Parent carers care for children or young people under 18 years with a variety of disabilities, health conditions or additional needs. These additional needs are often life-long and the challenges faced change as the child/young person grows and develops.
If you are a parent carer of a child with special needs under 18 years, or you are a young carer, you have similar rights to a Carer Assessment and support (as with adult carers). This is covered by the Children and Families Act 2014.
It is important to note that other children living at home may also help with caring and
therefore need some extra support themselves. Having caring responsibilities can have an impact on a young person’s schooling, sleep, and friendships. Contact the carer support organisation in your local area for information concerning Young Carers.
As your child becomes older, if they have complex physical health needs, they can be
referred to a Young People’s Health Transitional Service. The aim of this service is to
co-ordinate the transfer of healthcare from paediatric to adult services. This transition starts at age 14 years and may continue up to 21 years of age. If your child has not had a referral to this service, contact their school nurse.
As part of the transition into adult services, it is recommended that you and your child attend your local GP for an annual review from around 14 years of age. The annual health review should include various checks, such as weight, height, blood pressure and a review of diet, bowels and continence.
If your child is registered with the GP practice as having special needs, you should automatically be given a double appointment.
When your child reaches 18 years of age, your legal parental responsibility ends. Please discuss what this means for your circumstances with the Young People’s Health Transitional Service or your child’s school nurse. As your child transitions into adult healthcare, they will be supported by the Health Liaison Team (HLT). The HLT provide expert advice and support to adults with a learning disability in using healthcare services to get the care they need.
For more information about this contact your local authority. For information concerning your specific needs as a parent carer, contact your local carer support organisation or Parent Network support group.
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