How we help / Family life / Parenting / Children with additional needs

Children with additional needs

If your child has a health or developmental condition that is impacting on their everyday life, this is often referred to as an additional need. It may be that from birth your child has faced some extra challenges, or these may have become more obvious as your child has grown up.  

Your child's additional needs could be developmental, physical, learning, behavioural or sensory. Their needs might be easily met with a regular plan of care or a creative approach to their management.

Some additional learning needs may continue throughout life and as a family there will be times you may require support from a number of services. 


All children should have access to the right services, at the right time, to make sure they can reach their full potential. 

Additional support need can be both long and short-term or can simply refer to the help a child or young person needs in getting through a difficult period.  Additional support needs can be due to disability, or health, learning environment, family circumstances, social and emotional factors. 

Sign up for our EarlyBirds Plus and Teens Plus programmes

Further support for children with additional needs

  • Single Parents – provides single parents with help, advice and support 

  • YoungMinds for Parents – provides advice about mental health and behaviour problems in children and young people. You can call the parents' helpline on 0808 802 5544 

  • Family Rights Group – provides parents or other relatives with advice about their rights and options when social workers or courts

Daily living with a disabled child 

Your local authority is responsible for providing any non-medical care services your child is assessed as needing. This could include equipment for daily living, home care, access to play schemes, and respite care so that you can have a break. 


To access services from your local authority, you'll need to ask for your child to have a needs assessment. Your needs, and the rest of your family's, can be considered during your child's assessment. 


If the assessment doesn't address your needs as a carer, you can ask for your own carer's assessment. 

Further resources illustration

Education legislation and guidance

The statutory requirements for safeguarding all children are set out in legislation and guidance for the education sector.


Each UK nation also has legislation and guidance on supporting children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).


Although different terms are used in different nations, the principles of safeguarding and protecting young people and children with additional needs or disabilities are broadly the same. 

Looking for support now?

Our growing Spurgeons Digital Family Hub, with always available online resources supporting families with parenting after separation, disordered eating, families affected by imprisonment and more...

Further useful links

Explore further organisations that can offer support across a range of parenting issues: