Assessments of disabled children

Under the 1989 Children Act you have a right to request an assessment of your child if he/she is a 'child in need'. One of the definitions of a child in need is a child with a disability.

Under the Act a child is defined as disabled if he is 'blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed;'.

This is a very outdated and awkward definition and differs from the definition in the Equality Act. It is, however, a very broad definition and would cover conditions such as ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome so long as the effect is 'substantial and permanent'.

Once that assessment has been undertaken and a need identified the Local Authority is under a duty to provide services to meet that need. These services could be:

  • providing information
  • advice, guidance and counselling
  • social and recreational activities (including short breaks)
  • help in the home
  • help with transport to get to services

To talk to someone about requesting an assessment for your child please get in touch with the Single Point of Contact Team on 0121 569 3100

Assessments of parents / carers

Assessments of disabled children described above should be holistic and cover the needs of the entire family, including parents and carers. However, the 2000 Carers and Disabled Children Act gives parent carers the right to request a stand alone assessment of their needs if they regularly 'provide a substantial amount of care' to a disabled child. Further rights for assessments for parent carers of disabled children came into force with the 2014 Children and Families Act.

To talk to someone about a parent carer assessment if you care for someone under the age of 18 please get in touch with the Single Point of Contact Team on 0121 569 3100

If you care for a disabled person aged 18 or over go to the carers of adults section.

The organisation Contact a Family has produced a useful factsheet on assessments.