Struggle for parents to combine work and caring for a child with disabilities

More than half (54%) of UK parents of a disabled child are struggling to combine work with caring for their child, according to a new study. 

Carried out by the charity Working Families and childcare provider Bright Horizons, the statistics come from the 2017 Modern Families Index. The charity has launched the Working Families’ video, aimed at parents of disabled children that want to work. The charity is urging parents of disabled children to complete its survey to help inform its Waving not drowning campaigning work over the next two years. 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 less hours than they want 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.” Working Families’ video aims to support parents of disabled children, highlighting the rights and entitlements that can help keep them in paid work and explain the advice the charities offers. The study, which captured the views of 356 parents of a disabled child, also found:
  • 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.
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