Finances, work and childcare

8 mins read

Key statistics

Counting the Costs 2021 [PDF]

Counting the Costs is our flagship survey run every two to get a picture of the finances of UK families with disabled children. In 2021, we survived almost 3,000 families.

Key findings:


Contact helpline’s welfare rights team evaluation report 2018 [PDF]

This is a report of the independent evaluation of the Contact helpline’s welfare rights project, covering the period June 2016 to June 2018. This project was funded by the Big Lottery until May 2019. Read the executive summary of the report.

In the period covered by the evaluation, the welfare rights team provided 1,346 in-depth, one-to-one advice sessions by telephone, to approximately 1,175 families with disabled children.

Key findings:

Read the executive summary of the independent evaluation of the Contact helpline’s welfare rights project.

Caring More Than Most 2017 [PDF]

Working with the University of Leeds we analysed the country’s largest datasets, including the census, to produce the most up-to-date and comprehensive profile of the half million households with a disabled child in the UK today.

Key findings:

Download a breakdown of local authority data for disabled children aged 0-15.

Don’t Miss Out campaign – impact report and next steps, 2014 [PDF]

Our partnership campaign with the Family Fund aimed to find out why parents aren’t claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for their eligible child. As part of our research, we provided tailored helpline welfare advice to 110 parents, the majority of whom were advised to make a claim for DLA.

Key findings:

Stop the DLA Takeaway survey report: fairness for families when their child is in hospital, 2013 [PDF]

The government argues that DLA is no longer needed when a child spends substantial periods in hospital, and for this reason it removes the benefit after 84 days. This survey, conducted with The Children’s Trust, provides evidence that this is not the case.

Our research was instrumental in the Mathieson’s successful court case against the rules. Find out more about our Stop the DLA Takeway in Hospital campaign.

Key findings:

Out of reach: benefits for disabled children, 2005 [PDF]

Despite a range of government initiatives aimed at reducing child poverty and improving support for disabled children, families continue to experience poverty and social exclusion. With the Child Poverty Action Group, we published research looking at the problems faced by families with disabled children accessing welfare entitlements.

Join our campaign against cuts to benefits.

Key findings:

Caring for sick or disabled children: parents’ experiences of combining work and care, 2006 [PDF] and appendix [PDF]

This study tracked parent carers of sick or disabled children over four years. Commissioned by Carers UK and Contact a Family, as part of the ACE National (Action for Carers and Employment) partnership.

Key findings:

Flexible enough, 2004 [PDF]

This report describes the findings of a two-month consultation of 900 parents in the UK on the theme of flexible working in families where there are one or more disabled children. The aim of the report was to understand some of the barriers to employment that families with disabled children face.

Key findings:

Debt and disability: the impact of debt on families with disabled children, 2004 [PDF]

In 2004, we conducted a survey into debt in conjunction with the Family Fund. The aim was to find out how families with disabled children manage their finances and whether they are more likely to struggle with credit commitments and debt than other households.

Key findings:

Reaching families in Wales: mapping families with disabled children – Wales index of multiple deprivation child research, 2011 [PDF]

Research investigating the relationship between families with disabled children in Wales and child poverty by comparing data on families helped by the Family Fund by postcode with the areas of relative deprivation in the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation Child Index (WIMD) 2011.

Key findings: