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How do my family and I get support to cope with my disability?

If you have a social worker from the Children with Disabilities Service, they should make sure you and your family have the help you need. This is usually through a Child in Need plan or an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP). Your plan is coordinated by your social worker, or sometimes by your nurse. It could include support like personal assistants to help at home or with activities, short breaks away from home, equipment, and transport to school.

If you feel like you aren’t getting the right help with your disability, you can ask for a new assessment of your needs. If this doesn’t happen, or you aren’t happy with the outcome, you or your family could make a complaint.

You can get advice on your rights and the support available for disabled children and families from Contact [Contact – for families with disabled children | Contact] .

If you cannot get the help you need, even after asking your professionals, you or your family can get in touch with the Help at Hand team for advice and support.

How do I get professionals to listen to me?

You have a right to be involved in all major decisions about the support you receive from social care, health, and education services. Decisions should be made with you, and you should be given help to communicate in the right way for you. You should be given enough time to have your say and your disability should never be a reason for professionals not to consider your wishes and feelings.

You are entitled to an advocate to support you to express your views, which could be a family member or friend, or a professional advocate. Advocates can also support you to make a formal complaint [link to section on complaints]. Every local authority has an advocacy service for children in care and care leavers, and they can also offer advocacy for children with disabilities. You can find details through the website for the national advocacy charity, Coram Voice. If you have difficulties getting an advocate, Coram can help, and you can also contact Help at Hand.

How can I get help with my education?

You have a right to be in school. If you do not have a school place you or your carer should contact your local authority and tell them. You can also contact Help at Hand about any of your education issues.

The following information might be helpful:

If you want to make a complaint about your school the following link sets out how you can do this: Complain about a school: Types of complaints – GOV.UK (

Help at Hand is the Children’s Commissioner’s advice and assistance service for children in care, children who have a social worker or are working with social services, children living away from home and care leavers.

Children, young people, or their advocates can get in touch with Help at Hand for free by phone, website or email. 

Phone us free on

0800 528 0731

email us or send us a message via our online form

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Before you decide to contact us, you might find the answer to your question is already here in our most frequently asked questions. Pick the option that applies to you for more information.

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