4.2 Can I get help if I am disabled?

Mothers with a disability are entitled to extra support (help for disabled children comes under Section 17, see 4.1). 

You have a right to support from Adult Social Care under the Care Act 2014 [20] if you need help to look after your child/ren because you have a physical or learning disability or long-term illness. You can ask Adult Social Care to assess you to see if you need help in carrying out your caring responsibilities for a child. However, during an assessment, if they consider you to be very disabled they may decide to start a Section 47 investigation under child protection and say you’re not capable of looking after your children. So think carefully before asking for an assessment and always record and have a witness with you when talking to any social worker. 

For those assessed with a ‘borderline’ learning disability, there is a further catch: social workers may say the disability is not ‘bad enough’ to qualify for support, but it is bad enough to decide that the mother/parents won’t or can’t look after their children properly. The fact is that social services don’t prioritise putting resources into enabling people with learning or other disabilities to keep their children – they would rather take children away and put them up for adoption as early as possible. This amounts to blatant disability discrimination and must be challenged. 

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