Contact a Family is a national charity that provides advice, information and support to families with disabled children.
It was founded in the 1970s by families who recognised that even if their child’s conditions were different, it was important to support each other.
Today Contact a Family works to alleviate the financial disadvantage that families face and is committed to ensuring that families are understood, valued and included as equal participants in their communities and in society.
The charity’s wide-reaching services include a helpline, workshop sessions and support group networks, and its advice covers all aspects of caring for a disabled child, from financial help to medical information.
Who does Contact a Family help?
Contact a Family supports all families with a disabled child, whatever their child’s disability.
There are around 800,000 disabled children in the UK – that’s 6% of the child population – and the charity’s aim is that all of them get the right support and feel confident to deal with the challenges they face.
What help does Contact a Family give?
The charity works directly with parents and carers and is driven by what they say is important.
Its work involves enabling families to support:
Themselves, for example through a website advice service, parent carer resources, information sessions and a freephone helpline
Each other, such as by running a network of parent support groups and working with parent carer forums to improve services in the local area
The charity’s work, whether through campaigning, volunteering, organising fundraising events or contributing to research projects.
Contact a Family has local offices across England and in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For more information about regional and national support, visit the In your area section of the charity’s website.
People who have been helped by Contact a Family
Julia felt lost and alone when her daughter was diagnosed with autism at age three. A family worker from Contact a Family Wandsworth approached her at a children’s centre and helped her fill out an application form for Disability Living Allowance – a life-changing benefit she didn’t know existed. Three years later Julia raised £1,000 for the charity running the London Marathon.
Adejoke and Lawrence
Adejoke and Lawrence were put in touch with Contact a Family by their son Mark’s speech therapist. Mark was having difficulty interacting with others, and his parents felt isolated and confused. Since then Adejoke and Lawrence have joined a Makaton session organised by the charity – allowing them to communicate better with their child – made lots of friends at Contact a Family’s social activities and even set up a parent support group.
Find out more about Contact a Family
Visit Contact a Family’s website to read more about the charity’s work and for advice, support and information on all aspects of caring for a disabled child.
Date of publication: 30 June 2015