving the labour market altogether. Many parents are forced to give up work at the point of their child’s diagnosis out of necessity, then move into long-term unemployment, with all its associated economic and social costs.

“The Conservative Party committed, in its election manifesto, to introducing a statutory entitlement to one year’s unpaid carer’s leave – and has said nothing about it since. This is the kind of policy which could be of huge benefit to parents of disabled children – enabling them to plan to deal with a new family situation or diagnosis, and put long-term care in place, without leaving the labour market.  We look forward to hearing more from the government about its plans to develop this new form of leave.

“Working Families’ brand-new video aims to support parents of disabled children; highlighting the rights and entitlements that can help keep them in paid work, and explaining the specialist advice we offer. And to help us campaign for change for parents of disabled children, we’re asking them to take part in our survey.”

The study – which captured the views of 356 parents of a disabled child – also found that:

  • For nearly 1 in 5 UK parents, caring for their disabled child has had an extreme impact on their ability to work – which could include leaving the labour market completely.
  • Parents in different age groups have been impacted differently. Nearly 1 in 3 parents (61%) of disabled children aged 36-45 felt impacted; followed by over half of parents of disabled children aged 26-35 (58%).
  • Mothers and fathers have been impacted in similar proportions; 53% and 54% respectively.

Working Families’ has today launched a brand-new video, supported by National Lottery Awards for All, aimed at parents of disabled children that want to work. It is also urging parents of disabled children to complete its survey – to help inform its Waving not drowning campaigning work over the next two years.

The charity’s Waving not drowning network aims to support parents like Mandy and Claire.

Read Mandy’s story

Read Claire’s story

The Waving not drowning network