Family support for children with developmental delay or disability

Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.

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When caring for a child with a disability or chronic illness you may feel that you have less family and community support than you need.

Sometimes this will be because the disability or illness requires specialist knowledge. At other times you may feel your child’s needs are not understood or accepted by family and friends.

It is very common for families to have:

  • couple and relationship problems arise. 
  • difficulty with sharing the parenting tasks
  • various sibling or extended family emotional reactions and responses
  • trouble with decision making
  • feelings of sadness and exhaustion
  • difficulty planning and coordinating services
  • difficulty with behaviour management.

Please ask a social worker if you would like help accessing services or counselling support for you or your family.

Services you can access include:

  • counseling and/or mental health care,
  • respite care and community participation, 
  • help with planning and coordinating therapies and services.

A starting point for services includes:

An Early Diagnosis support program within some early intervention services (funded, EarlyLinks NSW).

Intensive family support programs funded across different organisations such as Catholic Care and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Your General Practitioner (GP) can talk with you about your well-being and discuss options.

Uniting Care, Unifam (1800 864 846) (sliding scale fees including full funding)

Carers NSW (1800 242 636) (semi-funded)

Relationships Australia

(1300 364 277) (sliding scale fees)

Transcultural Mental Health (1800 648 911)

Siblings Australia

The Children's Hospital at Westmead
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
Hunter New England Kids Health

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